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LaTreice Branson

Philadephia, PA

LaTreice V. Branson, MFA, GISFA

Biography:

LaTreice V. Branson is a forward-thinking and vivacious artist, educator, musician and motivational speaker from Philadelphia dedicated to preparing and empowering creative individuals to achieve at their highest potential. Having served as faculty at The Ohio State University and Columbus State Community College, and as tenure-track faculty at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. Over the years, she has taught several disciplines, including visual art, graphic design, Internet literacy, communication arts, and public relations.

Committed to raising the standard of academic excellence among minority students through her community involvement, advocacy, lectures and performances, LaTreice has served as a guest lecturer in conjunction with The Ohio State University’s Office of Minority Affairs Graduate & Professional Schools, Frank W. Hale Black Cultural Center, Art Sanctuary, Columbus State Community College’s Diversity Study Abroad and TRiO Programs Department Lecture Series, Arts Exchanges on International Issues For Tanzania Leadership Workshop Programs, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Arts and Lecture Series, Ohio Northern University Lecture Series, ACCT Political Arts After School Mentorship Program, Philadelphia R.I.S.E., the Women of Wholeness Program and as the foundational lecturer for Harcum College’s “Accentuate Your Positive” leadership program.

As an artist, LaTreice has exhibited her unique multi-media presentations, photographs, paintings and performances in the US and abroad for over 13 years. In 2007, LaTreice was honored to have her self-portrait published on the cover of Other Heroes: African American Comic Book Creators, Characters and Archetypes, and in “Art in A Woman’s World” in 2010. Her video documentary titled, “Art Exchanges on International Issues for Tanzania” is shown through the U.S. Embassy in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to promote leadership training for women in arts business. Her artworks are in permanent collections at The Ohio State University, the Frank W. Hale Black Cultural Center, Art Sanctuary and the William H Thomas Gallery.

LaTreice currently serves as the creator and founder of Drum Like a Lady, a community organization whose mission is to provide a safe space for women of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs and lifestyles to express their uniqueness through collective drumming, dance, music education and mental health advocacy. Founded in 2014, in response to the discriminatory and sexist practices observed in the drumming community, Drum Like a Lady encourages all people to see the drum as a healing instrument, a community tool, and one of the most powerful and effective methods of non-verbal communication known to humanity. Unfortunately, Western culture has indoctrinated us (women) to see the drum as masculine, loud, dominant, and aggressive, all of which is anti-female. Through the Drum Like a Lady jam sessions, workshops and programming musicians at all skills levels, ranging from the novice to the world traveler, are invited to share in the creation and celebration of a new soundscape – rooted in improvisation and inspired by the beauty of femininity.

Drum Like a Lady has held a 2 year residency at Dahlak Paradise, hosting over 40 jam sessions that were offered to the community as free, inclusive and collaborative experiences. Since, Drum Like a Lady has started Drum4LIFE, a wellness initiative that offers drum workshops to the blind and visually impaired, youth with autism, and individuals conquering mental illness and trauma. The organization also host workshops at The African American Museum in Philadelphia and St James School, and also hosts jam sessions at colleges and universities to encourage inclusion and collaboration. In 2017 and 2018, Drum Like a Lady led the Women’s March on Philadelphia to crowds of over 50,000. The organization celebrated its 5th year anniversary in 2018, at The Barnes Foundation, curating 8 hours of performances and interactive workshops, "Led by Women and Governed by Percussion".

LaTreice is an internationally recognized Tycoon Percussion artist, a 2017 Leeway Transformation Award recipient, and a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Service Award, issued by President Barack Obama.

LaTreice’s heart for community is as a result of her personal relationship with God, who gives her renewed strength to serve His people in love, with kindness and with joy!