OALP Board of Directors
Susan Addy- Executive Director
Mark Grimes- President
Mike Sweeney- Secretary
Executive Director & Co-founder Susan Addy
Susan Addy has worked with nonprofit organizations since 1973 when she helped to create the Hood River Valley Arts and Crafts Society. She founded the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River at the same time. She coordinated the Artists in Education Program in the early 1980’s for four years when it was based at the Contemporary Crafts Gallery and created the first multicultural arts program for Portland Public Schools. Susan has worked for Artquake, Young Audiences, Blue Lake Park Summer Concerts, Hillsboro Community Arts and the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts. She has been Executive Director of Obo Addy Legacy Project / Homowo African Arts and Cultures/ since its inception in 1986. Susan has served on peer panels for the Oregon Arts Commission, Regional Arts and Culture Council, Pennsylvania Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts and Washington State Arts Commission.
Susan was the producer of the Homowo Festival of African Arts and held that role for 15 years beginning in 1990. In addition to overseeing the entire production, she played a key role in forming partnerships with both the Oregon Folklife Program and the Arts for New Immigrants Program at IRCO, in order to support traditional artists who were newly arrived in Portland.
She also managed her husband Obo Addy’s career and played a key role in the manufacture, distribution and promotion of these recordings.
Alex comes from Ghana, West Africa. Much of his youth was spent in Ghana where he was involved in drumming performances at his church before moving to Portland, Oregon when he is 15. Since he joined Homowo African Arts & Cultures/Obo Addy Legacy Project in 1992, his infectious energy has been an asset to the organization’s Educational Programs. Alex teaches the five hand techniques of Ghanaian drumming and believes in students working together to create a strong communal rhythm, yet embrace the confidence to use one’s voice in a solo. Alex comes from a long line of drummers in the Addy family and is son of Obo Addy. He has been teaching at Right Brain Initiative, Young Audiences, Saturday Academy, Open Meadow Alternative Schools, The Higher Stages Program,and the Sun School programs throughout the city. Alex has worked with Okropong for the past 24 years.
Nii Ayi Charles Armah
Nii Ayi Charles Armah could play almost all the traditional drums of his ethnic group, the Ga people of Accra, Ghana by the age of 8. After joining the National Dance Company of Ghana in 1993 he rose to become Assistant Master Drummer. As one of the two Master Drummers in the company he could play all the leading drums of musical forms from each region within Ghana. Since 1993, his work with that company has taken him to England, France, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, S. Korea and the United States. Charles was featured on the ceremonial Fontomfrom drums in a performance for President Clinton during the President’s visit to Ghana in 1998. He also played for many years with the great master drummer Obo Addy in his world beat band Kukrudu and continues to perform and provide community workshops with the traditional drumming and dance troupe Okropong.
(left) playing guitar in Obo’s World Beat band Kukrudu
Adam is OALP’s Educational Coordinator and is a multi-instrumentalist activist scholar. He has studied, performed and recorded with members of Obo’s family in Portland and Ghana for over fifteen years on percussion and guitar. His educational background in African studies started at Portland State Universities Black Studies program (2004) where he also focused on archaeology and ethnomusicology latter to obtain his MA at Syracuse University in Pan African Studies (2007). He also has training in conflict resolution and world history. Adam is committed to carrying on Obo’s legacy of celebrating world musical traditions and spreading awareness and appreciation for African music and culture.
He can be contacted directly at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or (503)-477-4792