Assane Kouyaté is a culture bearer, griot, and one of a few indigenous West African artists in Georgia. With 30+ years exhibiting traditional and cultural art forms in public spaces, and at major performance venues, Kouyaté’s heritage plays an important role in his work. As a multi-talented artist, his experiences have included traveling the world as a lead choreographer and dancer with Le Ballet National du Senegal and Ballet Sinomew. Alongside his twin brother, he leads a 12-member world music band and troupe, combining infectious vocals, high-impact dance grooves, and traditional and modern instruments, with elements of mbalax, sabar, jazz, funk, reggae, and contemporary.
Kouyaté conducts educational residencies, master classes, and performances throughout the state. In Atlanta, he is curator and artistic director of several ongoing and experimental projects that have allowed him to further develop and strengthen West African artistry in the community. They include – Nuit du Bazin: a biennial cultural fusion of art, fashion, and music; La Culture Mandingue (LCM): a series that honors and celebrates ancestral traditions of the Manding (Mandinka or Malinké) with origins to the Mali Empire, and Sabar Rek Atlanta Conference + Cultural event: uncovering the history, complexity, and richness of Wolof + Serer ethnic groups and folk traditions of Senegal.
Kouyaté recognizes the need to provide meaningful, affordable, and accessible traditional arts opportunities to foster education, diversity, healing, tolerance, and free expression.
Languages Spoken: French, English, Mandinka and several other West African languages
Arts Disciplines: Music, Theatre/Drama, Dance
Core Content Curriculum Areas: Music, Theatre/Drama, Dance, English/Language Arts, Social Studies/History, Physical Education, Foreign Language
Specialized Content Areas: Arts Integration, ELL (English Language Learners), History, World Cultures
Grade Levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Special Populations: ELL (English Language Learners), At-Risk Students, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students, Exceptional Learners (students with disabilities as well as those who are gifted and talented
Pre-Service Learning and Professional Development: Professional Development for Teaching Artists
Geographic Availability: Metro Atlanta, North Georgia, Middle Georgia, South Georgia
School-based Classroom Workshop(s), School-based Assembly Program, School-based Residency Program, School-based Summer Program
Community-based Workshop(s), Community-based Assembly Program, Community-based Residency Program, Community-based Summer Program
- Program Assemblies:
- Single Assembly: $1,000
- Two Back-to-Back Assemblies: $1,800
- Workshop: $600 (40-45 minutes)
- Residencies: $2,500 (5-Day; 40-45 minutes)
Culture bearer and curator, Assane Kouyaté, is a multi-talented artist from Senegal West Africa, of a griot/djéli, family line originating in Mali. Kouyaté’s vast knowledge of diverse West African groups and traditions, along with his dedication to bringing diverse people together through dance instruction and performance both locally and globally, have made him recognized as a cultural practitioner within the community.
Kouyaté is an influential master teacher of techniques using cultural arts to empower individuals in education and community development. His goal is to broaden the understanding and appreciation of traditional West African arts and build awareness and diversity in the arts, to further impact the community and create a more collective experience.
Teaching qualifications and experience include 20+ years of instructing K-12 educational programs. Kouyaté believes that traditional West African culture is displayed in everyday life through many art forms – music, dance, art, sports, clothing, and food, to name a few. Exposing students to the beauty of these traditional art forms create a lasting connection to our vast cultural history.