It’s a fusion between fitness, art, and relaxation. Local nonprofit the DAY Program is on a mission to improve the physical and mental well-being of residents by hosting a community-wide interactive series, 757 Unity Circle.
The DAY Program is known for making rounds throughout Hampton Roads, performing at local festivals, schools, even hosting classes of their own.
When COVID-19 first hit Hampton Roads, the nonprofit took some time off. However, it wasn’t long until they decided to get back out into the community and help others who may need a creative outlet during this difficult time.
“I’m in a wheelchair and I find it hard to stay cooped up in the house during this pandemic. I’ve been drumming for over 20 to 30 years. So I thought to myself, let’s bring some of my students and just get out there and drum,” said Kam Kelly, drum instructor and co-founder of the DAY Program.
Every Sunday, community members are invited to an outdoor space in Hampton Roads to participate in a yoga class, African dance class, or drum session.
“We launched ‘757 Unity Circle’ about six weeks ago. We want to give the community the opportunity to come out and release some stress, especially with everything going on with COVID-19,” said Bonny Barnes, co-Founder of the DAY Program.
Bonnie and Kam aren’t working alone. They asked nonprofit Atumpan Edutainment to join in on the fun and incorporate African storytelling into the series.
“Kam is in a wheelchair and I’m visually impaired, I consider us to be differently-abled. We use African folklore to have conversations for people who are like Kam and I. We find ways to relate to them and make them see the world from our point of view,” said Corey Staten, co-founder of Atumpan Edutainment.
“It’s nice to see people of all ages come together. To see men, boys, women, and girls sharing the same space. It’s a rainbow of colors, a rainbow of love,” said Corey’s wife and co-founder of Atumpan Edutainment LaQuita Marie Staten.
Then there’s nonprofit One Love Community. Their goal is to not only uplift the community but keep the neighborhoods clean.
“We’ve adopted River Street Park in Hampton. At the end of each drum circle, we make it a point to leave it cleaner than we found it,” said Gabs Diaz, founder of One Love Community.
The next 757 Unity Circle is Sunday, Aug. 2 at 1320 LaSalle Avenue in Hampton. Yoga class begins at 2 p.m. and drum class begins at 3 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
For more information contact the following organizations:
- The DAY Program via Facebook and Instagram.
- Atumpan Edutainment via Instagram
- One Love Community Org via Facebook