A Toolkit for Cultural Heritage Practitioners

This toolkit is specially curated for cultural heritage practitioners working at community level. It is informed by the Cultural Heritage in Kenyan Counties Report and  provides a step-by-step guide for practitioners looking to improve their programs, with insights from fellow community-based cultural heritage experts.

The toolkit provides pointers on: 

1: Strategic Partnerships: 

The Skills for Culture – Cultural Heritage in Kenyan Counties Report (2022) noted a rise in the number of collaborations and strategic partnerships for the promotion of cultural heritage in counties of Kenya. These strategic partnerships happen between county government departments, national government administrations at county level, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society groups, development partners, and community-based organizations, among others.

In this section, Anne Eboso, founder of Rusinga Festival, takes us through what it takes to bring together and work with several strategic partners for the seamless execution of cultural heritage projects.

2: Fundraising: 

The Skills for Culture – Cultural Heritage in Kenyan Counties Report (2022), reported that financing for culture remains low, making it difficult to bring about transformational change anticipated in the Kenya’s Vision 2030 blueprint. Although this can be attributed to many factors, several practitioners pointed out the need to improve their skills on how to put together a funding proposal in order to raise capital and resources to support their work.

George Gachara, founding partner at HEVA Fund, in this section, takes us through the consideration one needs to be cognizant of as they put together a funding proposal.

3: Digitization

According to the Skills for Culture – Cultural Heritage in Kenyan Counties Report (2022), a majority of actors in the art, culture and heritage space adopting digital methods of promotion and preservation practice largely by self-initiative, observation, reading, trial and error and continuous improvement.

To help improve the digitization and archival management capacities of practitioners, Chao Tayiana from African Digital Heritage, gives us a step-by-step introduction course on what it takes to digitize collections and the opportunities that come with it.

4: Community Engagement

Culture is very much community owned. In this regard, it is important to involve the community at all stages of implementing cultural heritage programs. Well executed participatory methods ensure the successful implementation of programs.

In this section, Raphael Igombo – Head of Education and Public Programs at Fort Jesus, takes us through how to co-create and co-implement successful cultural heritage programs in the counties. Programs that the communities will revere, and in some cases, benefit economically from.

5: Oral History

African Digital Heritage is a non-profit organization working to encourage a more critical, holistic and knowledge-based approach to digital solutions within African heritage. They work to cement the place of African culture in an era of rapidly changing technologies and endless frontiers. One of their focus areas is the use of oral histories to re-imagine and re-define archives. Examples include the use of oral histories to map and reconstruct detention camps from Kenya’s emergency period, and using audio archives to re-document how Africa is portrayed in books.

In this section, ADH takes us through how to build an audio archive, and things to consider before, during and after the process.

6: County Mandate

One of the main themes that emerged from The Skills for Culture – Cultural Heritage in Kenyan Counties Report (2022) was a lack of expertise on how to come up with a county cultural mandate. In this section, Mutua Mulonzya takes us through how Makueni County came up with one; ensuring that there is continuity in cultural programs, irrespective of who is in office. He spotlights what resources to take account of and possible challenges practitioners may face, while trying to successfully implement their county cultural mandate.

Find out more about the Skills For Culture project here

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