The Women’s Drum Center - The Non Profit Organization
The Women’s Drum Center is a volunteer based organization. Its structure has a Board of Directors, committees, part-time contracted staff and volunteers. The center functions as a community center for women/girls and drumming, and supports participants by having both all-female as well as co-ed programs.
The programs include many drum types and styles of drumming and percussion from around the world along with programs that use the drum for health and healing. Programs are done both at the Center and at other locations that contract with WDC for services. e.g. daycare centers, senior centers, schools, churches. The Center is also home to a performing ensemble named drumHeart.
Mission of the Women's Drum Center
To serve the community with world percussion programs that nurture and inspire.
Vision of the Women's Drum Center
The larger community joyfully accepts and embraces drumming as a health and wellness tool and celebrates women in percussion as musicians, composers, teachers, and leaders.
From our Core/Guiding Principles
Service to the community - The WDC will act as a catalyst for connecting diverse individuals and communities, building bridges for mutual understanding.
Percussion education - The WDC will be a center for percussion teaching, learning, and cultural expression.
Drumming as a wellness tool - The WDC will use drumming, percussion and music to help participants find avenues for health and healing.
Empower Women - Understanding the transformative power of drumming for both individuals and groups, we will support avenues to develop artistic excellence, nurture women’s talents as musicians, composers, teachers, and leaders.
Operational Transparency - With the goal of building and maintaining trust, we will respect the diverse stakeholders of the WDC.
Read more about the Mission/Vision/Values/Goals/Core Values of the WDC.
The Women’s Drum Center (formerly drumHeart /drumHeart studios) has been in existence for 20 years.
It started out as a personal business for an artist/musician named Colleen Haas.
In 1989, Colleen Haas founded Drumming Our Fill, a percussion studio committed to providing a wide range of percussion experiences for women. Here, women could find artistic and emotional safety to pursue drumming--an art form where society marginalized women. Haas also started drumHeart, an ensemble of advanced Drumming Our Fill students.
We became a non-profit organization.
In 1996 Haas relocated to Winona, Minnesota. The members of drumHeart reorganized Drumming Our Fill into the non-profit organization drumHeart Studio, Inc. In 2001, drumHeart Studio changed its name to the Women’s Drum Center (WDC).
Also in 2001 the Women’s Drum Center developed and adopted a mission statement and hired a new music director.
Music Director Kari Kjome - 2001-2008 - joins the WDC.
Kari is a drummer/percussionist with a long history of performing and extensive studies in world music, especially African drumming. She added a repertoire of African drumming to drumHeart. She also offered all types of drumming workshops and classes to the Women’s Drum Center. This helped to re-establish the WDC as a community center/teaching school to learn and experience world music drumming. Kari relocated to Portland, Oregon in 2008 to further some of her life goals.
In 2008 the Women’s Drum Center changed its operations and hired a Center manager.
Center manager Marisa Cuneo-Linsly was hired to carry on the community center/teaching school offerings. As a result, a new group of female teachers with a combination of percussion degrees and drumming experience joined the WDC staff, expanding our drumming and percussion program offerings.
We realized in 2011 that women and girls may not feel as shut off from drumming as was the case 20 years ago. Although our mission remains the same, today we strive to continue to have a safe place for women and girls to start drumming and to have a place that explores female expression of drumming.
The idea of the female expression of drumming connects us with other female percussionists and artists in the USA and beyond. Throughout history females have gone from being drummers to people who were not allowed to drum.
Today things are opening up again and now we are part of a bigger journey that asks the question - What is/will the impact of female drummers be on the future of drumming? We are excited to find out and to be a part of this.