Inclusive Arts Organisation
Nkiru – Means ‘the best is yet to come’.
Nkiru Arts is an Inclusive arts for health organisation based in Milton Keynes, we are a small ‘Not for profit’, run entirely by volunteers, everyone gives their time freely and no wages are paid.
Focusing on all aspects of ‘The Arts’, embracing all forms of ‘The Arts’ to compliment people’s lives keeping people fit, active and portray disabilities in a positive light. Nkiru runs community African & Dhol Drumming Groups for fun and public performance. Sessions are totally inclusive and we encourage a mix of abled and disabled. Arts workshop and all textile workshops are totally inclusive too, we aim to include all, regardless of any disability. Nkiru Arts’ activities also provide supportive opportunities, training and work experience for volunteers.
Our weekly African Drumming sessions run to enhance people’s lives, giving members a sense of well-being and belonging, and those living in isolation a group activity to attend and working together with others to achieve a positive outcome. Sessions are totally inclusive and we encourage a mix of abled and disabled. Our community group is made up with retired over 60’s, people suffering with mental health issues, adults and teens with learning difficulties, adults recovering from cancer and other serious health issues, single parents and students and not forgetting our perfectly healthy adults and children too. We welcome people from all ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, religions and all genders.
Our African Drumming Community group learn and play traditional West African rhythms on traditional African drums and perform in African costume. To the audience any of group’s disabilities are not seen and the group members benefit immensely from being part of a group. It is well documented the benefits that can be gained from drumming in a group. Nkiru Arts perform regularly at local community and charity events, performing on average at over a dozen events per year. Drumming and performance is a powerful music-making experience, a therapeutic intervention achieving health-oriented, non-musical goals. As an effective communication tool, drumming helps people realise their own contribution highlighting everyone’s input. Drumming enables one to disengage from mental activity and brings participants 100% into the present, giving relief from mental stress. Our emphasis is on having fun and giving pleasure to others through our performance. Our practice sessions put everyone at ease and most weeks we find ourselves in fits of laughter. We are now in such demand that we have had to developed a ‘Winter Costume’ to enable us to drum all year round and keep warm in winter.
In addition to African Drumming, Nkiru Arts also run Beginner Indian Dhol Drumming sessions and workshops thanks to a small grant from MK Community Foundation to purchase twelve small Dhol Drums.
Henna Art has become one of Nkiru Arts most popular workshops and activities. Our small group workshops take the novice through the steps of holding a henna cone to practice patterns and by the end of the sessions attendees are confident in applying henna to skin and creating the most beautiful designs.
Nkiru Arts offer Henna Crowns to people who have experienced hair loss through cancer treatment or other illness; these sessions are private and relaxed.
Nkiru hope to facilitate workshops bringing specialist instructors to Milton Keynes, specialising in the many instruments played in West Africa, to include; djembe, dun dun, sabar, kora, balafon to name but a few.
The most vibrant colourful textiles can be found in Africa; using these amazing fabrics with a modern twist we brightening up clothing in a contemporary way, making century old patterned textiles stand out in a most artistic and pleasing way.
Nkiru Arts is dedicated to reuse and recycle where ever possible. We encourage upcycling of all clothing , we run special workshops for all ages in upcycling clothing.ie upcycle denim jeans, upcycle t shirts and sweatshirts make new and exciting clothing from no longer worn or charity shop finds.
At Nkiru we are experienced costume designers. We will turn your ideas into costumes for whatever your event or needs may be, in performing, music, stage, theatre, school plays, costume ball or dance. We will run classes in sowing techniques, repairs, costume making.
Nkiru Arts founder Annie Beddoe has been a resident of Milton Keynes for 30 years. Annie has worked as a freelance artist for 40 years, a published photographer, an airbrush artist on motorcycles and helmets, pen and ink design on denim. An accomplished pattern maker and seamstress for all textile work. Annie is also a qualified MIG welder.
Annie has a love and passion for African Arts; Annie is an African Drumming Instructor and also an African Drum maker/repairer, a very rare skill, one of only half a dozen in the UK and a most unusual craft for a white English woman too. Annie learned her skills as a drummer and drum maker from West African Masters and tutors. Annie is a founder member of Moribayassa African Drumming Community Group and has taught African Drumming in schools and led workshops in the community all over Milton Keynes for many years.
If you wish to Book an African Drumming or Dhol Drumming Workshop for your event or our African Drumming Performance Group, please Contact Us giving your event details date, time, location type of event and we will get back to you with our costs.