Andrea DiPalma Yansane's blog

More Than a Hashtag


Throughout Oregon, the United States, and all over the world there have been massive protests, rallies, and demonstrations sparked by the insidious murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and a myriad of other unarmed African Americans by law enforcement and for the centuries of violence and oppression perpetrated against Black people in this country. 

Impact of Traditional Arts on Virtual Platform


Emily Hartlerode from the Oregon Folklife Network recently contacted WACAI to ask about how “traditional artists are adapting to virtual transmission during the shutdowns of the COVID-19 Pandemic?” WACAI had an excellent response to their very first Zoom 5 week drum course, but weighed in on some of the unseen challenges this transition to a virtual platform can bring to traditional artists.

All-Levels African Drum 5 Week Course on Zoom

Once again, we here at West African Cultural Arts Institute are sending warm wishes for you and your loved ones, hoping you are weathering this COVID-19 storm without any hardship and are experiencing great physical and mental health during this unsettling time! On a positive note, these “lock downs” have created the opportunity for WACAI to build an online platform for classes and potentially allow us to engage with even more people from all over!

On-Line Options Amidst COVID-19 & Social Distancing

On behalf of everyone here at West African Cultural Arts Institute wanted to reach out and let you know how the recent outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent recommendations for social distancing will be affecting our non-profit organization. First of all, we want to convey that we understand how difficult it is to be faced with so many uncertainties on top of the threat of or actual loss of income and employment.

All-Levels African Drum 5 Week Course

Have you ever wanted to take an African drum class, but felt just a little bit intimidated? Well now is your chance to learn about the vibrant polyrhythms of Guinea, West Africa in a non-threatening atmosphere that is fun, encouraging, and inspirational for beginning and experienced drummers alike!

Camp Fareta

Nestled in the exquisite Sierra Nevada mountains, 50 miles east of Fresno, just 7 miles outside of King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Park at 4,300 feet lays Camp Hye Sierra, home of CAMP FARETA.

Black Gold Culture Camp


The second week in August marked the inaugural year of Black Gold Culture Camp, an immersive summer camp for middle school youth of color. The camp is designed to build strong community bonds between participants during this four-day period by teaching positive aspects of African and African American culture through daily, hands on workshops on black history and art movements as well as leadership, civic involvement, and environmental justice.

All About Art Summer Camp


For the second year in a row WACAI is joining two other teaching artists to bring the performance arts of Guinea, West Africa to kids grades 1-8 in the Veneta community at All About Art Summer Camp. This three-week, hands-on camp, presented by Lane Arts Council, offers safe and fun, experiences in visual and performing arts that promotes creativity, self-expression, and teamwork.

La Grande was Grand!


This weekend we took a beautiful ride through the Columbia River Gorge, past the Dalles, landing in La Grande, a town located east of the Blue Mountains and southeast of Pendleton. Several months ago WACAI was contacted by Arts Center East, or ACE, a nonprofit arts education organization founded in 1977 to partner with them to bring the cultural arts of Guinea to this town of approximately 13,000 people.

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