Celeta Hickman is a retired performer who was a principal dancer for Nego Gato Capoeira de Angola (1998 – 2006), Shades of Black Movement (1997 -1999) and the Legacy Arts Project (2004 – 2009). She uses the arts and history to inspire challenged communities and those serving them to work for higher good. In 2008 she received her pin and designation as a Wolf Trap master teaching artist through Gateway to the Arts. She has worked with parent engagement programs in multiple districts and presented programs for young children and artists internationally. Her most recent work merging the arts, community, education and social cohesion was in September 2017 for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for their arts educator professional development series.
She shared her skills at the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC) in September 2012 in a session called “Beyond the Mask: Costuming and Creative Movement for Families and Communities”. Her 2010 PAEYC presentation “Dance, Rhythm and Consensus Building in the Early Childhood Classroom – the Culturally Responsive Method at Work” was one of the most well-attended sessions at the conference and led to her presenting in Neury, Ireland for the Sticky Fingers International Early Childhood Arts Festival in 2011.
Ms. Hickman worked at the Carnegie Museum of Art as a cataloger and oral historian for the Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive. Her work as a fine artist has graced exhibits held by the Women of Vision and the Society of Yoruba Bead Artists. Celeta’s retail and wholesale business Edo Scribes & Pleasantries, LLC features a line of handcrafted accessories, greeting cards/stationery and home décor items created from primarily fair trade and repurposed materials (hillrealpearl.blogspot.com and villagedaughter.blogspot.com). She has designed and fabricated masquerades for Pittsburgh’s First Night celebration, Nego Gato Ensemble, and select children’s ensembles in the region.
Ms. Hickman lead the 2013 professional development workshop series “Accessing Culturally Responsive and Afrocentric Artistic Production for Problem Based Instruction” for Pittsburgh Public School arts educators and teaching artists.
She is celebrating her 11th year as the Afro-Caribbean dancer in residence at the Hill Dance Academy Theatre in Pittsburgh. Celeta has taught adult and youth creative movement workshops for, the Hill House Association and Attack Theatre and was the dancer in residence at Faison Elementary School from 2005 – 2008. In February 2015, she was one of the local dancers selected to perform with Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence, A Dance Company in their critically acclaimed production “On Earth Together”.
In 2016 the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts awarded Celeta and Minadeo School educators a Teacher and Artist Partnership (TAP) Long-Term Residency (LTR). This is her second year working with teachers to integrate her skills as a dancer and masquerade artist into their academic practice.
She is the founder of the Ujamaa Collective a cooperative wealth building incubator and artisan boutique (Ujamaa Boutique).