Our Programs: Yesterday & Today

Since 1994, Hooked On Drums Founder Dr. Lilian Friedberg has been using African drumming to improve the lives of urban youth in Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and other cities throughout the Midwest .

Under the umbrella of the Sojourner Truth Center (her previous community-based non-profit organization in the Twin Cities), Dr. Friedberg taught, mentored and created professional youth drumming ensembles at Penumbra Theater, Walker-West Music Academy , Sheridan Global Arts and Communications School, and the Kaleidoscope After-School Program.

She also formed a professional youth performing ensemble called the Nankama Drum Core from the most skilled and experienced youth participants in her programs. Nankama gave dozens of performances throughout the Midwest from 1995 to 1999. The stipends that the kids earned from their gigs demonstrated how the arts can provide a way out of economic disadvantage.

In Chicago , Hooked On Drums has been offering African drumming after-school classes for youth groups of all ages (pre-school to high school) in partnership with the Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools . We've also worked with the University of Chicago Laboratory School, suburban elementary and middle schools, and neighborhood organizations throughout the city. The youth groups that Dr. Friedberg has directed and trained have performed for high profile events and celebrations throughout Chicago , including performing for the Park Superintendent at Chicago 's Soldier Field. We've also provided mentorship, instruction and direction to other youth drumming organizations throughout the Midwest .

Nankama Drum Core performing at the University of Chicago, 1998

Lilian Friedberg leading a Nankama Drum Core performance, Minnesota, 1998

Chicago Parks Superintendent Timothy J. Mitchell, Dr. Lilian Friedberg, Jim Banks and students after performing at Soldier Field youth awards banquet in 2004

Interested in Hooked On Drums Classes or Performances?
For Our Youth Class Schedules & Registration, Click Here
For Adult Classes through the Chicago Djembe Project, Click Here
For Classes or Performances at Your Organization, Send Us an Email
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Hooked On Drums, Inc., 2849 E. 93rd St., Chicago, IL 60617
ph: (773) 251-8067
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