ubuntu banner 1



Ubuntu Arts Community brings together children ages six to thirteen, with high school and college mentors and artists, in a caring community that focuses on intergenerational mentoring, leadership skills, the arts, social justice, and community engagement. 

Springfield Ubuntu is a partnership with Rebecca M. Johnson Elementary School and is based at the school. 

Holyoke Ubuntu is based at William G. Morgan School in Holyoke and is a partnership between the school, The Care Center, and the Performance Project.

Ubuntu gems participate in drumming, dance, visual arts, karate, theater, music, storytelling, poetry and homework support. Our time together begins and ends with a Community Circle, which Ubuntu gems learn to facilitate.

Ubuntu is about caring relationships. We infuse our small community with kindness, listening and generosity. Our goal is for Ubuntu children to develop the confidence, initiative and courage to spread “ubuntu” within their school, their families and beyond. 

The goals of Ubuntu Arts Community are:
- For Ubuntu gems to build caring relationships with high school and college mentors 
- To support Ubuntu gems to care about school and to do well in school.
- To make the quality art experiences available to children 
- For all members to build skills in leadership, peer mentoring and facilitating circles.

The caring nurturing relationships Ubuntu mentors build with the gems is invaluable. To lay the foundation for a strong mentoring network our high school mentors participate in intensive training. Our curriculum is grounded in the principles of culturally-responsive teaching, best practices of youth development, and attention to multiple learning styles. Mentor trainings include:

  • Communication and conflict resolution: Learning to listen, paraphrase, reflect back, use caring language, and practicing empathic communication
  • Examining the socialization of boys and men: Analyzing beliefs about boys and men, and how we raise and socialize boys, learning about masculinity, hyper-masculinity, and positive masculinity, dicussing gender equity and learning how to break cycles of violence
  • Leadership styles and group facilitation: Discussing  leadership styles and thinking about what is most effective in different situations
We believe that strengthening these skills in young people has a long-term impact on our communities!

Ubuntu mentors and gems also plan and host Family and Community Celebrations which are wonderful Saturday afternoon gatherings of music, dance, poetry, theater and food. Ubuntu gems, mentors and family members perform, and we also have live music by professional artists. Our Family and Community Celebrations are open to the public and always well attended!


Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term, meaning the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks about the fact that we cannot exist as a human being in isolation. Ubuntu is about our interconnectedness. Ubuntu says that you can't be fully human all by yourself, and when you have this quality - Ubuntu - you are known for your generosity.