The family of West African Cultural Arts InstituteWest African Cultural Arts Institute

WACAI’s mission is to share the joy and passion of Guinean culture through vibrant educational programs focusing on music and dance

the kids of West African Cultural Arts Institute

About Wacai

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.

Our Blog

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!
May 24, 2022

Drumming Up Positive Health

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.
January 6, 2021

Oregon Black Artist Spotlight Series

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.
January 12, 2021

Alseny & Papa Yansane-Oregon Black Artist Spotlight Series

Papa talked about the freedom that he experienced while living in Guinea.

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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!
June 10, 2022

Summer Drum Fun with Many Positive Benefits

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!

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WACAI is currently seeking sponsorships to help move their future Cultural Arts Center in Guinea to the second phase of building.
May 24, 2022

WACAI's Sponsorship Opportunity

WACAI is currently seeking sponsorships to help move their future Cultural Arts Center in Guinea to the second phase of building.

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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!
April 25, 2022

Celebrating National Dance Week

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!

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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!
March 9, 2022

“Food” for Thought-CKY Corner's Final Week

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!

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February 22, 2022

The Conakry Ballet Tradition-"CKY Corner" Series

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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.
March 9, 2022

Ground Breaking and Building "CKY Corner" Continues

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.

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Learn more about the astounding area around WACAI's future cultural arts center and the tenacious people who live off the land there.
March 9, 2022

"CKY Corner" Series Continues with "Village Life"

Learn more about the astounding area around WACAI's future cultural arts center and the tenacious people who live off the land there.

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WACAI lays out the backstory of our most recent trip to Guinea as well as explains the purpose of the "CKY Corner" online series.
March 9, 2022

Guinea Trip Backstory and "CKY Corner" Series' Purpose

WACAI lays out the backstory of our most recent trip to Guinea as well as explains the purpose of the "CKY Corner" online series.

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 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.
February 28, 2022

“CKY Corner” Social Media Series

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!
May 24, 2022

Drumming Up Positive Health

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.
January 6, 2021

Oregon Black Artist Spotlight Series

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.
January 12, 2021

Alseny & Papa Yansane-Oregon Black Artist Spotlight Series

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.
January 6, 2021

LaRhonda Steele-Oregon Black Artist Spotlight Series

LaRhonda Steele (Portland) is a gospel singer and songwriter recognized as one the region’s best rhythm and blues vocalists.

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Wambui Machua is a traditional Kenyan chef, entrepreneur, and owner of Spice of Africa, a Portland-based African restaurant.
January 6, 2021

Wambui Machua-Oregon Black Artist Spotlight Series

Wambui Machua is a traditional Kenyan chef, entrepreneur, and owner of Spice of Africa, a Portland-based African restaurant.

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To listen to Mic Crenshaw (Portland Oregon) perform is to be drawn deeply into a poetics of Truth in action.
January 6, 2021

Mic Crenshaw-Oregon Black Artist Spotlight Series

To listen to Mic Crenshaw (Portland Oregon) perform is to be drawn deeply into a poetics of Truth in action.

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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.
January 8, 2021

Norman Sylvester-Oregon Black Artist Spotlight Series

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.
January 8, 2021

Baba Wague Diakite-Oregon Black Artist Spotlight Series

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.

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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.
January 8, 2021

Drive Thru Childrens' Celebration

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.

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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!
January 12, 2021

Galaxy Dance Festival Virtual Event

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!

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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.
January 12, 2021

Homage to "Mother Hawa"

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.

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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.
January 8, 2021

More Than a Hashtag

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.

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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.

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