DEAEF Dance Instructor teaches the Albany community a dance.
Dance Out Drugs
The DEA’s traveling exhibit, “Drugs: Costs and Consequences,” stopped in Albany, Georgia from February–September 2023. Over the summer, the DEAEF partnered with the DEA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Artesian Alliance in Albany to create a community event called “Dance Out Drugs” in conjunction with the traveling exhibit. This two-day event was held at the Artesian Alliance who hosted DEA’s traveling museum at the Thronateeska Heritage Center through September 6, 2023.
The event kicked off with a fun-filled day of special programming for 13 kids ranging in age from 9-14 led by Willie Vails from the local Boys and Girls Club. Ian Aguenza, a DEAEF Dance Instructor from Los Angeles, taught a 2-hour dance class where the kids learned a dance to perform the following day at the community festival. After dance class, the kids enjoyed lunch at the Flint RiverQuarium then went on a tour of the DEA traveling exhibit which was led by Museum Educator Qustina Rapley. To conclude the day's events, Kiera Anderson, DEAEF Youth Program Consultant, delivered a brief overview on the importance of learning coping skills, practicing refusal skills, and taking the Red Ribbon Pledge, committing to a drug-free life.
The following day, the Albany community was invited to attend an exciting day of activities of the bricks of the Thronateeska Heritage Center. This included watching multiple dance performances by the kids from the Boys and Girls Club which then turned into a community dance party with DJ Dollar Bill spinning jams. Other activities included a bounce house, crafts, food trucks, games, and tours of the DEA traveling exhibit. Around 150 people attended the event and it even attracted a local TV station who came to cover it.
“Everyone I talked to had a blast and learned a lot,” said Jackie Entz Shores, Director of Education at Artesian Alliance. “Several guest organizations are already asking about next year’s event. I think this will become an annual event and hopefully we can get a regular dance program with the Boys and Girls Club.”
As the traveling exhibit continues its journey, reaching its 20th stop in Albany and having already welcomed approximately 3,000 visitors since its opening, it's clear that this initiative is making a significant impact in raising awareness about the costs and consequences of drugs.
Overall, the collaborative efforts and dedication of the DEAEF, DEA, SAMHSA, Artesian Alliance, and the local community in Albany have demonstrated the importance of addressing drug-related issues and empowering the younger generation with the knowledge and tools they need to lead healthy and drug-free lives. With events like "Dance Out Drugs," we move closer to building a safer and more informed society, free from the harmful effects of drug abuse.
Updated Oct 14, 2023
YDP, Drug Exhibit