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Welcome To Crossing the Waters Institute for Cultural Exchange!

Learn about our history and mission

Learn about what we do

Learn why you should donate

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."  

Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations

Crossing the Waters Institute for Cultural Exchange is an international exchange program that OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES FOR CULTURAL CONNECTIONS between the U.S. and the African Diaspora.

We work to INSPIRE NEW WAYS OF THINKING ABOUT AFRICAN CULTURE by creating sustainable partnerships with people in the African Diaspora through education, the arts, and healthy living alternatives.

The events serve our mission for education and community-building as well as a fundraiser in order to continue the work. So come join us and give what you can beyond the ticket price.

June events!

Join us for these in-person workshops

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Lotus Peace Arts presents Poetry in Motion
Postponed until fall 2022
Western Massachusetts, Northampton/Amherst 

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Digging for Gold:
An workshop for women of African Descent

June 4, 2022 from 10am-6pm ET
Easthampton, Massachussets

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Umfundalai Contemporary African Dance:
A community workshop

June 5, 2022 from 11am-1pm ET

Easthampton, Massachussets


Introduction to Shamanic Breathwork
June 10-12, 2022

Leyden, Massachussets

Meet the facilitator of our June events!
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Myrna ‘Amai’ Clarice Munchus is a citizen of the world and CTW Associate Artist. She is an Elder Teacher of Ancestral Wisdom thru Dance, Ritual and Storytelling. Her interests include shamanic spirituality, dance as a medium of healing, the Divine Feminine, and the human beings’ life work of growing into our souls. 


Amai is one of the first two professional dancers to study and teach Umfundalai during its late-80s Philadelphia Period, and took it with her to twenty-two countries on three continents over the next thirty years. Additionally, Amai walked the historic, year-long Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage, from the Americas to West Africa, and lived for eight years in humanitarian service on the continent of Africa. 

Amai offers her gifts of service through her international ministry, Amai’s Magic. She conducts high-spirited, energetic workshops & classes in the Umfundalai Technique, Shamanic Breathwork Soul Journeys, her own Movement for the Soul Healing Dance Process,  Women’s Circles, as well as rites, ceremonies, and a variety of community residencies.


Amai is one of the original cast members and choreographer of “Crossing the Waters, Changing the Air,” conceived by Ingrid Askew, Executive Director of Crossing the Waters Institute for Cultural Exchange, which recounts their Middle Passage Pilgrimage experience of 1998-99.

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