The African Heritage Dancers & Drummers, under Melvin Deal’s founding guidance has saved the lives of thousands of At-Risk children and youths and has earned a renown reputation for excellence, locally, nationally and internationally.
Melvin Deal is a native Washingtonian, who began his dance career at the Northeast Academy of Dance in Washington, DC in 1959. Receiving a Bachelors Degree in 1965 from Howard University, Mr. Deal devoted his time and talents to the positive development of youths in the community. He founded the African Heritage Center in 1973. Mr. Deal is a founding instructor at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, in Washington, DC and has served as Artist In Residence at all of the major universities and colleges in the Metro-Washington area. Credited with performing the first Kwanzaa ceremony and celebration in the Metro-Washington area in 1968, Mr. Deal is known as the father of African culture in the Metro-Washington area. Melvin is a Performance artist focusing on health and addiction issues with innovative traditional African Masquerade presentations. Serving the metro-Washington area and beyond for the past forty years plus, Mr. Melvin Deal, A Community Artist remains true to his calling.