Partnerships are central to CLARA’s identity as a community-engaged institution that provides an outlet for creative expression and quality arts education. BTU Arts is no exception. We’re honored to work beside this non-profit organization that brings music, visual, and performing arts directly to the community.

Dominica Garcia, a BTU Arts instructor, has been teaching African Drumming at CLARA’s Performing Arts Summer Camp. We briefly caught up with Dominic to discuss his passion for this special art form.

How long have you been teaching African Drumming? 
I have been teaching African and Afro Diasporic music since 2001, so about 20 years. 

Where does your love for African Drumming come from? In college, I took a world music class. This class introduced me to the many types of music and drumming from around the world. As a drummer, I felt connected. I enjoyed hearing the different polyrhythms and tambers and being exposed to a diversity of music and drums.

Why is it important to teach this art form? The nature of diversity in Africa, the regions, and different interpretations of rhythms and cultural traditions opens up an appreciation of this art form and a respectful foundation and understanding of the people these traditions come from. The djembe is a drum that means, “to bring the people together.” Although having begun in Africa, this art form is performed and celebrated all throughout the world.

To learn more about BTU Arts and their upcoming classes, workshops, and events, visit