Arif Smith

Arif Smith is a multidisciplinary artist and educator. His performance- and video-based work centers on diasporic citizenship and African-rooted performance practices, exploring notions of blackness, co-presence, and marronage. Smith was a 2017-18 Artist-in-Residence at University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life and Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. Currently, he is a Program Manager at Old Town School of Folk Music and Research Associate at the Field Museum. Smith is also a member of Bomba con BuyaIré Elese Abure, and Black Monument Ensemble

Through Music Moves Chicago and the Bomba Drum Corps Program at CAD, youth will learn how to build bomba drums. Broadly, bomba is an African-rooted cultural practice from Puerto Rico that features percussion, song, and dance. Bomba is performed with two or more barriles, hollowed rum or codfish barrels converted into drums by stretching goatskin across one opening of each barrel. The Bomba Drum Corps Program draws upon restorative and artistic practices found in the bomba tradition, and offers youth an opportunity to heal and develop 21st century skills while constructing bomba drums. This program is made possible through a partnership between Old Town School of Folk Music, R Drum, and Cook County Juvenile Probation.