The Center for World Arts is proud to formally recognize three-time artist-in-residence, Barakissa Coulibaly (Côte d'Ivoire), as a CWA Artist-Citizen. We are grateful for her contributions to the Center's mission at the University of Florida, especially her work with the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium at the Bates Dance Festival (2013), and her classes and choreographic contributions to AGBEDIDI (2012 and 2013), and our World Dance and Intercultural Performance curriculum and outreach. Above and beyond we are moved by her continuing dedication to the University of Florida African Student Union (ASU) and the outstanding ASU dance troupe. More than technique, Bara has taught the students how to use dance as a means to change attiturdes and perceptions, and improve lives. Through directly involving the students in her Abidjan-based charitable initiative Petit Coeur d'Afrique, which is dedicated to advancing educational opportunities for children, Bara has raised awareness into action to foster societal change. Please see the following recognition from the African Students Union:
"The University of Florida African Student Union (ASU) and UF ASU Dance Troupe awards Barakissa Coulibaly (Côte d'Ivoire) a certificate of appreciation for her outstanding artistic expertise and philanthropic service for our organization and dance troupe.
Barakissa has served as our organization's dance troupe advisor since 2013. She has implemented a strong Ivorian-style dance technique in our choreography including the signature rhythms from Ivory Coast known as "Gbegbe,” "Abodan,” "Temate,” and more! Barakissa has inspired our dance troupe by teaching us the beauty and fire of Ivorian dance technique, which allowed us to create our own choreography to perform in many shows throughout the semester! Barakissa's efforts are more than appreciated: she is the reason we have our dance technique and style today! Our dance troupe won the annual VISA Talent Show in 2014 (UF's international dance competition), after using much of the technique that we received from Barakissa!
Barakissa has also brought our awareness to many of the social issues in Ivory Coast, one of them being a lack of education among the youth. She shared with us her philanthropy known as: Petit Coeur d'Afrique, in which she sponsors children in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to pursue their education and develop a love for the arts! We assisted Barakissa raise funds for this philanthropy through dance workshops and many fundraising events.
We are forever indebted to the service has provided to our African Student Union Organization at the University of Florida! We admire her talent, strength, perseverance, and heart of gold!
Thank you, Barakissa, for changing our lives!"