Zest for Education of Youth Brings Rhythm Arts and Humanities
Zest for Education of Youth Brings Rhythm Arts and Humanities



Mission/purpose of the organization

ZEYBRAH is a community based cultural organization which creates quality programs for cultural exchange between people of diverse cultures and experiential learning in the arts. ZEYBRAH which means "Zest for Education of Youth Brings Rhythm and Arts Humanities" draws its resources from cultures around the world, with an emphasis on the cultural expressions of the peoples of Africa and the Caribbean. There are two primary areas of programming:
(1) Art Expositions, which include art festivals, live performances of dance, music and drama, multi-media art exhibits, video and film screenings; and
(2) Training and Education in the Arts, which include workshops in music, dance, drama and visual arts, lecture-demonstrations, panel discussions, educational trips, and communications-media training. ZEYBRAH has been organizing quality folkloric events since 1984 with artists that are top in their field.

Organizational overview

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From its inception, ZEYBRAH has designed programs that can be accessed directly by local communities, and that encourage participation by the entire family. This orientation, plus our multi-cultural approach to arts and education, has struck a favorable chord among our audiences. By providing programs at a nominal cost to our communities, we offer opportunities for participation in very unique cultural experiences. ZEYBRAH has two signature festivals: Oceans of Rhythm in Long Branch, New Jersey, and A Moment in Time in New York City. These free festivals are designed to entertain, educate, and inspire people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and ethnicities to come together for peace, art and healing.

An important component of each festival is our work with children, who are prepared for participation through intensive preparatory workshops. Another important feature of our work is our collaborative ties to other community-based organizations. In New York we work with the Junior Scholars Program at Harlem's, Schomburg Center for Research in Black History and Culture (a research branch of the New York City Public Library). In New Jersey we work with various agencies including the Monmouth County Park System, the Hope Charter School of Asbury Park, and Club Brookdale, an after school program at the Neptune Middle School.

Key individuals

Basha Alperin, Director and Artistic Director of ZEYBRAH has over 20 years experience organizing cultural festivals. The festival committee and board members meet as a large group at least twice a year, as does The Director of Recreation of Long Branch and the Director of Community Development. Coordinated with ZEYBRAH, they plan and supervise the festival. Throughout the lifespan of the festival, there has grown a core group of volunteers who add tremendous input and "backbone" to the festival.