Celebration of African Australians ACT had consulted and had series of discussions with members of the community to understand its cultural needs and gauge public interest in an African Cultural Centre in Canberra. Community Leaders and other prominent African personalities were consulted to hear their views and ideas. The needs assessment was thought to be a critical first step to determine the undertaken for a new African Cultural Centre in Canberra. As a fresh planning initiative, this needs assessment sought to define the essence of the Centre in the community and provide insight into new opportunities for programs, operations and facilities for the next several years. The conclusions of the need’s assessment gave the Executive a great deal of information to develop this project plan.

What the Centre will look like

Throughout the planning and Consultative process, the Executive subcommittee provided constructive guidance on establishing a successful African Cultural Centre in Canberra that will focus attention on the promotion of African arts and crafts, Culture and Traditions, and become a true cultural asset not only for Africans but the wider ACT Community. Ideally, it will be a place where children, young people, adults and seniors can meet to engage with people of similar interests in photography, painting, ceramics, creative writing, drama, music, Festivals, Entertainment Events, sculpture and crafts. In addition to exhibitions and small-scale performances, the centre will offer classes for all ages, particularly programs for children during summer and school vacations. The centre will operate as a member-driven organization where individuals or families will pay a modest annual fee to help support the centre and its programs. Its program offerings will be designed in response to member interests. An African Cultural Centre is a place that fosters cultural enrichment through Community Harmony. A living, vibrant and welcoming community cultural Centre providing opportunities for artistic, Community Development and cultural experiences.

Programming of the Centre:

Exhibitions – Initially, the centre will become a site for the year- round small-scale African exhibitions.

Performances – The Centre will establish a new theatre location that is expected to support a variety of dramatic productions and musical events. This may be an opportunity to collaborate with other Community arts Centre in Canberra.  However, the African Cultural Arts Centre should have the ability and flexibility to accommodate small scale performances.

Workshops – These will focus on topics from Creative writing to painting, sketching, photography, filmmaking, music, Drumming, digital arts depending on member interests. On social issues like Domestic Violence, Mental health depending on members interest and funding.

Children’s Programs – Strong emphasis will be placed on the Centre’s programming for children to learn about Africa. As with Workshop programming, Strategic partnerships with the ACT Public Library, Schools and other appropriate venues will form part of the Children’s programming.

Affinity Groups – The centre will help organize and schedule regular meeting space for interest-based groups. Fostering connections among ACT Multicultural Communities with common interests will be a significant contribution to the operations of the Centre.

Communications – The centre will function as a clearinghouse for African arts and Cultural information in Canberra, offering a comprehensive web-based calendar of arts, cultural and entertainment events as well as notification by mail, email, News Letter and social media for all programs and activities run by the Centre.

Café: The Centre will run a commercial café which will also provide job and apprentice opportunities for young people. In addition to the general and normal Australian Tea and Coffee, this Centre will introduce some special African Tea and Coffee to the wider Canberran Community (e.g. Kenya Tea, Moroccan Tea etc.)

Miscellaneous Community Programs: These included but not limited to the following: Sports and Recreation, African Awards, Multicultural Festival and other relevant programs from time to time subject to funding and member interest.