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Special Projects

 

The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium

Dialogues Across Culture: A Model for Building Enduring Partnerships
Africa Consortium partners and artists ion Johannesburg 2012-(left to right) Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Marj Neset, Hakim Bellamy, Virginie & Faustin Linyekula, Boyzie Cekwana, Panaibra Gabriel Canda

The Bates Dance Festival is a founding member of the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium (TACAC). TACAC is a landmark program designed to initiate and sustain a dynamic exchange of arts and ideas between artists, arts organizations and public communities throughout the United States and the African continent. The Consortium is dedicated to working with African artists who are interpreting contemporary life through traditional, popular and or contemporary forms.  The Consortium's programs are rooted in experiential opportunities that nurture dialogue and exchange allowing for organic connections to evolve.

 

Africa Consortium partners and artists in Nairobi

 

While the Consortium primarily works with artists who are living and/or working in Africa, it recognizes that African contemporary artists are a vital part of the global community and therefore also live and work throughout the African Diaspora, creating art whose focus may be rooted in or directly connected to their respective countries of origin.

The Consortium is dedicated to developing, hosting, presenting and supporting dance, music, theater, multidisciplinary and performance arts projects by African artists who are interpreting contemporary life through traditional, popular or contemporary forms. The Consortium’s programs are rooted in experiential opportunities that nurture dialogue and exchange, allowing for organic connections to evolve. TACAC carries out its work through five interrelated and interdependent program areas. Each includes a range of activities that Consortium members individually and collectively develop, host, present and support:

  • Investing in Research and Building Knowledge
  • Investing in the Creativity of the Artist
  • Connecting Artists, Audiences and Communities
  • Education and Contextualization
  • Sustaining the Network

 

Africa Consortium partners and artists gathered at Bates in 2009 from left to right: Cathy Zimmerman (MAPP), Laura Faure (Bates), Qudus Onikeku (Nigeria), Michel Kouakou (Ivory Coast), Emily Harney (MAPP), and Opiyo Okach (Kenya)
Founded in 2004, in response to the lack of viable exchange programs in the U.S. for artists from Africa, the Consortium is currently comprised of 11 diverse and dynamic U.S. arts organizations, including festivals, performing and visual arts centers, producers and universities. Each member has made a long-term commitment -- on a curatorial, institutional, and personal level -- to multi-dimensional and multi-directional cultural exchange. Within the collective of our consortium we possess expertise in creative residencies, scholarship, touring, presenting, collaboration with African partners.

  • 651/Arts, Brooklyn, NY
  • Bates Dance Festival, Lewiston, ME
  • Center for World Arts at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, MD
  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC
  • MAPP International, New York, NY
  • Portland Institute of Contemporary Arts, Portland, OR
  • The Seattle Theatre Group, Seattle, WA
  • USC Thorton School of Music, Los Angeles,CA
  • The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA

 

Africa Consortium partners and artists from left to right: Jordana Phokompe, Faustin Linyekula, Cathy Zimmerman, Baraka Sele, Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe, Gregory Maqoma, Kota Yamazaki and Mina Nishimura

As an active member of TACAC the Bates Dance Festival offers extended creative residencies to individual African artists each sumer as part of our International Visiting Artists Program.

Since 2005 we have hosted multiple residencies by Faustin Linyekula (DR Congo), Vincent Mantsoe, Gregory Maqoma, Lucky Kele, Mamela Nyamza and Neli Xaba, (South Africa) and Michel Kouakou/ Daudet Fabrice/Nadia Beugre (Ivory Coast), Kettly Noel (Mali) among others.

The Consortium has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Robert Sterling Calrk Foundadtion and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Fund for National Projects.

Individual touring and residency projects have received support from CulturesFrance, and from the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (with lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation).

MAPP International serves as General Manager of the Consortium.

For more information visit: The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium website

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