Members of the Baltimore community looking to infuse art into their lives have less than two weeks before the Muse 360 Arts Family and Friends Day at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center.

The March 15 event will host a variety of events from an open jazz class beginning at 9:30 a.m. to an open family tap class beginning at noon. There will also be a live performance from the well-traveled drum troupe, Dancing Many Drums, a fraction of the organization that has performed in Jamaica, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and most recently, the Dominican Republic.

“The great thing about Family and Friends Day is that people will be able to come in and take dance classes and learn more about our summer programs,” said Sharayna A. Christmas-Rose, executive director of Muse 360 Arts, noting that registration has already begun. “We travel internationally and study the African Diaspora and the arts. It’s a great opportunity to really help young people develop to their fullest potential.”

Christmas-Rose began the organization in 2003 with a small dance program at the Druid Hill YMCA called Rayn Fall Dance Studio.

“I just started volunteering teaching and about a year later I realized how much influence the arts have on young people, particularly in stressed environments,” she told the AFRO.

With a background saturated with exposure to the arts, Christmas-Rose used her ballet training with the Dance Theatre of Harlem from ages 3 to 17 to enhance her career in the high stakes financial arena.

The Morgan State University alumnae said she landed positions on New York City’s famed Wall Street using the discipline and strength to persevere that she honed in the ballet studio.

Christmas-Rose said that a decade later, she hopes Muse 360 Arts is able to push other youths in the same way the Dance Theatre of Harlem did when she was a child.

“It’s not enough to say ‘we want to help young people,” she said. “We want to do that- but we also want them to walk away with a level of skill that can take them to their full potential.”

Aside from their travel programs and dance programs, Muse 360 Arts also offers arts education programming, and a new venture, Spark of Genius, an initiative to create more youth entrepreneurs interested in carving out a living in the arts.

Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer