Africa Center Celebrates African Culture and Sustainability for Fourth Year – The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Some people are looking at the intricate beadwork on display in the Works of Africa exhibit at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art for the Africa and Ale event on May 3. (Alyse Oxenford | Collegian)

Dedicated students, faculty and community members gathered at the fourth annual “Africa and Ale” on May 3 to celebrate African studies, culture and the future of sustainability.

“It’s just a celebration for faculty, students and members of our community who are interested in Africa,” said Kathleen Galvin, director of Central Africa at Colorado State University and professor in the Department of Anthropology. Galvin said the event is a thank you to the community for their support of the center during the year.

The event, held at Gregory Allicar Art Museum, was free, but donations were encouraged so that the Center could continue to organize and run events like this, providing Ethiopian cuisine Nyala food and African-style beer from Maxline Brewing, Horse & Dragon Brewing Company and Zwei Brewing Co. Fort Collins Marimba, a local band, provided traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean sounds and rhythms.

“The Africa Center represents all teachers and students working in Africa,” said Galvin. “And we also highlight the faculty and students who do research, from veterinary medicine to the arts, to conservation and everything in between. “

Francis Sopia, Graduate Research Assistant, helps create the Africa Center website to inform researchers about what kind of projects are going on in Africa, by whom and where. He says he aims to foster collaboration among people working in Africa. In addition to the site, he is also preparing to undertake his own research this summer in Maasai Mara.

“I will be doing my masters project in southwest Kenya,” Sopia said. “I’m basically going to look at the future of conservatories in the Mara.”

Conservatories, as Sopia said, is an arrangement where landowners lease land from conservation organizations so that it can be used by wildlife. The lands are kept open for the free movement of wildlife and allow animals to migrate to the original breeding areas.

There will always be African objects in it… That’s why it’s here, (it’s) this commitment to global diversity that we see in the art department.-David Relp, Assistant Professor of African Art at Colorado State University

By looking specifically at intergenerational land ownership transfers, Sopia wants to know how the younger generations who inherit land will use it.

“I am interested to know if the majority of young people in the Mara region see conservatories as a use of land,” Sopia said. “This will help explain whether the future of conservatories will still exist for the next 15 years.”

The celebration of Africa didn’t end with the African marimbas, beer or food, however. David Reip, Assistant Professor of African Art in the Department of Art and Associate Curator of African Art at the Allicar Museum, gave a tour of the Permanent Living African Art Exhibit in a new extension of the museum that will run exclusively the African art from all over the world. continent.

“It’s something important, to want to show global perspectives of art,” said Reip. “For this reason, when this extension was created, they wanted to have a permanent gallery for the African collection. There will always be African objects in it… That’s why it’s here, (it’s) this commitment to global diversity that we see in the art department.

Reip said a quarter of the exhibit will rotate continuously every six months to a year so that the public can see key pieces as well as pieces that need to be removed for preservation.

“It gives you visual literacy that is broader than just having a contemporary or European gallery,” Reip said. “See how art is an expression of peoples’ worldviews from their own parts of the world. I always tell my students that art is an expression of yourself and the world you live in.

Any opportunity to bring together and celebrate different elements of culture with new audiences can inspire new ideas for collaboration and effective planning. By promoting an image of community, events like this help unite community members to take action on issues that may not be nearby, but that have global impacts that directly affect us and our people. environment.

Lyra Wiley can be reached at or on Twitter @lyra_wiley

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