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Cie Heddy Maalem in Le Sacre du Printemps. Photo by Patrick Fabre.^47 ^47 Cie Heddy Maalem in Le Sacre du Printemps. Photo by Patrick Fabre.^47

The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium

The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium carries out its work through four interdependent program areas. Each includes a range of activities that Consortium members individually and collectively develop, host, present and support:

Investing in Curatorial Research
The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium has organized 28 research trips to 19 countries in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, for members and other U.S. cultural workers. Through attendance at performances, workshops and meetings throughout the world, Consortium members gain broad knowledge of contemporary African performing arts with particular attention to their social, political and cultural history and context. In addition, multi-week immersive research trips build deeper understanding and develop the trust on which cross-continental partnerships are based.

Advancing the Creativity of the Artist
Through co-productions, residencies and tours, the Consortium provides opportunities for artists to create, develop and perform new work. The Consortium has hosted 12 African ensembles in multi-week residencies in the U.S. with the goal of providing time and space for creative exploration and for meeting U.S. artists, students, community members, and representatives from arts organizations, funders and businesses. The Consortium encourages inter- and intra- continental travel and collaboration within Africa to combat isolation and challenges posed by geographic, economic and/or political circumstances.

Connecting Artists, Audiences and Communities
The Consortium has connected thousands of U.S. citizens - in 31 cities in 21 states - to 52 African artists from 15 different countries. Through the presentation of public performances by African artists, in the context of multifaceted community engagement programs throughout North America, the Consortium fosters experiences that impact Africans' perceptions of American life and culture, and that expose American citizens to a vision of Africa as far more than a perennially troubled continent. Next, the Consortium its efforts to connect by providing opportunities for U.S. artists to travel to Africa for creative exchanges, research and performances.

Building & Sharing Knowledge
Essays, interviews, films and other contextual materials, along with public presentations and symposia, serve to inform and educate the American public and performing arts professionals about contemporary African work.