Off the Hook Arts (OTHA) hosted Reuniting in Rhythm on June 23, a celebration of rhythm guided by Djembe Jive founder Nancy Brauhn-Curnes. The atmosphere was full of high energy and compassion, and everyone was excited to start connecting and creating groovy, rhythmic beats.
Frame drummers, Conga drummers, Doumbek drummers, Djembe drummers, Dancers, and even Hoopers were invited to play, make music, and dance. Drumming is proven to reduce anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure, and increase endorphins, making this event something that everyone needed. All ages and abilities were welcome.
Brauhn was very excited to be there and gave her opinion on the experience: “The title of our event is Reuniting Through Rhythm, and that is exactly what it is about – reuniting people together, connecting the community… The drum circle lends itself to people listening to each other and connecting to each other musically and producing something together as one,” Nancy said.
Rebecca Newman, Office Manager, and Event Coordinator/Volunteer at OTHA, said that because they had to cancel their annual SummerFest, this drum circle was the highlight of their year. “I love that the one event we are able to put on is a free, community-minded drumming circle. What a great way for us all to get together?! I think everyone appreciates being able to see each other and enjoy music together in a safe way outside. Plus, it is an audience participation event, so not only do we get to listen, but we get to play,” Rebecca said.
Newman said OTHA followed all local health and safety regulations. They enforced a 50-person capacity, and all attendees were required to wear masks as well as maintain 6ft apart for proper social distancing.
Chairs were spread apart in a safe and distanced way, and there were some chairs gathered in groups, making it possible for families and couples to drum together. Volunteers conducted touchless thermometer checks at the entrance of the event, and there was hand sanitizer, gloves, and extra masks available.
The instruments were thoroughly sanitized beforehand. Rebecca said that although safety comes first, they aimed to make this event feel comfortable and at ease. “It is a great time to unwind and relax through drumming. Attendees can also bring their own percussion instruments,” she said.
Reuniting in Rhythm was held in Library Park Amphitheater at 200 Matthews Street.