Georgia Council for the Arts

Assane Kouyate

Assane Kouyate

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Summary Description: 

Lassana ‘Assane’ Kouyate is a multi-talented artist from Senegal, West Africa, of a griot family line originating in Mali. Griots are the poets, history tellers, keepers, and oral transmitters of West African cultural traditions. His past qualifications and experiences have included traveling the world as a lead choreographer and dancer with Le Ballet National du Senegal and Ballet Sinomew, and 20+ years exhibiting traditional art forms in public spaces and at major performance venues. Alongside his twin brother, he leads a 6-member world music band, using indigenous instruments to share traditional music with diverse audiences. In Atlanta, GA, Kouyate is artistic director of three traditional arts projects, established with the goal of preserving West African culture. The first project, ‘Nuit du Bazin,’ is a West African cultural fashion showcase. Second, ‘La Culture Mandingue,’ a project funded by Fulton County Arts and Culture, features a repertoire of songs, dance, and musical instruments from their origin to the Mali Empire, founded in the 13th century by Sundiata Keita. Lastly, ‘Sabar Rek!’ is an explosion of the folkloric Sabar dance and drumming technique of Senegal, West Africa, with origins from the Wolof and Serer ethnic groups – a project funded by the City of Atlanta, Office of Cultural Affairs. Kouyate is an influential master teacher of techniques using cultural arts to empower individuals in community development. He recognizes the need to provide meaningful, affordable, and accessible learning opportunities – to foster education, diversity, tolerance, and free expression, to further impact the community and to create a more collective experience.

Arts Disciplines:  Traditional Arts, West African Performing Arts – Dance, Song, Music (West African traditional instruments) 

Core Content Curriculum Areas:  Music, Dance, English/Language Arts, Social Studies/History, Physical Education, Technology, Foreign Language

Specialized Content Areas:   Arts Integration, World Cultures 

Grade Levels:  K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 

Special Populations:  At-Risk Students, ELL (English Language Learners), Gifted Students 

Pre-Service Learning and Professional Development:  Professional Development for Teaching Artists, Professional Development for K-12 Teachers 

Geographic Availability:  Metro Atlanta, North Georgia, Middle Georgia, South Georgia

Program Fees:

VIRTUAL Programming Available

Program Assembly fees – 

  • Single Assembly: $800 
  • Two Back-to-Back Assemblies: $1,550 
  • Three Back-to-Back Assemblies: $2,300 

**Add-On Workshop: add a 45-minute workshop to any assembly program for an additional $300 (1 workshop), $550 (2 workshops) 

Workshop fees – $400 (one), $750 (two), $1,100 (three), $1,450 (four)  Residency fees (5 days) – $2,000

Artistic Profile:    

Lassana ‘Assane’ Kouyate is a multi-talented artist from Senegal West Africa, of a griot family line originating in Mali. Griots are the poets, history tellers, keepers and oral transmitters of West African cultural traditions.

His past qualifications and experiences have included traveling the world as a lead choreographer and dancer with Le Ballet National du Senegal and Ballet Sinomew and 20+ years exhibiting traditional art forms in public spaces and at major performance venues. 

Kouyate is an influential master teacher of techniques using cultural arts to empower individuals in community development. He recognizes the need to provide meaningful, affordable, and accessible learning opportunities – to foster education, diversity, tolerance, and free expression, to further impact the community and to create a more collective experience.

Teaching Experience:   

Teaching qualifications and experience include 15+ years of instructing K-12 educational programming. He 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.

Sample Programs:    

A Journey Through West Africa
Primary art form: Traditional Arts: a unique mix of West African dance, music & song
Core content/curriculum area: Integrated
Grade level(s) served: K-12
Number of students served: workshop 30 max; assembly 200 max
Program length: 40 minutes
Program content description: Students will learn to analyze the characteristics of traditional dance, rhythm, music, and song from several diverse West African cultures, in particular, Senegal, Mali, and Guinea, and understand how it functions. Students will then apply program methods through choreographed routines and live performances.
Facility and technical requirements: 4 chairs without arms, 2 microphones (wireless/tie-clip preferred. Cordless as second preference). *For virtual programs: Access to ZOOM video conferencing required.

Sample Lesson Plans/Study Guides:

  • Listing ID: 6051