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Cultural Arts Center, Zanzibar

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The Cultural Arts Centre in Stone Town gives artists and local groups the encouragement and opportunity to sell their products to tourists. You can contribute in the creative and/or organizational and economic area.

Project Details

Due to its history of various occupants and the economic focus on trade, Zanzibar has a rich and diverse cultural heritage. This is evident in the range of traditional crafts that are still being produced today, which are now popular tourist souvenirs. Tourism is an important source of revenue for Zanzibari locals. However, women and those in rural areas tend to miss out on ‘the tourist dollar’.
The Zanzibar based non-governmental organisation, FAZACH, established The Cultural Arts Centre, Zanzibar (CACZ) in Stone Town in 2008, with the goal to promote Zanzibari culture. Through CACZ, local artists and artisans from all over the island can receive training and sell products; the focus is on locally produced artwork and souvenirs made from sustainable materials, by groups such as women’s cooperatives – hence even artists and artisans from remote areas can profit from the centre and ‘the tourist dollar’. CACZ hence plays a leading role in community development and environmental responsibility.
Products include baskets, cushion covers, soaps, carvings, items made from recycled products, sustainably-farmed pearls, jewelry and so forth. In due course, the Cultural Arts Centre in Stone Town looks to become a wholesale vendor, supplying sustainable souvenirs to local hotels.
Previous volunteers have helped the CACZ by sharing their creative ideas, setting up workshops for locals and tourists, and supporting improvements in visual merchandising to optimize the exhibition of the art products. The workshops are offered to both tourists (to raise funds) and to local groups (for outreach) and include bookmaking, candle making, papermaking, painting, making accessories from paper beads, screen-printing and soap making.
Volunteers at the Cultural Art Centre can assist in:
  • Identifying innovative ways to use sustainable materials to create arts, crafts and other products

  • Conducting research about the tourist souvenir market, to understand the types of products tourists want and how much they are willing to pay

  • Product and packaging design

  • Developing promotional materials and raising awareness on the Cultural Arts Centre

  • Financial management and retail planning
  • Working with local artists in the Cultural Art Centre to help them improve their English and internet skills

  • Cataloguing the current artists presented in the CACZ and developing profiles of them to share their stories with visitors to the Art Centre

  • Strengthening the contact with communities and artists, and setting up new connections 

All volunteers and interns will work under the supervision of our team member Nell Hamilton of Sustainable East Africa. 

Volunteers interested in working for the CACZ should ideally possess a creative mind or retail skills (as financial management is also needed). The workplace offers many opportunities to develop and pursue one’s own ideas. Self-management skills are necessary.
Info Box
Location: Stone Town Zanzibar
Availability: All year
Minimum Duration: 1 Month
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Swahili
Shared Accommodation, Host Family, Hotel
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Artist, Marine Biologist
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Either professionally appropriate experience and/or appropriate studies
Further Contribution To Project: One-time additional contribution of 50 USD
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: Matching skills that are useful for CACZ
Further Contribution To Project: One-time additional contribution of 50 USD
Motivation, Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

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