Street Theatre Alliance

When the elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.

-Nigerian Proverb

@ Yodi Duane Vaden (Founder/Artistic Director)

As a visual, performing and culinary artist, he is founder and creative director of the Ngomi Arts/Street Theatre Alliance and the Kakumba Cha African dance and drum ensemble, both of which are based in Allentown. Yodi operates his artist studio in Allentown, Pa. 

He began his lifes journey at the Lemoyne Community Center (in Washington, PA). In the 1960's he attended Headstart at the Center. At the Center in the 1970's, he was an original member of the Y-US Design Group, and he studied art with his mentor the late Johnnie Yandel. 

Yodi has worked with other street theater groups such as the Puerto Rican performance group Agua, Sol y Sereno and with Bronx-based Pregones Theater, which creates and performs plays and musicals rooted in Latino culture. He has also worked with Peter Schumann's Bread and Puppet Theater, whose imagery features masks and puppets of all kinds and sizes.

Yodi was a founding member of the now defunct African-American theater ensemble IEM (It Expresses Me) Productions. He worked with Touchstone Theater to create the theatrical piece "Listen Up!" and with Mock Turtle Marionettes on "The Dancing Granny". Yodi was a drummer with the touring African dance company Zawadi Collective and also with Sankofa from Ghana, West Africa.

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