A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania

by Nafasi Art Space
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A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania
A Vibrant Space for Arts to Thrive in Tanzania

Nafasi Art Space is very thankful for the generosity of its supporters and the general public. As a valued supporter of Nafasi Art Space we hope you enjoy our quarterly progress reports to the global community. We are committed to ensuring Nafasi Art space continues to promote the creativity and professionalism of Tanzanian contemporary artists through  training, exposure, cross cultural dialogue, and collaborative artistic endeavours as well as maintaining Nafasi Art Space core values and beliefs as we aim to continue to build the resiliency, flexibility and creativity of arts professionals in Tanzania, aligning with Nafasi Art Space strategic plan 2021/26. We’re excited to share some of the wonderful accomplishments and success stories from the artist community as well as challenges, risks and way forward towards the next quarter; 

Artistic skills and professional development 

Nafasi Art Space continued to facilitate regular mentorship sessions on theoretical and practical art sessions to emerging artists through ongoing programs from the Nafasi Academy which takes the form of intensive theoretical & practical modules, exchanges  whereas sessions were facilitated by Tanzanian professional artists and curators as well as exchanges from international artists in residency Morgan Craig from United States of America (USA), Orangcosong  (JAPAN ) and guest speakers from South Africa, Sudan and more have had the opportunity to share their knowledge and artistic techniques to the recruited artists in the Nafasi Academy and film club program.

Moreover, Nafasi Art Space continued to host the film club sessions whereas they facilitated filmmakers’ workshop with session facilitated by filmmakers from Kenya, Greece, South Africa, and Tanzania who shared their knowledge and experience to the Nafasi Film Club workshops on producing, cinematography and directing so as to increase improvement in the quality of projects by the filmmakers. Currently the film club participants are working on the pre-production of three 12-minute short films, which will be screened at Tukutane Dar in February 2023.

Increased independent art production and presentation

Nafasi Art Space provides training, artist hangouts, and public art workshops which encourage learning and exchange between artists from different backgrounds and across disciplines through programs such as Nafasi Academy, Nafasi Film Club and other public workshops. These programmes have continued to attract strong and consistent participation of artists, resulting in the creation of innovative and creative works which carry different messages that open dialogue within the society about issues facing the community, such as mental health, economic hardship, youth leaderships, and more.

These sessions provide opportunities for artists to build and professionalise their careers from exposure and experience they get from exchanging with other artists and having a platform to showcase their production and being able to explain to the audience the ideas behind their works. 


Community Engagement and Access to the arts

During the reporting period, Nafasi has hosted several public workshops under the name of "Tukutane Nafasi" event series. Many of our community events were documented  or live-streamed on Nafasi Art Space social media pages. Three editions of the Tukutane Nafasi event series were hosted during the reporting period as well as Nafasi’s flagship event, Wikiendi Live, where art lovers  from differently background had the opportunity to experience creative works of diverse disciplinary artists through a visual art exhibition, live music performances and artisan craft market. This has resulted into: 

Renovation of creative and networking spaces 

The arts ecosystem in Dar es Salaam has come to depend on Nafasi Art Space as a space, a network, and a platform for artists to create, exchange, and reach the public thus urges for design the space to serve the community needs through  thinking  about new ways to remodel, restructure and repurpose existing buildings. During the reporting period Nafasi Art Space renovated new networking space, designed a new digital art lab andPerforming arts stage, and also opened of a shop to sell merchandise, art prints and crafts from different artisans products from Tanzania. 

Challenges and Opportunities during this quarterly reporting period has been as follows:- 


Access to  international platforms and markets to showcase the works of artists 

While support for artists locally has improved over the last few months. many challenges have remained in discovering local as well as international markets for showcasing the works produced.


Identification of potential local audience to access the arts and open dialogues in the society

Nafasi Art Space has encouraged local audiences to support and acknowledge the works of artists produced in the project thus leading artists to put more emphasis on being creative and innovative so as to attract and exchange with potential audiences a well as creating works that touch current issues and challenges facing youth & women.  For example, Nafasi Academy students addressed Mental Health during their performance art piece for Module IV of the training programme


Involvement of government stakeholders in decision making and in policy dialogues

During the reporting period Nafasi Art Space has continued to  encourage the participation of government bodies in dialogues so that  government and artists can collaborate together in decision making and promote freedom of artistic expression. Nafasi has engaged in dialogue with the National Museum of Tanzania,  Tanzania Art Council (BASATA), University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and Bagamoyo College of arts (TASUBA) through organising panel discussions with the representatives from these public bodies and institutions

Stakeholders awareness and Support to invest in the Tanzania cultural & creative sector 

Nafasi Art Space has continued to raise awareness about the important role of the arts in society  and has attracted diverse stakeholders to invest in the development of a digital art app.


In the next quarter, Nafasi Art Space will seek to develop further unique and creative approaches to building a strong and sustainable arts ecosystem in Tanzania through providing platforms for young artists, and inspiring the society in Tanzania and around the world to appreciate and celebrate art as a force for social good. Nafasi Art Space is grateful to all our supporters for their generosity and commitment to the development of the art and cultural sector in Tanzania. 


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As we enter another quarterly period, Nafasi Art Space continues to be resilient and champion artists and their success stories. We also encourage supporters and stakeholders to keep supporting artists for the protection and strengthening of cultural rights in Tanzania, our central aim and objective. 

Recently during the reporting period Nafasi Art Space has been able to continue implements its Strategic plan 2021/26 which focused on the following areas: 

Innovative and thriving art sector in Dar es Salaam

  • Nafasi introduced the 2016-20 Strategic Plan as the first ever organisational strategic plan. Inthe past four years, Nafasi has not only achieved its ambitious goals but in many areas exceeded them, as well as learning important lessons that have shaped the development of a new five-year strategic plan which began implementation in the 2021-22 financial year which has led to successive programs including introduction of the Nafasi film Club every thursday , 3rd cohorts of Nafasi Academy 2022 , and new multidisciplinary artists members.

Increased independent art production and presentation

  • During the project,Nafasi Art Space continue putting emphasis its children’s art space, developed additional studios for visual and performing artists, created new rehearsals and performance spaces, established an active music rehearsal studio, pioneered an arts management internship programme,Tanzania’s first contemporary arts academy

Increased education and exchange between Tanzanian artists and the local, regional and international art world

  • By fostering a truly open space to express oneself and create art, Nafasi has protected and promoted freedom of expression and created inclusive access to cultural rights the experiences of art were created through the provision of studio spaces, artist residencies, workshop and exhibitions thus during the reporting  period Nafasi was able to host several international artists in residence programs include:  Klaus Hartman’s residence (Germany)  Erica Merly & Roger Peet (USA) , Jeremi Libenge (DRC) 

Increased visibility and awareness for contemporary art in Tanzania

  • With safety measures in place, Nafasi Art Space is again open to the public and bursting with creativity and collaboration whereas since the beginning of this year Nafasi has hosted approximately 08  events under a series of “Tukutane Nafasi” monthly events including two events under Lete Stori welcoming talented art as well as short film screenings from the Nafasi Film Club and a feature film screening of “The Lost Okoroshi” from Nigeria and “High Fantasy” from South Africa, thus bring an overall total of 500 audiences attending Nafasi Art Space events ranging from 50-100 audiences each events hosted at Nafasi Art Space.
  • There have also been improvement in the social media page engagement whereas Nafasi Art Space has been able improve its participation for example on Nafasi Art Space instagram followers have amounted to 12,900,  Nafasi Art Space has been rated 4.8 and verified on google business profile, also during the reporting period engage in reaching out the community through Whatsapp calls & groups

A sustainable and independent art institution drives innovation and excellence in the Tanzanian art sector: 

  • Nafasi has continued to support the artistic growth and professional development of successive cohorts of multidisciplinary member artists including : ASEDEVA in April, Shine Dance and Muda Africa Dance who have established successful and sustainable new art centres after having been formerly based at Nafasi as studio or organisational members. The positive results are evidenced by their ability to make a living as full time artists, recognition from national and international art organisations, galleries, and prizes, and their ongoing commitment to telling authentic and socially relevant stories through their art.

The pandemic has changed our world and brought challenges, but it has also been an opportunity to rethink how we do things and to highlight just how essential art and culture can be to our community. For more updates concerning Nafasi Art Space programs kindly follow the linktree to visit on Nafasi Art Space Social Media platforms.


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Nafasi Art Space wants to take this moment and express our heartfelt support that we have been receiving through the year and during the reporting the donations made it possible to continue making the arts and culture movement Tanzania accessible and inclusive and looking forward for your continued support whereas in this report we will share some of the success stories during the reporting period :


During the reporting period despite the presence of COVID19 we were able to continue provide art training include New-shape Residency a 3-months residency bringing together multi-disciplinary artist to critically discuss our understanding of the environment through discussion and research the participating artists sought to align and articulate the presence and role of the environment in our occupations, lifestyles, learning and history. This was deepened by an 8-day residency in the Uluguru mountains in Morogoro, Tanzania and later to present their work on an Exhibition which can now be seen on Nafasi Art Space online gallery.

On 19 January 2022 Nafasi Art Space had the opportunity to host a film screening session with Charlotte O'neal  NYATITI MEDICINE, dealing with several still relevant issues including early forced marriages; girls' right to education, obstetric fistula, abuse, music medicine, and more. The film was meant to sensitise global communities about the tragedy and possibilities of recovery from obstetric fistula, an ostracising affliction that impacts thousands of women across Africa, the middle east and India but is little known in the west. Follow on Facebook Page for more photos 

Also Nafasi Art Space received a huge digital engagement during the reporting period through hosting and updating on social media whereas Nafasi Art Space instagram page grew to 12,000 followers making it one of the leading centres in Tanzania with many followers as well on twitter followers grew to a total of 1,166 followers. Nafasi Art Space aims i to continue engaging with online audiences to which we have been able to open another social media platform where we’ll be sharing most of the publications, articles and newsletter follow the link to subscribe https://linktr.ee/nafasiartspace

After months of design and planning, the Nafasi Art Space community is excited to share some of the new spaces that are being developed at Nafasi. The long-planned renovations include a shop to showcase art prints, crafts and art merchandise; a new destination for researchers and education programs; a digital art lab; and enhanced amenities and accessibility for visitors.

Nafasi Art Space looking forward for your continued support on the fundraising campaign so as to continue providing a platform for artists and art lovers across the diaspora to meet, network and exchange. 

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Nafasi Art Space as a community space has continued to promote art and cultural programs for wide populations across Tanzania. During the pandemic, Nafasi has been an important creative hub for people from diverse regions to exchange, inspire and open constructive conversations on different socio-economic issues across the continent and the world at large.

The contributions you have provided over the past months has allowed us to build up our community and get more people involved. We have developed successful activities which we hope to continue in the future, including:

During this period the Nafasi Academy Space was opened up to ten local photographers, who were offered two weeks of intensive training by industry professionals John Fleetwood (South Africa) and Nicholas Calvin (Tanzania). In doing this, the photographer's were given a chance to reflect on the art of photography and uncover their individual artistic expression. As commonly seen in our spaces, DemocraSEE combined professional development and creative work, bordered by engaging conversations and networking opportunities. More highlight on Facebook

During the period, we also launched Lete stori or "Bring a story", a new performing arts event at Nafasi under Tukutane Nafasi. This innovative approach was conceived by our performing arts manager Kwame Mchauru, who has mentored and supported dozens of young artists over his long career in the music industry. Through his active mentorship, he has found that Tanzania's young musicians are truly inspiring, with many beating the odds to pursue their passion for music and succeed in a tough industry for underground acts.

Nafasi Art Space has proven to be a haven for artists such as these, many of whom are eager to incorporate traditional sounds, rhythms and instruments into live performances, "lete stori" brings these artists into the spotlight, not only to play their songs, but also to share the personal stories of their journeys in music. These were just a couple of a series of events we have organized over the past three months that bring together different artistic elements such as art exhibitions, performances, film screening to promote participation in culture, strengthen community and build a shared sense of cultural pride.

Nafasi Art Space, as a creative partner, had the privilege to host a hybrid physical-virtual artistic experience from the “Lost + Found “ a 5-week interdisciplinary residency facilitated by the East African Soul Train (EAST) invited 13-artists from around the globe to co-create a process virtually that inspires them to play, share perspectives, challenge their peers, take risks and create new collaborative work, for on and offline audiences. The residency explored the theme ‘lost + found’ bringing together artists from wide range of disciplinary including: Theatre, technology, visual art, music, fashion and poetry. Two of the artists were Tanzanian, Zuhura the African Lioness (Poet/Voice over artist) & Valerie Amani (Curator & mixed-media artist) where art pieces made during the residency were projected in three different spaces, each one carefully prepared under the direction of Nafasi visual arts team members Fifi Mbogho and Rhoda Kambenga.

Our major project this year was the Nafasi Academy programme on curatorial practice and arts management with 13 participants who receivd training in theory, management, and the practice of organising and creating cultural experiences. On July 10, 2021 we were able to host final event where they had the opportunity to showcase the ideas and projects that have been developed during the program.


Our plan is to increase the number of art and culture activities we run at the community, so that we attract a wider range of people, and to focus especially on activities that are inspiring and impact changes to the community, we would like request your continuation support us through contributions to be able to be sustainable during the crisis.

 Find us on social media platoforms and  continue to engage with our activities through: Facebook, Instagram @nafasiartspace. Website: https://www.nafasiartspace.org. We hope you will continue to follow and support our work.

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Nafasi is a space for critical learning that stimulates the discovery and production of contemporary art in Tanzania, through education and exchange between Tanzanian artists and the local, regional, and international art world. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our community around the GlobalGiving for always showing support through difficult times as the donations you have provided has been very important for our art and culture community.

Unfortunately we did not receive all the funding we had hoped to get, so we had to think about how to run the project on a smaller budget. We have been able to run a series of capacity building programs that foster creativity, build audiences and create platforms for artists where they can always feel safe to express their thoughts and exchange with others.

The contributions you have provided over the past year has allowed us to build up our community and get more people involved. Here are some of the ways your support has helped keep the creative sector in Tanzania going during the COVID crisis:

Tukutane Nafasi: A series of events bringing together different artistic elements such as art exhibitions, performances, and film screenings to promote participation in culture, strengthen community and build a shared sense of cultural pride and identity from different individuals across the globe. We have shown films inspired by the Utopian Imagination, hosted exhibitions opening including Imagined Encounters, a collaborative exhibition between Tanzanian and South Korean artists Bang & Lee funded by the Korea Foundation, "A Mindful Spirit", a fundraising exhibition to support a Tanzanian female textile artist to attend a residency at Modzi Arts in Lusaka Zambia

We have continued to host Art talks, workshops and trainings for professional and aspiring artists, to allow participants to hone their craft and develop their practice. Workshops are offered in theory, technique, as well as arts entrepreneurship and management. Recent trainings include: the Nafasi Academy - Curatorial and Arts Management training, a six-month, longform training offered to 14 emerging cultural leaders, Imagined Encounters: Patterns of Exchange, a monthly long virtual workshop with artists from Korea Bang & Lee, Sauti Mpya, a three month film development program for young film makers & actors in Tanzania in collaboration with the Tanzania Film Board, Azam TV, and Zanzibar International Film Festival, as well as Africalab, a week-long short film training program which was facilitated by the Off-Court team from France.

We have also continued to run outreach program with different organizations and institutions thus has helped to increase diversity within our audience engagement such includes hosting University of Dodoma students, an art outreach program with another school nursery with the age of 2.5 - years old workshops tend to be more inspiring and fun creative activities to young people.

We have also been able to increase our social media outreach, reaching 10,000k followers on Instagram. We had planned to continue hold a digital workshop but we weren’t able due to the lack of some of the tools and equipment needed such as laptops ,camera, mics, etc. We have also created a new Instagram page specifically to highlight visual art produced and exhibited at Nafasi. You can follow it at www.instagram.com/nafasigallery.

Our plan is to increase the number of art and culture activities we run at the community, so that we attract a wider range of people, and to focus especially on activities that are inspiring and impact changes to the community, we continue to supporting us through contributions to be able to be sustainable during the ongoing pandemic, which has drastically impacted our funding sources and operations.

Thank you again for your support and we look forward to continuing to bring great Tanzanian art to the world.


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Organization Information

Nafasi Art Space

Location: Dar es Salaam - Tanzania, United Republic of
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @nafasiartspace
Project Leader:
Rebecca Corey
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of
$21,913 raised of $50,000 goal
113 donations
$28,087 to go
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