About Abukutsa Arts Academy
The Abukutsa Arts Academy Online is anchored in four principles:
Holistic child development
Diversity and inclusion
Abukutsa Arts Academy Online offers supplementary support to standardized global academic curricula through the performing and visual arts, using state of the art technology. Our curriculum includes Mathematics, Language Development and Environmental Sciences, offered in a variety of artistic formats serving a diverse audience of international students.
Meet our Staff & Contributors
Founder & Executive Director
Anindo Marshall began her musical and dance career in her homeland of Kenya, as a vocalist, dancer and percussionist. She enjoyed a successful solo artist singing career in Europe, with an EMI Spain recording contract, and became known as Kenya's singing sensation. Anindo has performed with many prolific artists including Babatunde Olatunji and Mickey Hart (of the Grateful Dead), to name just a few.
An accomplished musician, Anindo studied with the world's finest percussionists including Mamady Keita, Babatunde Olatunji, Mor Thiam, Lamin Dido Camara and Karamba Diabate. Her intensive study of African rhythms led to her deeper exploration of West African dance under such teachers as Kimoko Samo (formerly artistic director of Les Ballet Africains of Guinea W. Africa), Marie Basse and countless other highly revered African dance teachers.
While in Kenya, as a young dance student in ballet, modern, jazz and African dance, Anindo met Saundra Barnes, a Katherine Dunham dancer living in Kenya and teaching Dunham Technique. Anindo studied with Ms. Barnes, and in 1983 moved to the USA to continue her study with Dunham and Dunham masters, including Pearl Reynolds, Archie Savage, Lucille Ellis, Tommy Gomez, Tally Beatty, Vanove Aikens, Theo Jamison, Ronald Marshall and Keith Williams. Her studies included Haitian, Afro Cuban, Brazilian and African forms as taught in Dunham Technique.
Ms. Marshall went on to become a Certified Dunham Technique Instructor, and has for many years served as a board member on the Katherine Dunham Certification Board. She teaches worldwide, including at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Dance Dimensions, Lula Washington Dance Theater, Occidental College, LMU, UCI, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Dance Excellence, USC and LACHSA. She also conducts "Arts" residencies with LAUSD, Hawthorne School District and Wiseburn School District schools (as a program director with Dream a World Education), as well as with colleges throughout the USA. Besides Dunham Technique, Anindo teaches Africa Jazz and Modern Dance. She is the founder and executive director of the Marshall Dance Company and the Abukutsa Arts Academy.
Anindo's dream is to share her great love of the arts with children around the world and to educate them about their global communities, as well as the importance of fundamental values such as love, kindness, respect and compassion via her original series Anindo's World!.
Business Development Strategist
Serish Thakker is an undergraduate junior at the University of Southern California, pursuing a dual degree in Public Policy and International Relations. She was born and raised in Kenya. Sheriah is passionate about transforming the human capital through education amongst youth, especially African youth. She has experience working with NGOs in both Kenya and Los Angeles, thus building her skill set to strategically devise policy implementation.
Visual Arts Consultant
Sarit is a native to Los Angeles. She received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from The School of Architecture at the University of Southern California in 1992. She has worked for architecture firms in Los Angeles and Mexico City, and as a graphic artist in LA for The Galef Institute (a non-profit organization developing K-12 arts-integrated curriculum for charter schools titled, Different Ways of Knowing.)
In 2009, she received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, then Single Subject Credential in Art from California State University Los Angeles. Seeking meaningful artistic partnerships within the South Pasadena community, she began collaborating with SPACE – South Pasadena Arts Center through their Artist-In-Residence Program (AIR) to develop and bring high-quality visual arts instruction to South Pasadena Unified School District's three elementary schools. In the fall of 2013, she proudly became the Elementary School Visual Arts Teacher for SPUSD. She enjoys developing thematic visual art courses that are engaging, deeply relevant to a child's life, connect with grade-level curriculum, and spark imagination, critical thinking and self-expression.
Blake Colie is an experienced, in-demand drummer, percussionist, and producer, who’s stage and session work have brought him from national and international tours to television appearances to some of the most legendary studios in Los Angeles. Blake is currently the drummer of Los Angeles-based Cali Reggae group Arise Roots and was part of their recent American West Coast tour at the beginning of 2020 with international Reggae star Alborosie. 2020 also marks the release of Arise Roots much-anticipated album, “Pathways” on Ineffable Music.
On the stage, Blake remains active with Arise Roots as well as having performed multiple national and international show dates with Hollie Cook, The Lions, Alana Davis, Rocky Dawuni, The Expanders, The Aggrolites, The Delirians, Save Ferris, and Big Mountain.
In the studio, Blake is recording and producing with the new project The Night Owls, new material with Arise Roots, as well as producing the upcoming album from the Reggae/Ska group Keyser Soze. His other recent notable recording credits include Jazz saxophone star Mindi Abair’s latest Grammy-nominated album “Wild Heart” (Concord Records), the first solo album and hit single “Leider” by German pop star Adel Tawil. Brazilian star Seu George & Almaz’s 2010 release “The Model” (Now Again Records), and the soundtrack for the 2010 video game best seller “Red Dead Redemption” (Rockstar Games).
As a producing composer, Blake was a key member and project leader in the creation and production for the soundtrack of the 2013 indie movie “Sunken City”. The movie and soundtrack would go on to win the “Best Use of Music” Award at the 2014 Julien Dubuque International Film Festival in Iowa.
Blake’s projects and his own works have been featured on TV shows such as “Breaking Bad”, “Castle Rock”, “The Wire”, and “Eastbound & Down”, on feature films such as “Ruby Sparks”, “Young Adult”, and “This Means War”, and on television networks AMC, Style, Bravo, MTV, VH1. Oxygen, Showtime, Logo, USA, Spike, and the BBC.
William is a graduate of Birmingham High School, in the San Fernando Valley, California. He continued his education at Hollywood Film Academy in Hollywood, California, where he studied audio engineering and videography. He has worked with Debbie Allen Dance Academy Productions, SAS (Stage and Sound) Los Angeles and Dream a World Education as assistant Audio engineer.