Our mission is to preserve and promote Tanzanian music and dance cultures, specifically by:
establishing a permanent centre for research, documentation, preservation, & promotion of music and dance cultures.
producing, organising, archiving and making available documentation through local field research for research and preservation following international standards.
enhancing the professional and entrepreneurial capacity and skills of selected musician/dancers to facilitate employment and income earning.
organising and promoting regular paid live performances of traditional music/dance by skilled, trained performers.
creating opportunities for the communities and school age children to experience and learn about traditional music, dance, and instruments.
developing, testing, and implementing in a sustainable way, revenue generating activities related to traditional music, dance, and instruments for local and international audiences.
About the CAC
The Cultural Arts Centre is a thriving centre of music and dancing, both traditional and Tanzanian fusion, in the Arusha area. It is located behind Tumaini University in Makumira.
It was created as a project of the Music Department, Tumaini University Makumira with support from the European Union Development Fund in the period 2014-2018. Through this fund we developed our school outreach program, ethnographic documentation of music and dance cultures in Chagga, Meru and Maasai groups in Northern Tanzania, as well as developing a professional facility for dancers and musicians in the Arusha area.
CAC currently employs 16 dancer/musicians who have given about 450 performances to date (February 2019) on and off campus for various public and private functions, and at local, national and international levels. They draw on their various ethnic backgrounds, training, and experiences to create high-energy performances that feature many different types of music and dance from Tanzania, including traditional dances, newly created dances, and music pieces that fuse traditional and modern ideas. Highlights have included representing Tanzania at Sauti za Busara in Zanzibar in 2017 and 2018, DOADOA East African Performers Market in Kampala in 2016 and 2019, and JAMAFEST Celebrating East African Culture in Nairobi in 2015.
We have also performed at various tourism events, including KiliFair in Moshi, Karibu Tourism Tanzania in Arusha, Karibu/Kilifair 2019 in Arusha, and S!TE (Swahili International Tourism Exhibition) in Dar es Salaam, plus other events for Tanzania Tourist Board and the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators.
In November 2017 we completed construction on 4 buildings including a 435-seat performance space (with grand piano) and dressing rooms, conference hall with catering facilities, a dance studio with a sprung dance floor, cultural exhibits and office space. In the Traditional Village local groups have constructed Maasai, Arusha and Meru bomas.