Introductary remarks from Rwanda Arts initiative

Rwanda Arts Initiative (RAI) is a Kigali based non-profit organization founded in 2012 by Dorcy Rugamba. RAi is dedicated to the development of the creative sector in Rwanda by supporting cultural entrepreneurs. Recognizing the presence of talented artists, RAI has identified a need for a comprehensive ecosystem to foster their prosperity.

RAI provides various tools to young cultural entrepreneurs, including co-working spaces, a cultural project incubator, a production and distribution office, a project study laboratory, and residencies for both local and international artists. Filmmaker Joël Karekezi, for instance, conducted a residency at RAI during the preparation of his award-winning film « La Miséricorde de la Jungle » at Fespaco. Other resident artists, including Belgian and French actors François Sauveur and Marc Soriano, immersed themselves in the country through this program.

Moyo, the publishing house affiliated with RAI, translated Gaël Faye’s best-selling novel « Petit Pays » into Kinyarwanda in 2019. The work was published as a book and in audio format and on national radio.

RAI has organized several events addressing topics related to the cultural and creative industries (CCI), such as symposiums on cinema and cultural financing, held alongside the Davos Forum in Kigali. Notable activities include the 2018 « Great Black Music » exhibition in Kigali and an International Forum on architecture and cultural spaces in Africa in 2019.

RAI actively promotes the exposure of Rwandan artists, participating in events like the 2012 Récréâtrales in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and the December 2022 Parcours événements Chanel at Aïssa Dione ‘s Atiss gallery in Dakar. Lately in March, June, and October 2023, RAI showcased over a hundred Rwandan artists in Paris, including venues like Lavoir Moderne, the Grand Palais, Espace Cardin, and Théâtre de la Ville.

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