Duffy Liturgical Dance Ensemble

“CAC was the first organization to understand what we are trying to do. If CAC did not exist, Duffy Liturgical Dance Ensemble would have closed years ago.”



Edna Duffy’s love of music started as a little girl when her mother would hum Negro Spirituals around the house. Duffy Liturgical Dance Ensemble is the embodiment of her dream to share the meaning of the Spiritual through song and dance. DuffyLit’s singers and dancers range in age from 5 to 95. They have performed around the world, from New York City to Sydney, Australia.

In its 33rd year of existence, DuffyLit uses its Project Support grant from CAC to support a summer camp for children ages 8-18, which teaches them how to fight back against bullying using music, dance, and poetry. “The Spiritual teaches faith, hope, optimism, and perseverance – all life lessons that still apply today,” Ms. Duffy says. Last year, the group of campers finished the three-week-long Harlem Renaissance-themed camp with an inspiring visit to New York City to visit Harlem. In summer 2017, the campers will go to Chicago to perform and visit the DuSable Museum, the oldest African American Museum in the United States thanks to funding they have received from other donors.

“Other funders look at what we get from CAC. It has opened the door for us to receive more funding from the Ohio Arts Council and from the Cleveland Foundation’s Minority Arts Program,” she said. “It makes my heart full and happy to see how we’re able to help these young children.”


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