Ghana Journeys


The Rhythms and Symbols of Indigenous Arts of Ghana:
The Roots of Expressive Arts Therapy

June 25, – July 6, 2018

ghana2Ghana offers an incredible array of indigenous visual arts, storytelling, music, dance and drama. Ghana offers a rich glimpse into the soul of Expressive Arts Therapy (EXAT), the use of all the arts for healing, community building and spirituality. Using the vast artistic resources of Ghana, Kate Donohue will introduce participants to the experience, theory and application of EXAT through a Jungian lens.

Indigenous cultures have always known that the psyche is revealed not only through words, but through images, symbols and the body. The Expressive Arts reawaken the language of image, movement, sound, metaphor, drama and poetic utterances, revealing the deepest aspects of the self and expressing what often cannot be put into words. Drawing, painting, sculpture, movement, dance, sandplay and ritual provide access to one’s inner world as well as the culture, values, sense of community and spiritual attitude.

With the assistance of wonderful artists, dancers, musicians, poets and actors, participants will delve into the arts of Ghana. Each day, Kate and a Ghanaian artist will introduce an art form experientially. Direct experience of the art and Ghanaian culture will enhance ones’ understanding of the healing aspects of the art form. Then the co-leaders will explore the healing potentials of the art as well as weave in a understanding of how art reflects and heals culture. In addition to the experience and theory of the healing aspects of the EXAT, participants will have an opportunity to explore applications in their professional life.

This workshop offers a unique opportunity to learn about the arts and culture of Ghana, EXAT and how these worlds are interlaced. Experiencing the arts and culture of Ghana will open to innovative news ways to understand EXAT and apply these ideas to your personal life and work.

Workshop Objectives

  • Learn the theory, concepts and applications of EXAT
  • Learn about the healing potential of Ghanaian arts and culture
  • Learn about Jungian psychology and its relationship to African art, culture and EXAT
  • Experience expressive arts therapy processes from a Ghanaian perspective
  • Develop a theoretical understanding of these processes from a cross-cultural perspective
  • Begin to understand the ways to weave arts modalities and that it has its roots in indigenous practices
  • Learn how to develop a global perspective
  • Deepen their relationship to their own creative process as a global citizen
  • Be able to apply EXA processes to their life and work from the inspiration of your experience in Ghana

Dates: June 25, – July 6, 2018

(13 days with day of acculturation to time and temperature. Please arrive on June 23, 2018 to help with time and cultural adjustment. The 24th will be a free day of rest and relaxation.)

Cost: $2600
($3000 after May 15)

Deposit of $1000 due March 1, 2018  or before
Balance due May 15, 2018

Online application form:

Please send USA checks to:

Cross Cultural Collaborative
45 Auburn St.
Brookline, MA 02446 USA

Outside the USA, we can send you information on wiring monies to CCC.


  • airport pickup
  • room
  • breakfast
  • lunch
  • dinner
  • workshops
  • transport in Ghana
  • orientation
  • entrance fees
  • laundry

Not included:

  • international airfare
  • visa
  • insurance
  • personal expenses
  • tips


Learn from the arts in Ghana

  • Take field trips to visit galleries, museums, traditional crafts villages
  • Interact with African artisans on a personal level
  • Participate in traditional dance and drum ceremony
  • Stay in our guest house across the street from the ocean in a Ghanaian village
  • Eat delicious local food

Program Structure

To fully embrace the rhythm and symbols of Ghana, the majority of time will be spent with Ghanaian artists who will perform, explain the background and experientially teach us their art form. Some artists will be with us for few days before we encounter another incredible art form. We will have the opportunity to work with the performing arts like music, dance and story telling and visual arts and crafts that are indigenous to Ghana. This aspect will take place in the mornings either at the venue or at a historical or cultural site, nearby

In the later afternoon after lunch and a rest break, Kate will be helping you explore your responses to each art form through experiential process, presentations and discussions. Her focus will be to help you understand the art form personally and how you might be able to use if professionally. All of these sessions will be through a Jungian expressive arts lens. Initially Kate will aid participants with their cultural transition, group process and explain the aims of the workshop. She will then weave sessions on Jung’s experience in Africa and Africa’s contributions to his theory, EXA contributions and the roots of indigenous arts and how it will change you and inform your work professionally. Listed below are the some of the sites which we will visit and the festivals and events we will participate in.

Kate Donohue is a fearless leader in the sharing of the Indigenous cultural roots of the Expressive Arts globally. Through her global EAT contacts and vast knowledge of the field, she immerses participants in dynamic, authentic, and priceless cultural experiences. Staying in a vibrant neighborhood in Accra surrounded by enthusiastic and interested local children, we were treated to personal exploration of a tantalizing array of traditional Ghanaian arts facilitated by local experts. Participating in intense and sacred funeral rites to honor the passing of a local person, drinking the local spirit in the home of a local Chief enveloped by local history and tradition, writing poetry inspired by our own Adinkra prints with local children: these are just 3 indelible experiences amidst a cornucopia of brilliant, visceral moments which brought Ghanaian culture to life with immediacy and drama. The world became smaller and my heart became bigger in my stay with Kate and Elie in Ghana. Their love of the Ghanaian people, country and culture, and their commitment to sharing it, provided a highly personal and meaningful experience of a vast and seemingly inaccessible continent. A safe, culturally evocative, and highly personalized foray into the therapeutic use of the arts in Ghana!

Director, WHEAT Institute

Meet the trainers who will join Kate T. Donohue in Ghana this year.

Ellie Schimelman

Ellie Schimelman


I graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a minor in Fashion Design and a major in Art Education. I was the art supervisor and art/crafts teacher for Junior and Senior High in East Lyme, CT. for 10 years. I then took a position as a crafts teacher in Wellesley, MA. Junior and Senior High Schools. For the 5 years that I taught there I was awarded merit pay which is an extra financial reward for outstanding teaching.

After an early retirement, I taught adult education classes, first in crafts and then in cultural awareness, at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (Cambridge,MA), the Boston Center for Adult Education (Boston, MA) and made many presentations to organizations as a speaker about my experiences working in Ghana. For example, I was invited to three Trans Cultural Exchange Conferences in Boston to participate in panel discussions about cultural awareness and international artistic exchange.

I was awarded a scholarship to attend an artists retreat in Romania in January 2014 I was a founding member of the Cambridge Artists Co-op, a crafts gallery in Cambridge, MA. At that time I was a potter, selling my work all over the United States and I am in collections in several countries.

Although rewarding experiences, I gave up all of my work in the United States to start my program in Ghana in 1995. What took me to Ghana was a passion for travel and an interest in African art. At first I volunteered in schools, then lived and studied in traditional villages with potters. Next was Aba Tours which offers culturally significant travel in Africa. And after working in Ghana informally for 30 years, I registered Cross Cultural Collaborative as an educational non-profit in 2001. I am now the director of Cross Cultural Collaborative and facilitate programs with African artisans, visiting artists, students, teachers and volunteers.I also consult on fair trade practices and sell the work of African artisans. Money from sales go back to the artists to help sustain them in a developing country.

Perhaps the program closest to my heart is RECYCLE GHANA where I work with Ghanaian children teaching them to make paper from sugar cane leaves and journals from the paper. The journals are sold and all proceeds are used to pay school fees.

Today I continue to direct all programs of Cross Cultural Collaborative and divide my time between living in Ghana and Boston, MA, initiating and managing all aspects of programming for this non-profit educational and arts organization.

It was a great joy to be in Ghana with Kate and Ellie and our Ghanaian hosts, and a group of fellow Expressive Arts therapists from all over the word. To get in touch with this lovely, lively, deeply spiritual, confusing, thought-provoking, beautiful, disturbing, paradoxical, and strikingly real culture, to be introduced to the fun-loving and sincere people of Ghana was one of the most nourishing and exiting treats for my mind and soul that I could give myself, both personally and professionally.
Thank you!
Svetlana Kreimer

Dominique Rada

Dominique Rada

Arts Producer and Artist

Dominique is an established professional Australian/Chilean Artistic Producer and Visual Artist with 10 years of exhibition and creative project co-ordination and production experience, both in Australia and Ghana. She has lived and visited Ghana for 2 years immersing herself with the local culture and learning the traditional Batik and Tye & Dye textiles. She obtained her artistic training at Swinburne University TAFE and Melbourne University in Australia in contemporary visual arts with a focus on performance art and installation. She has been awarded grants for cultural development based arts projects working with diverse multicultural artists in Melbourne, Australia. In Ghana, she works with her partner, Seidu Karfo in producing, co-ordinating and promoting Afro Dance and Creative Arts’ projects, using her Business and Marketing background, as well as producing her own creative artworks there. Dominique has a deep passion to learn and preserve Ghanaian culture and their arts and collaborates on various cultural development projects with local Ghanaian and international practitioners. Dominique works with Seidu and the Ghana Roots Expressive Arts Program team in bringing together all the rich elements of the Ghanaian traditions into a creative expressive space.

Seidu Karfo

Seidu Karfo

Dancer/Choreographer and Lecturer

Seidu is an accomplished professional Ghanaian African traditional and contemporary Choreographer and Dancer with 24 years experience performing and workshop facilitation. He is also the Director of Afro Dance and Creative Arts Company, which he manages with his partner, Dominique Rada. His cultural background is a mix of Kobro (Eastern Region) and Frafra (Northern Region). He trained and worked for the Ghana National Dance Theatre for over 15 years as lead dancer and Assistant Choreographer, where he performed and worked with international choreographers in West and North Africa, Europe and Israel. He has also facilitated workshops in African dance internationally. Through his Dance Company, he runs a number of workshops combining experiential and background knowledge of Ghanaian culture, symbolism and history.

While working in Israel, he developed his Sense Frequency and Dance (SFD) Model and successfully facilitated a number of popular adult and children workshops combining dance therapy movement with traditional African dance. Together with his team of highly skilled professional artists, Seidu aims to incorporate the theory and knowledge of drum rhythms, story telling, song and dances with aspects of his SFD model to connect participants for a deeper and experiential understanding of the aura of his traditions within the Ghana Roots Expressive Arts Program.

Edziwan Konu

Edziwan Konu

Master Ghanaian Drummer

Edziwan’s traditional background is Ewe (Volta Region) and is one of Ghana’s best Traditional Drummers with over 25 years experience in professional performance and workshop facilitation in Europe and Africa. He worked with the Ghana National Dance Theatre as their leading drummer for many years. After working for the Dance Theatre, he left to pursuit his own projects and works with major professional contemporary musicians and cultural groups travelling around Ghana and other West African countries. Edziwan works with Afro Dance and Creative Arts Company bringing to the Ghana Roots Expressive Arts Program a wealth of knowledge in traditional drumming rhythms and the role of the drummer in his cultural rituals and ceremonies. Edziwan has a professionally relaxed and fun teaching approach with participants.

David Boamah

David Boamah


David Boamah is a young man of many talents. He is a creative and thoughtful artist specializing in Adrinka cloth. He lives in the village of Ntonso, outside of Kumasi in central Ghana.

Many people in Ntonso are involved in the production of the Adinkra cloth. Young boys are taught to weave the strips. The traditional Adinkra dyes are made by boiling the bark of the badie tree for two days. The stamps, each with its own particular meaning, are carved out of pieces of calabash (gourds).

David, along with some of the other Adinkra artists in Ntonso, have also started to incorporate commercial fabric and silk-screened symbols, using water based dyes, into their art. Their work is sold in Ntonso and at other galleries throughout Ghana.

David is also a patient and talented teacher. He teaches both individuals and groups, at schools and universities. He will travel or welcome you to his community, for a brief visit or to participate and learn about Adinkra printing and will act as a tour guide as well.


Michael Bortei

Michael Bortei

Program Assistant

My name is Michael Bortei am from West Africa Ghana live in Nungua a town in Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal district in the Greater Accra Region of southeastern Ghana near the coast. I’m 20 years of age. I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters and am the last born. I am an art graduate from St. John SHS. I like walking on the beach, dancing, football, I enjoy movies television, music, traveling, sunrises and sunsets. A non smoker/drinker, not into drugs (don’t need them; I live in a natural high). I believe in enjoying the good life and am high on it. I have a healthy attitude about God and the Bible.

About Cross Cultural Collaborative

CCC has brought people from all over the world to our cultural center in Ghana to interact, teach and learn from Ghanaian artists. We feel that by having people living and working together we can break down stereotypical thinking. Many visitors to Ghana have only a superficial connection to the culture and leave much the way they arrived.

Our programs offer an opportunity to meet the Ghanaian people on a personal level. Both visitors and Ghanaians find new ways to see themselves and their culture which leads to creative growth. Experiencing another culture not only teaches you about others but gives you insights into yourself as well. Our mission is to create a space where people can interact in a supportive atmosphere. Where all ages, race and creative levels can build a community of creative co-existence.

Our cultural center in a suburb of Accra is based on indigenous African architecture and reflects our mission to blend the contemporary and the traditional. Sitting next to the ocean in Nungua, Aba House is always active. Ghanaians and visitors interact and everyone becomes a student and a teacher. Although we are open all year and conduct cultural tours, the core of our program is summer intercultural workshops. They grow organically from the needs of the participants and the talents of the volunteers. Because CCC is pretty much self funded, volunteers pay their own way and contribute supplies. At first we thought that this would be inhibiting , but just the opposite has happened. We have attracted amazingly talented people from many countries.

exa cultural journey to Ghana

Ghana – West Africa

Ghana offers a rich glimpse into the soul of Expressive Arts Therapy ( EXAT ), the use of the arts for healing, community building and spirituality. Using the vast artistic resources of Ghana, Kate will introduce participants to the experience, theory and application of EXAT through a Jungian lens. Indigenous cultures have always known that the psyche is revealed not only through words, but through images, symbols and the body.

The Expressive Arts reawaken the language of image, movement, sound, metaphor, drama and poetic utterances, revealing the deepest aspects of the self and expressing what often cannot be put into words. Drawing, painting, sculpture, movement, dance, sand play and ritual provide access to one’s inner world as well as the culture, values, sense of community and spiritual attitude.

Ripening Seeds: The Harvest of Approaches in Expressive Arts Therapy

Editor: Kate T. Donohue, Ph.D., REAT

Kate Donohue created this column twenty years ago for the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) newsletter. Each edition highlights the international work of an individual expressive arts practioner. They explore their own arts journey, guiding philosophy and present their actual work with a client. The column promotes an international exchange in which we learn and grow from each other.

In 2015, Kate invited her 2014 Ghana journey group to write an edition. She wanted them to share this cross-cultural experience of “Exploring the Indigenous Roots of Expressive Arts –the arts of Ghana”. The article is soulful, playful and powerful portrait of what we all learned, the bonds created and archetypal connections that emerged for this group.


Please read this life changing journey and join us for our next EXA cultural journey in 2016.

Exploring the Indigenous Arts of Ghana: The Roots of Expressive Arts (.pdf)

Cross Cultural Collaborative - Ghana map