The Institute of Indigenous Cultures and Performing Arts in Kasasa, Southern Uganda, will work alongside the Standard Curriculum to provide a platform for community elders, leaders and entrepreneurs to preserve and transmit indigenous knowledge, cultural practices and skills training.
Currently, the national curriculum in Uganda is based on a system imposed by colonial rule, which community members say lacks cultural relevance and practical application in daily life.
This emphasis on Indigenous and cultural knowledge can feel like a young student learning dance and other forms of artistic expression from an elder, or an up-and-coming entrepreneur learning skills in carpentry or mechanical work.
The cultural and performing arts institution is part of the Tat Sat Community Academy (TaSCA) in Kasasa, Uganda. The project will include a dance house, which will be a gathering place for important functions and activities. Not only will the space be a place where students can learn and hone cultural practices and Indigenous knowledge applications important to their heritage, but it will also be accessible to the community at large for social functions and cultural programs.
The community’s vision is to create an institution that serves the entire East African community by simultaneously working to archive and preserve endangered cultural practices, while engaging young minds in the creation of new forms of expression rooted in respect for the heritage and culture of all parties involved.
Community elders will play a key role in this process as they pass on their knowledge to their younger ones, preserving longstanding practices and keeping traditions alive.
The school and cultural institution are made possible through a partnership between the Kasasa community and The InteRoots Initiative, a non-profit organization based in Denver, USA. The Tat Sat Community Academy is expected to open later this year or early 2023.
“We are thrilled to see the Institute of Indigenous Cultures and Performing Arts come together,” said InteRoots Executive Director Scott Frank. “The members of the Kasasa community want the exchange of indigenous knowledge and performing arts to be the centerpiece of their vision. This groundbreaking space will facilitate the flow of knowledge and information and help cultivate the next generation of thinkers, doers and performers.