Mills, Moiwai to Perform at UT for GEAR UP Gradkids

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KNOXVILLE — African storytellers and percussion performers Mickey Mills and Braima Moiwai will return to the University of Tennessee on Friday, Nov. 21, for two performances at the Black Cultural Center.

They will be telling traditional and modern stories of the Caribbean and West Africa.

The first performance will be for the GEAR UP Gradkids at 10:30 a.m. An informal information session will follow.

At 5:30 p.m., Moiwai and Mills will perform Steel and Djembe Jubilee: An Evening of African Music, Stories and Food. The African Student Association, the event sponsor, will provide a traditional African dinner after the performance.

The duo was at UT for a performance during Africa Semester. This time a third member, Malika, Mills’ wife, will join them.

UT Professor Stephanie Ohnesorg said, “We are delighted to have them back this semester with their new show and performance. We invited them because they are superb.”

Admission to their 5:30 show and the African dinner is free and open to the public.

The GEAR UP Gradkids Project is administered through UT by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The program helps low-income high school students in rural Cocke and Scott Counties to set high expectations, graduate from both high school and college, and become responsible citizens.

The program provides students with tutoring programs, counseling, academic and cultural fieldtrips, as well as summer camps and college visits. It also provides classroom supplies, professional development for teachers and parent seminars.

The project began in 2000 with 633 seventh graders and will last until they graduate from high school in 2006.

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