West African Cultural Arts Institute (WACAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural arts organization co-founded by Alseny Yansane and Andrea DiPalma Yansane that focuses on educational programs through the cultural arts of West Africa and charitable programs in Guinea, West Africa.
Our mission is to share the joy and passion of West African culture through vibrant educational programs focusing on music and dance, advocate for authentic, source artists from Guinea, and create charitable projects in Guinea that promote artistic, emotional, and physical health.
West African Cultural Arts Institute, formerly known as Won Tan Nara Productions, was founded in February 2007 by Alseny Yansane and Andrea DiPalma Yansane when they relocated from Guinea to the US. 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 them 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 their experience of taking classes from Alseny and Andrea and are dedicated to supporting quality programs that make this learning accessible to diverse communities.
WACAI does this by offering community dance classes and drum workshops for adults, residency and assembly programs in the schools, lecture/demonstrations for college courses, community outreach events and performances, a study abroad program, and charitable projects that benefit communities in Guinea.