Memory of African Culture, Inc. Organization History, Mission, Programs, Education & Community Service
Memory of African Culture, Inc. was initiated in 1983 as a collaborative vehicle between a group of artists demonstrating, in performance, the linkage of African oral history with other African cultural expressions, instrumental music, song and dance. Incorporated in 1984, Memory of African Culture, Inc. (MAC, Inc.) is a tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, dedicated to creating greater awareness of the history and cultures of African peoples. The founders of MAC, Inc., director Djimo Kouyate --an oral historian of Manding heritage born in Senegal, West Africa-- and the administrator, Akua Femi Kouyate of African American heritage, are a husband and wife team. Between them, they have more than 50 years experience teaching, performing, creating, providing and producing African cultural arts programs and services nationally and internationally. On August 1, 2004, Diali Djjimo Kouyate, founding director of Memory of African Culture, Inc., made his transition to the Ancestors. With the Blessings of the Creator, we are committed to continue and expand upon the legacy for which Baba Djimo Kouyate has laid a strong foundation for the institution of Memory of African Culture, Inc. in the manifestation and education of African cultural traditions. We ask for your prayers, encouragement and continued support of our efforts to sustain the legacy of Diali Djimo Kouyate. Abarika.
MAC, Inc. provides cultural performances, workshops, lecture-demonstrations, seminars, documentation and other educational programs involving traditional and contemporary creative art expressions of music, dance and oral history. Promoting the importance of cultural literacy for children and adults, its programs are intended to reach and interact with communities in the Washington metropolitan area and the mid-Atlantic region, as well as reaching national and international audiences through touring and other special projects. The purpose of MAC, Inc. is to provide educational and aesthetic experiences of African tradition. The organization's goals are to:
- Promote African arts and cultural traditions to peoples of African heritage through the art forms of dance, music and oral traditions.
- Provide people of African heritage as well as the general public with greater aesthetic understanding and cultural literacy of African traditions through performances, workshops and seminars.
- Train artists and create professional performance opportunities for artists in African and related cultural traditions to insure the preservation of this rich culture.
- Provide cultural programming which portrays and promotes positive awareness, values and self-esteem that can be transferred to everyday lifestyles of individuals as they interact within groups, communities and society.
- Support of MAC, Inc. sponsored programs in years 2002, 2003 and 2004 came through individual grants to Director, Djimo Kouyate from D.C. Commission on the Arts and the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, community partnerships and individuals contributions
Artistic programs offered by Memory of African Culture, Inc.
- Amadou Kouyate, Solo Artist
- The Kouyate & Family - Music, Songs & Dances of Manding Griot Traditions
- Manding Griot Ensemble
- "Wato Sita Project- This Is The Time?For Peace" Artistic Program offerings include concert performances, lecture-demonstrations, seminars, workshops, master classes and short and long-term arts-in-education residencies. Full descriptions of each program are available. Educational Programs & Community Residencies: Memory of African Culture, Inc. has successfully conducted several arts education projects over the years. Some of these include:
- Summer Training at the Kirov Ballet Academy: MAC Instructors provided African dance training for dance students attending the Kirov Academy Summer Dance Training programs. Summers of 1998, 1999, 2000.
- African Arts and Cultural Expressions: a nine-week arts education curriculum unit developed for 5th grade students at Mytilla Miner Elementary School in N.E. Washington, D.C. integrating African arts in school curriculums for students. Academic year 1998.
- Mande Foli International West African Music and Dance Conference: Administered by MAC, Inc. and co-sponsored with the University of Maryland Graduate Studies in Ethnomusicology and the Department of Dance, the Mande Foli Conference is a 5-day intensive training program in West African drumming, dance and instrumental music. The program featured 5 master instructors providing daily workshops and public seminars on the history and context of African cultural art expressions. Summer 1998
- International Cultural Exchange Events - designed to cultivate cultural interchange between the United States, Africa and the African diaspora. The intent of the program is to recruit, encourage and promote the linkages between artistic, cultural and educational organizations, communities and individuals concerned for developments in African cultural heritage. MAC, Inc. sponsored activities include:
- Cultural Training Residency & Concert, Senegal & Gambia - December 1992 & 1996;
- Concert Performances/Festival in Tambacounda, Senegal featuring 5 regional companies representing ethnically diverse cultures - 1994; and
- MACPC participation at the 2nd International Kora Festival and Colloquium - 1991.
- African Instrumental Music Studies Program (AIMSP) Initiated in 1991, AIMSP makes available opportunities, specifically for youth, to have substantive studies in African instruments and cultural traditions. As an outreach program, AIMSP operates in D.C. Public Schools and community centers like the greater Washington Boys & Girls Club reaching youth in their community.
- MACPC as the Resident Company at Sankofa Fie, Inc./NationHouse Positive Action Center From 1990 to 1998, students, parents and staff of NationHouse shared experiences in African dancing and drumming through Company classes, special training workshops and seminars with guest artists, and school fundraiser events. Sankofa Fie provided creative space for MACPC to nurture its professional and creative development.
Summer Youth Employment Programs Sites - 6 years
Company Residency at J.C. Nalle Elementary School, Wash. DC, 1992
Company Residency at Cripus Attucks Park for the Arts, Wash. DC, 1983 - 1985
- 21 years providing Lecture Demonstrations, workshops, seminars and other arts education programs for Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia and Georgia Public Schools and throughout the mid-Atlantic and sourthern regions of the United States for public and private schools, community arts and social organizations, colleges and universities - Arts Education Residencies (Director and Administrator), in Washington, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida supported by the state and local arts councils
Special Events - promote the organization's mission, fosters collaborations with area institutions and community organizations, enhances public relations and visibility in the DC metropolitan community, and increases accessibility and awareness for targeted audiences and the general public to experience African cultural arts
- Kamben: Unity - World String & Acoustic Music Concert, Market 5 Gallery, Wash. DC 2004
- University of Maryland African Drum Ensemble Concerts, featuring guest artists presenting traditional and contemporary African Arts expressions directed by Djimo Kouyate, 1996-2004
- "Wato Sita?This is the Time?for Peace" Album release concert, University of Maryland, 2003
- MACPC 14th Anniversary Home Concert - featuring the Manding Griot Ensemble, University of the District of Columbia, 1998
- MACPC 12th Anniversary Home Concert - featuring five guest artists/groups (John Okumlawon- Nigeria, Peter Pipim - Ghana, Joseph Ngwa-Cameroon, Lansana Kouyate - Guinea and Cheikh Amala Diabate - Mali) and a collaboration with Sankofa Dance Theater of Baltimore, Md. for the premiered work " Nguiri", 1996
- MACPC 10th Anniversary Home Concert & Arts Exhibition - along with MACPC, featured 4 guest performing companies ( African Heritage Dancers & Drummers, Sankofa Dance Theater, Ajabu Dance Troupe and Taratibu Pan-Afrikan Drill Team), and the visual art works of 3 Washington based visual artists, Eglon Daley, Afia Nson Akoto and Baleegh Knockum, , University of the District of Columbia, 1994
- Video/photo presentation documenting the 2nd International Kora Festival & Colloquium held in Senegal, 1992, Washington, DC
- Series of free and low cost public performances at the Market Five Gallery in S.E. Washington, 1991
- Album release reception for Djimo Kouyate and Mamaya African Jazz, Washington, DC 1990
The ability of MAC, Inc. to sustain, maintain, and develop effectively and qualitatively is greatly impacted by our ability to:
- provide continual professional development and performance opportunities for MAC program artists;
- collaborate with other arts, social, and community organizations and business partners serving the metropolitan community who share in the mission and focus of expanding African cultural literacy, placing particular value on positive family and social relations; and
- increase administrative and financial capacity to strengthen and maintain MAC programming and services to the Washington community.
With this in mind, MAC, Inc. is focusing on the following objectives and strategies for the new millennium:
(1) Cultivate and secure partnerships with other performing arts companies, community & educational organizations, community members, businesses and foundations for establishing and maintaining effective working relations of mutual benefit in carrying out our mission and goals
(2) Provide artistic quality and substantive cultural and educational experiences for our audiences;
(3) Offer professional development for artists, and
(4) Sustain the interests and serve the cultural needs of our partners and community.
For additional information, telephone/fax: MAC, Inc. at
202/210-7120 or write to: MAC, Inc. P.O. Box 50045,
Washington, D.C. 20091;
or email firstname.lastname@example.org