The presentation will be an introductory account of the practice of The GoDown Arts Centre. From beginnings over fifteen years ago, (seeded by international partners whose objectives included expanding democratic space and social justice in Kenya through the arts) to the present time where matters of diversity in the arts, cultural heritage restitution and philosophies and aesthetics of Afro-futurism are being discussed globally, Joy Mboya will broadly share the unfolding over time of the centre’s ethos and approaches, in light of these issues, and of Kenya’s shifting political and socio-cultural dynamics in recent decades. Some key GoDown programs and initiatives will be used to illustrate the evolution of the arts centre’s practice into the current stage of its re-construction and re-positioning.
Joy Mboya is Executive Director and a Co-founder of The GoDown Arts Centre, a multidisciplinary space for artistic experimentation, creative collaboration and cross-sector partnerships. Her programmatic vision has focused on increasing community engagement with contemporary arts expressions, as well as on how arts, culture and the socio-political sphere can meaningfully and productively intersect. Under her leadership, The GoDown has contributed notably to a vibrant local and regional creative landscape through its active participation in policy advocacy and capacity building for East Africa’s creative economy. Joy is currently leading a unique, multi-stakeholder, participatory process to transform The GoDown into a civic-scale cultural institution.