Skills for Culture – Strengthening Capacity in the Cultural Heritage Sector

The Skills for Culture program was first conceptualized by African Digital Heritage (ADH) in 2019 as part of the Cultural Heritage For Inclusive Growth program.
Skills for Culture is specially curated for present and future cultural heritage practitioners. It seeks to increase visibility, ownership, accessibility, inclusivity, and transmission of cultural heritage, by bolstering the status of cultural heritage and translating it for the next generation, through contemporary practice, participation and technology.

Skills for Culture – Phase I, 2019

In phase one of the program 2019, African Digital Heritage conducted research on the status of Skills Gaps in Kenya’s Cultural Heritage Industry at a national level. As a response to the research findings, a series of five in-person training units, designed to help cultural heritage practitioners become well versed in using technology to protect, promote and preserve cultural heritage, were developed. However, the training was delivered to a limited number of practitioners in Nairobi and Kisumu only, due to resource and time constraints.

2019 Report – Skills Gaps in Kenya’s Cultural Heritage Industry

Skills for Culture – Phase II, 2022

In phase two 2022, the program responded to skills gaps identified at county level. 10 years after the promulgation of the Kenyan Constitution and the implementation of the devolved system of governance, the research sought to investigate what programs are needed to support cultural heritage at a grassroots, community level. A co-created, publicly accessible toolkit was developed as a response to the findings of our research. This toolkit eliminates the constraints of having to deliver in person training and ensures that the targeted practitioners, more so those at county level, are self-taught at their own comfortable pace.

Read more on our research trip to Mombasa

African Digital Heritage team members conducting research in Mombasa County 2022 – Pictured here with the team from Swahili Pot

2022 Report: Skills For Culture – Cultural Heritage in Kenyan Counties

A toolkit for community and county cultural practitioners

Skills for Culture – Phase III, 2023

Skills for Culture III was informed by learnings garnered during both Phase I and Phase II. In this phase, ADH tailored trainings to the contexts, collections and needs of specific community-based cultural heritage programs and organizations. African Digital Heritage worked with the experts that featured in the toolkit to deliver the trainings in person; giving both the experts and the attendees a chance to learn from each other, network and tackle everyday issues that they face during program implementation.

Designed for practitioners working at community-level, the training program convened organizations from different regions in Kenya working under different thematic areas.

They included:

  • MasterMade Studios, Nairobi – Specialists in recording, production and archiving of Kenyan music.
  • NAAM Festival, Kisumu – Cultural and social justice advocates behind #JusticeforLakeVictoria
  • Kirinyaga Medicine Practitioner Association, Kirinyaga – Herbalists providing alternative curative solutions based off traditional herbal practices from the people of Kirinyaga.
  • Akamba Cultural Centre & Museum, Makueni – Specialists in the preservation of the culture of the Kamba people.
  • Samburu County Cultural Department, Samburu – County government body that engages in the promotion and preservation of Samburu culture.
  • Malindi District Cultural Association (MADCA), Malindi – Practitioners working to preserve and promote of tangible and intangible culture of Kenya’s indigenous coastal communities.

Click here for more information on the training program

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