West African Cultural Arts Institute (WACAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural arts organization based in Eugene, Oregon. WACAI’s mission is to share the joy and passion of Guinean culture through vibrant educational programs focusing on music and dance. These programs include drum and dance classes, school residencies and assemblies, performances, and other community outreach events.
West African Cultural Arts Institute was founded in February 2007 by Alseny Yansane and Andrea DiPalma Yansane when they relocated from Guinea to the United States. Committed and passionate about the cultural arts of Guinea, Alseny and Andrea formed this organization to give back to communities in West Africa as well as to connect with western students far and wide to teach about the transformational power of authentic Guinean dance, music and culture.
WACAI’s board of directors and volunteers are made up of past and present students who have been deeply touched by WACAI’s programs and are dedicated to making them accessible to expansive audiences.
Many of you already know that drumming has many positive benefits, but in considering we are in the coldest and darkest months it seems important to count all the ways!
National Dance Week has begun and WACAI has a variety of ways you can celebrate through virtual or in person engagement! Whether you are ready to move and shake in a public setting or prefer to enjoy at home we've got something fun for you!
Many of you already know that drumming has many positive benefits, but in considering we are in the coldest and darkest months it seems important to count all the ways!Read More
National Dance Week has begun and WACAI has a variety of ways you can celebrate through virtual or in person engagement! Whether you are ready to move and shake in a public setting or prefer to enjoy at home we've got something fun for you!Read More
Enjoy this taste of some traditional dishes that are guaranteed to make your mouth water as well as teach you something new about Guinean food and its cultural influence!Read More
Learn about WACAI's construction process highlights as well as the obstacles faced due to the challenges of wet weather and building in an undeveloped location.Read More
Learn more about the astounding area around WACAI's future cultural arts center and the tenacious people who live off the land there.Read More
WACAI lays out the backstory of our most recent trip to Guinea as well as explains the purpose of the "CKY Corner" online series.Read More
For the month of February WACAI will be running a series on their online platforms called "CKY Corner" as a way to highlight pictures and videos from a recent trip to Guinea and to give a snapshot of a day in a life.Read More
Many of you already know that drumming has many positive benefits, but in considering the tumultuous times we are in it seems important to count all the ways!Read More
A series designed to put a spotlight on seven Black cultural artists throughout the state of Oregon to elevate their work and discuss how racism affects their lives.Read More
Papa talked about the freedom that he experienced while living in Guinea.Read More
LaRhonda Steele (Portland) is a gospel singer and songwriter recognized as one the region’s best rhythm and blues vocalists.Read More
Wambui Machua is a traditional Kenyan chef, entrepreneur, and owner of Spice of Africa, a Portland-based African restaurant.Read More
To listen to Mic Crenshaw (Portland Oregon) perform is to be drawn deeply into a poetics of Truth in action.Read More
Norman “The Boogie Cat” Sylvester (Portland) has aptly described himself as being “totally dedicated to the soul healing force of music” and when watching or listening to him, this is self-evident.Read More
As the first installment of the Oregon Black Artist Spotlight Series, WACAI’s Executive Director, Andrea DiPalma Yansane had the privilege to interview Baba Wague Diakite.Read More
WACAI was stationed at a wonderful shady spot just on the edge of a fabulous Filbert grove and enjoyed performing in this unique style which was a creative solution to holding the celebration in the midst of a global pandemic.Read More
Polaris Dance Theatre held its 10th Annual Galaxy Dance Festival this weekend and in response to the social distancing regulations that are in place, went VIRTUAL!Read More
N'Gawa whose name means "Mother Hawa" in the Susu language is, Alseny Yansane, our Co-founder and Artistic Director's Mom. She passed away on Wednesday, June 17th at 1 pm Conakry time.Read More
Throughout Oregon, the United States, and all over the world there have been massive protests, rallies, and demonstrations. We at WACAI believe in and affirm that all Black Lives Matter.Read More
Support WACAI's mission to strengthen and support the cultural arts of West Africa through arts education and charitable projects in Guinea!
West African Cultural Arts Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization who relies on the financial, in-kind and volunteer support of individuals, businesses and agencies. Our vibrant programs keep the cultural arts of West Africa authentic and alive and improves the lives of many communities in Guinea.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to West African Cultural Arts Institute.