Clinton Hill man works to educate others on African culture through art, dance
A Clinton Hill community member is working to educate people about African culture.
Julio Leitao is the founder of the nonprofit organization Batoto Vetu.
The organization shares culture and history through art and dance to teach and empower young children and adults.
Leitao is an artist, a choreographer, sculptor and educator, and all of his work is inspired by his African heritage.
He was born in Angola and was forced to flee his country at a young age during the civil war there. His roots and experience inspired him to share that history and educate others.
His organization is currently working on one of its annual projects, a theatrical experience called the Life and Spirit of a Warrior Queen. The performance brings together traditional African dances and costumes that he creates.
Leitao says it's important to learn about the history because it continues to impact society today.
His students practice for hours every Saturday as they prepare for their big performance in February. They range in age from 4 years old to 25.
The show takes place on Feb. 8 at City College of New York.