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PS21 presents Circus Amoukanama’s "FA" (FREE)

PS21 presents Circus Amoukanama’s "FA" (FREE)


Circus Amoukanama


Crellin Park
2940 New York 66, Chatham, New York 12037


Saturday, August 19, 2023 - 4:00pm



Circus Amoukanama

"Fa" by Amoukanama Circus (Guinea)

August 19, 2023

4 PM


Taking place at Crellin Park in celebration of Crellin Park Day, the Guinean troupe – nine acrobats, dancers, and musicians – perform FA, their moving, personal story of migration and the quest for education and opportunity that brought them from the streets of Conakry to Europe and beyond. A collaboration between the performers and artistic director Anthony Weiss, FA is part of PS21 PATHWAYS and will be co-presented with the Town of Chatham on Crellin Park Day. The performance is free, to encourage broad-based community attendance. 

Amoukanama (“What doesn’t break persists” in the Susu language of Guinea, Mali, and Sierra Leone) wowed audiences at America’s Got Talent in 2022 and continues to delight crowds at home and on tour throughout Europe.

Amoukanama's performance of FA, jointly presented by PS21 at the Town of Chatham Crellin Park to coincide with the annual Crellin Park Day, will mark the debut of the work in the United States, and the first major engagement for the troupe in North America.

PS21's presentation of FA by AMOUKANAMA is the highlight of our PATHWAYS program – a multidisciplinary public initiative of free and affordable performances, classes, workshops, and events tailored to the local community – it is bigger than ever this year. 

Through PS21's own programming and partnerships with local organizations, PATHWAYS has emerged as the linchpin of PS21’s activities, fostering collaboration among community groups and increasing participation by low-income families. 

We strive to shatter the “glass barricade” that often discourages nearby residents from sharing, as both spectators and participants, in the wealth of cultural, recreational, and intellectual programming on offer.  PATHWAYS programs are engaging, accessible, participatory, and welcoming to all.

Through our collaborations with the Crellin Park Children's Camp, Operation Unite, Perfect Ten, The Town of Chatham, Columbia Land Conservancy, Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program, Chatham Central School District, Lightforms Arts Center, Empire State Youth Orchestra, The Tenth Academy, Hudson Youth Dept., Waterfront Wednesdays, Spark of Hudson, Hudson Arts Coalition, Haitian Community Development Project (Niverville), Ghent Assisted Living, and Hudson Area Library, PS21 PATHWAYS plays an essential role in our efforts to increase participation by middle- and low-income families and youth in PS21 programming. 

These partnerships helped further our mission to bridge the accessibility divide that too often discourages area residents from enjoying the cultural and intellectual richness of the performing arts—as both spectators and participants.

Nouveau Cirque like AMOUKANAMA, grounded in innovative uses of space, creative endeavor, and audience participation, is an accessible art form ideal for defending and expanding public spaces, privileging public assembly, and democratizing access to the commons. These concerns are central to PS21’s mission: our free and affordable programming are a counterweight to the restrictive, cost-prohibitive venues in the region and throughout the country.

Expanding the commons redresses the social injustices of exclusion from crucial areas; doing so thereby bolstering our imperiled democracy.

The goal of expanding the commons took shape and expression at PS21 in 2020 in our  creation of PS21 PATHWAYS. Cirque as specific platform- innovative, accessible in its nature – planning began in 2020, with subsequent presentation of two international projects in 2021  one, Branché by Cirque Barcode and Acting for Climate Montreal ,  presented on the site of Community Crellin park drew a crowd of 600 of mostly local kids and families.

In 2020 PS21 joined an international circus consortium along with Ruhr Triennale, TOHU, and many other dedicated presenters of circus, and with the help of this network presented two other high profile projects in Columbia County: in 2021 INSTABLE by Les Hommes Penchees, and Phasmes and Hetre by Cirque Libertivore, U.S. Premiere: Phasmes and Hêtre by Compagnie Libertivore - PS21PS21 (ps21chatham.org) and in 2022, C’est pas la, c’est par la by Compagnie GALMAE C’est pas là, c’est par là (It’s Not Here, It’s Over Here) by Compagnie Galmae – Juhyung Lee (France / S. Korea), a Collaborative Community Performance - PS21PS21 (ps21chatham.org). C’est pas la, c’est par la, in particular  represents the essence of PS21 PATHWAYS community engagement initiative, a genre bending work of participatory theater by a South Korean artist based in France. Inspired by political protests and street arts Lee encountered in Seoul, C’est pas la, c’est par la transformed PS21’s grounds into a hive of social ferment and passive onlookers into an active, problem-solving collective.

PS21 PATHWAYS brings leading and emerging American and international artists into contact with local community members. This free and low-cost season-long series of art installations, participatory theater, educational workshops, processional arts, and interactive events engages area residents in creative endeavors and environmental stewardship; fosters collaboration among regional and local organizations who bring the arts to – and into – non-urban communities with limited access to work of this caliber; and highlights the links between the performing arts, the community, and the environment.

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