History

Organizational Historyourlocationcollagev1

1991 – Dundu Dole is founded as a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting African American culture through dance and music performances.

1992 – Through programs development under Girls Incorporated, a children’s group was established entitled “The Imani Dancers.”

1993-1994 – In 1993, through Dundu Dole programs, extended outreach activities were started throughout several communities and counties and organizations. Dundu Dole began touring in 1994 and maintains a rigorous touring schedule today, performing at prominent venues in major cities throughout the United States. Dundu Dole members perform in Carlito’s Way.

1996 – Director/Choreographer Jai Hinson and several members of Dundu Dole appeared in the John Singleton movie, “Rosewood.” 1997 Life Force Cultural Arts Academy evolves from Dundu Dole, is incorporated and receives its 501(c)(3) designation letter from the IRS. Life Force began its partnership with the LaVerne Reed production: “The Chocolate Nutcracker,” in which Dundu Dole, along with professional guest artists and community youth participants have performed annually since. Ms. Hinson has choreographed and performed in the show since 1997.

2004 – Organization initiated the Explore the Arts Summer Camp, which is funded by the JWB Children’s Services Council of Pinellas.

2005 – The after school Academic and Cultural Enrichment (A.C.E.) program began in June, 2005.

2006 – Ms. Hinson and Dundu Dole members created, choreographed and performed The Path, which was presented by Life Force at The Palladium Theater. Also in 2006, Life Force added the Be True To You (BT2U) Gender Specific Program to its list of after-school programs. Ms. Hinson received several awards in 2006 including The Bank of America Local Hero Award and The Delta Award. In 2006, Life Force became a Presenter/ Producer for the Chocolate Nutcracker production, which was moved to the Mahaffey Theater.

2007 – Ms. Hinson received The Boys and Girls Club Alumni Award in 2007. In 2007 and 2008, Dundu Dole performed for Pinellas County School students as part of Progress Energy Center for the Arts’ Mahaffey Theater’s Class Acts.

2008 – The organization’s Explore the Arts Summer Camp began a summer-long collaboration with Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sun Coast, entitled: “Summer Rhythms,” which culminated in a live music and dance performance by community youth at Ruth Eckerd Hall in August, 2008. On October 1, 2008, Life Force became the proprietary agency of its facility at Kings Highway Recreation Center in Clearwater.

2009 – Life Force is a finalist for the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Non-Profit of the Year Award.

2011 – Life Force changes its name to Artz 4 Life Academy. Artz 4 Life Academy launches its first Angelina Ballerina Artist Residency to teach beginning ballet as part of its summer camp program in partnership with WUSF TV.

2013 – Artz 4 Life renames the Chocolate Nutcracker – the Chocolate Twist produced at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Dundu Dole receives First Place Award for Internation Competition James Brown Video which was featured at Gasparilla International Film Festival.

2014 – Jai Hinson receives “Woman of Distinction” Award from Gathering of Women.

2015 – Artz 4 Life renames community project to Jai Hinson’s “The Family Blessing” produced at The Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.

2016 – Jai Hinson receives First Lady Award from Carter G. Woodson Museum.

2016 – Artz 4 Life Celebrates 25th year serving Pinellas County and the Tampa Bay Area.