Center for World Arts

About the Center

University of Florida's Center for World Arts

The CWA promotes artistic diversity by linking local and global communities to further performance, curricula, media, research and outreach. The Center advances interdisciplinary perspectives in the arts and supports and expands the international and artistic breadth of UF's academic programs. Many programs are open to all UF students, other programs offering significant arts practice and performance opportunities, are available by audition and for majors in the School of Music and the School of Theatre + Dance.

Recognizing the diverse and interconnected nature of the contemporary world, the Center tests new paradigms of curriculum,
scholarship and cultural programming. The CWA seeks to integrate a socio-artistic aesthetic into practice and study of the arts, exploring issues of identity, migration, race, gender and privilege through the lens of the arts. By valuing both unconventional and mainstream cultural practices, and using artistic processes as critical ways of understanding and interpreting the world, the CWA helps to stimulate new modes of learning in the arts.

Artist Programs and Activities

Since 1996, the Center for World Arts has hosted numerous international performing artists, primarily through our distinctive Artists-in-Residence programs and our partnerships with such organizations as the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium (TACAC). Unique in the United States, CWA programs give students and community members the opportunity to work directly with guest artists who are masters of dance and music and who, with every technique they teach, transmit cultural lessons that deepen the world views of all involved. Central to the University of Florida with outreach to area schools, CWA residencies last from one to fifteen weeks and may culminate in premiere performances of newly commissioned works.

Center Highlights

  • 19+ international residencies
  • 200 artists from Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the U.S. 
  • Creation of classes in Guinean dance, Ghanaian dance, African contemporary dance, capoeira, Brazilian Samba, Argentine Tango, Bharata Natyam, Odissi, Hip-Hop, Flamenco, Chinese traditional dance and others
  • Convened or contributed to 12 major symposia/conferences, notably "Movement (R)Evolution Dialogues," and "Staging Identity: Latin American Music and Dance"
  • Co-presented over 50 concerts of its affiliated student ensembles, Jacaré Brazil and Agbedidi Africa
  • Produced two prize winning films: NORA and Movement (R)Evolution Africa: a story of an art form in four acts, which have been officially selected for over 220 festivals around the world and broadcast on PBS, ARTE, NRK and ZDF