The Gambia's first Cultural Academy
The Gambia Academy of Music and Culture is set to be the first cultural centre in The Gambia. Founded by the renowned artist and social activist Sona Jobarteh, this enterprise will offer unprecedented opportunities to both local and international artists from all over the world. At the heart of this institution lie the values of preserving and advancing tradition, cultural exchange, and social development.
THE JUNIOR SCHOOL DEPARTMENT:
The Junior Department has been up and running successfully for the past two years, offering specialist musical education alongside a full academic curriculum. 22 students currently attend the Junior Department, each carefully selected for their musical potential. Nearly half the children are orphans and all come from families unable to pay school fees for their children. All 22 children are fully sponsored by the founder Sona Jobarteh.
CULTURAL ACADEMY EXPANSION:
Based on the rapid success of Sona Jobarteh’s “pilot” Junior School Department she is now well on the way to transitioning into founding The Gambia’s first Cultural Academy. This will be a centralized hub for the education of both children and adults, national and international in the areas of study relating to Music and Culture, whilst also providing social development opportunities for the local communities.
The site of the Academy in Kartong puts it in a perfect location close to the beach, whilst being closely connected to the rural community. The Academy will offer courses to both national and overseas students, benefiting from on-site accommodation. The project is now at development and funding stage, and we are reaching out to partner organisations, individuals and funders to come on board this pioneering enterprise.
The Academy is made up of 6 main departments, each dedicated to a specific area of artistic and cultural development. We are interested in sponsors and partners who would like to support a specific department of the campus, rather than the overall project. In this way we aim to achieve the full potential of each department of the Academy campus, by developing each department separately with its own sponsors and partners selected according to their interest and expertise.
Currently 22 students attend our Junior School, named The ABJ School Of Music. Students receive a full time academic education integrated with specialist music studies. As part of our expansion we are working to construct facilities to cater up to 120 children between the ages of 8-18 years.
Split into two campuses: The Junior department offering full time musical training to young students, and the Senior Department offering specialist services to mature and international students as well as professional musicians.
A dedicated editing suite and screening room will provide valuable training in film-making, as well collaborative opportunities. This department is dedicated to the improvement of film and multimedia coming out of the country.
Specialising in valuable resources in African literature, history, culture and music, the Library will also will support the first open-access digital audio archive of music from around Africa.
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