Ashé Cultural Arts Center, a program of Efforts of Grace, Inc., is an effort to combine the intentions of neighborhood and economic development with the awesome creative forces of community, culture and art to revive and reclaim a historically significant corridor in Central City New Orleans: Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, formerly known as Dryades Street. We work to involve the entire community, from children to elders, in our planning and creative efforts. We celebrate the life and cultural traditions of the community, and then we immortalize them in our art. Storytelling, poetry, music, dance, photography and visual art are all a part of the work we do to revive the possibility and vision of a true “Renaissance on the Boulevard.” Our name ASHÉ - a Yoruban word that translates closely to AMEN - So let it be done - The ability to make things happen, bears testimony to our commitment and intention to accomplish our goals. Kuumba Institute, a program of Ashé Cultural Arts Center, commits to always do as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our communities more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. It is our goal to inspire students to use culture and the arts to help develop their power of expression and encourage the building of relationships within the community and throughout the world. Life is the inspiration of our art; and our artistic expressions should inspire our lives as well as those in the community and throughout the world. We want to feed the cultural and artistic realm giving students fluency in various art forms, so they may be able to use art to work with life challenges. We emphasize the importance of developing our community with culture and creativity by exposing students to culture and the arts and enhancing their ability to be creative thinkers. Our goal is to enhance the academic curriculum by integrating the ARTS. We will teach values of respect and discipline to establish a system of peer support. We want to motivate students and give them a voice to express themselves verbally as well as, appreciate the expressions of others.