Marafanyi Drum, Dance & Song

Lara Gonzalez

Co-Founder/Artistic Director

“passionate, versatile, dedicated”


Lara is a passionate, versatile and dedicated artist who enjoys multi-disciplinary projects and community collaborations. Connecting music, dance and spoken word to visual art is of particular interest. This process is one that she has honed in educational settings for nearly 20 years, and is pleased to share as an Arts Integration Professional Development Facilitator for classroom teachers, music & visual arts professionals, and education/arts administrators.

Lara is a teaching artist (West African Drum, Dance & Song, Early Learning Through the Arts©: NJ Wolf Trap Program, Movement Matters©, Explore-A-Story©) a dance accompanist (West African, Modern, Ballet, Creative Movement). In addition, she is certified to teach Level 1 Orff Schulwerk and has designed custom programs for Special Needs clients based on the principals of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). She is a graduate of Fordham University earning a B.A. In Art History/Studio Art and an Assets for Artists grantee.


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Arts Ed Newark is made possible by the generous support of: Turrell Fund, The Prudential Foundation, The Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, 

The Victoria Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation,

and The National Endowment for the Arts

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