African movie star Van Vicker opens School of Arts in Liberia

Vicker on the set of Australian film Cop's Enemy with Prema Smith and John K-ay

More than 25 young Liberian students are expected to start enrollment this month at the Van Vicker School of Arts in the country.

Van Vicker, who is widely known by the stage name Rash, opened the first postwar performing arts school in the country.

Rash, who is a Ghanaian-based Liberian film producer, director and actor, spoke to journalists recently.

The school, located on Benson Street in Central Monrovia, comes at a time when most talented Liberian filmmakers and musicians are eager to acquire knowledge about their arts in order for them to produce works that will be easily accepted outside their local market.

Speaking to journalists at the school Vicker said the school will fully begin operating this month.

According to him, it will focus on educating artists with practical hands-on experience in film and performing arts.

He stated that his desire to introduce such a school for mainly young Liberians is to give back to the country and bring to life the passion of people, who are interested in the arts industry.

“The school is dedicated to providing an outlet for inspiring Liberian musicians and filmmakers and an opportunity to learn skills about their arts. Liberia has talents; most of those with the talents, lack the skills. I decided to open this work as my way of helping to promote and develop their talents.”

“The teaching staff will comprise of an educated body of filmmakers, dancers and actors who will fly into Liberia from abroad, to provide industry-driven training to the students,” he added.

Vicker said at the end of the school semester, “Students will put out major productions aimed at addressing solutions for national healing.”

“For me, it is more of a social responsibility. It is so beautiful to have people, who have succeeded in a particular sector, willing to give back and help upcoming individuals, who are interested in their arts,” Vicker said.

Rash, who is an award-winning actor, noted that the mission of the school among others is to educate artists and future artists with practical, hands-on experiences in fine and performing arts, film/stage, and music (voice coaching, piano, guitar, drums and lesson, spiritual, ballet, tap, modern jazz, hip-hop, African, etc.).

The drama instructor, Ms Sharyn Shields, said drama has been a part of her life and is expected to allow teenagers to define their real selves.

Ms Shields, who is the author of Dr Seuss, is hopeful that the lesson will make an impact on her students’ lives; adding: “I love the performing arts.”


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