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Community artist drums up lively performances for patients

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The exciting percussive beats of the African djembe, yado and cowhide dun dun drums could be heard in an isolation room on the seventh floor, which offers a patient a bird’s eye view of Akron Children’s Expressive Therapy Center.

Hearing from this distance was made possible by the assisted hearing device provided to the patient by the Expressive Therapy Center staff. Peering through the window and viewing the performance in this way broke up the monotony of a long hospital day for this patient.

Artist Sogbety Diomande recently entertained patients and staff in the Expressive Therapy Center with his unique talents of drumming and dance. Hailing from the Ivory Coast of West Africa, Sogbety brought a dynamic performance made special by his unique, colorful costumes, musical instruments, rhythms, and songs.

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Thanks to grant funding, Akron Children’s Expressive Therapy Center has been partnering with community artists such as Sogbety to offer expanded arts programming and unique opportunities for patients, families and staff.

Since the center opened two years ago, a hospital stay may now include a visit from a board-certified art or music therapist, or a representative from the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University.

Patients can also partake in any of the frequent performances and activities made available to the patient population in the Expressive Therapy Center by artists such as Sogbety.

Sogbety will return to offer four drumming workshops in the Expressive Therapy Center. Dates are March 13, April 24, May 29 and June 12 at 1 p.m.