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

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!

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.
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.

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.
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.

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!
February 11, 2021

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!

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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.

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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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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.

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!
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!

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.
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.

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.
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.

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.

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