The Fondation Festival sur le Niger (Ségou) was founded in 2009 with the aim to sustain and further develop the advances the Festival sur le Niger has made for the arts in Ségou and beyond.
After its inception in 2005, the Festival sur le Niger quickly became the largest cultural event in Mali and, indeed, West Africa. With its rich program, spanning music, dance, theater, visual arts, and more, the festival has boosted cultural life in Ségou and stopped the exodus of artists to Bamako, the nation’s capital, and abroad.
By training young artists and cultural entrepreneurs throughout Africa, providing deep mentoring and support, producing artistic work, and developing distribution circuits, the Fondation sur le Niger strengthens the whole spectrum of culture and arts in Mali and Africa at large. Their collaborative way of working, a practice they call Maaya entrepreneurship, brings traditional humanist Maaya philosophy to contemporary society and culture.
Among the many projects the foundation has initiated is the Centre Culturel Kôrè. Established in 2011, the center gets its name from Kôrè, the supreme level of knowledge in Bamanan culture. Related to Kôrè, the Kôrèdugaw is a rite combining humor, wit, and wisdom. Children are prepared to cope with life and society through the values expressed by the Kôrèdugaw, such as respect for others, mutual help, knowing oneself in both happy and difficult times, and the absolute rejection of violence.