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HISTORY

 

NOTA-project is a mutual, inter-cultural collaboration promotion network involving the Tasisi ya Sanaa na Utamaduni Bagamoyo (TaSUBa), Tanzania, University of Stavanger (UiS), Department of Music and Dance and Stavanger School of Culture (SSC), Norway. It started as an aid project following a request from BCA. During the process the character changed to become a collaboration network.

 

The name NOTA was established in 1999. It was students at the Institution then known as Bagamoyo College of Arts (BCA)who came up with the suggestion. The idea was that this is a collaboration project and then they combined the two first letters in Norway and the two first in Tanzania.

 

The idea to establish the NOTA-project dates back to the summer of 1996 when Hanne Maeland who was a teacher at Stavanger School of Music and the Faculty of Arts Education at the Stavanger University College, was on a five-week study residency in Tanzania. During this period she came in contact with a number of artists, cultural institutions and organizations including the BCA; a college that specialize in music, dance and drama. Through the conversation it became clear that the management at BCA felt a great need to elevate the standards at the college, and that they saw it as imperative to obtain external assistance in order to achieve this. After a series of meetings between Hanne Maeland and the management of BCA, they were in complete agreement that it ought to be possible to bring about a collaboration between BCA and Stavanger School of Music and Stavanger University College.

 

In December 1999 an agreement to establish a long term collaboration programme was reached. The Principals of BCA and SSC and the Dean of the School of Arts Education, SUC signed the Memorandum of Understanding in June 2001 while the contract between NORAD and the NOTA Board was signed in October and November, 2001 respectively.

 

 

The project’s focus was development and building up professional competence in the field of modern music. Modern music in Tanzania includes all music that is not traditional Tanzanian music. It means that Western music, jazz, classical, brass music etc. are all covered in terms of modern music.

 

BCA also focused on building “something new from the old”. It is important to preserve the traditional music, but it is equally important to be able to work in a creative process and develop new Tanzanian music built on Tanzania’s on culture and traditions, instead of just copying music from different parts of the world.

 

Very early in the project it was noticed that to make lasting changes in the departments, it needed to be linked to organizational development at the institution.

 

In the beginning of the project the focus was to a large extent on the aid aspect. It slowly changed into a more equal development co-operation. The project has clearly had ripple effects for the Norwegian institutions. The global perspective and internationalization have been given more and more attention. Co-operation across departmental borders, new thinking about own activities and desire to gain knowledge about the ways in which others work was more often expressed. The personnel and management in the institutions started to formulate concrete wishes for what they would like to gain from the project, and the project changed from being an aid project to being a cooperation project.