Kono Gnaga wants to create a large dance and music center where we can expand the programming for children and local artists. The center will support continued learning in the traditional arts and bring in local artists to work together to share information, movement, and rhythms. Workshops will be held for local artists on traditional information as well as in professional development that will encourage traditional arts as a profession. We will also continue our work with youth, particularly those coming from marginalized and vulnerable populations, to foster an interest in the arts through programs promoting self-confidence, pride in cultural and community traditions, and the importance of preserving their cultural heritage. The center will provide programming in drumming, dancing, and the history of the different cultures and ethnic groups in Mali. Our goal is to promote better understanding among the population of their cultural heritage and have an increased appreciation of cultural diversity.
The land has been located to build the Kono Gnaga music and dance center. Plans have been drafted and we are currently researching the best way to use local and natural materials for construction to resist the extreme heat as well as help to reduce our carbon footprint. Local architects and builders with expertise in using traditional banco products are reviewing the plans and providing recommendations. The center will be built with a large open dance studio with a proper sprung floor. Ultimately lodging will be added so that visitors from near and far can come for longer studies. The studio will be used for visiting students and artists, Sira Koro and other company rehearsals, and Kono Gnaga community programming, and will be available for use by other arts and community organizations.