Nyanga Arts and Development Centre (NADC) is a project initiated by the Nyanga Arts Initiative (NAI), a group of former Nyanga Art Centre founder members, whose sole intention was to contribute to arts development, skills development and enterprise development in the Nyanga community and surrounding areas, using the arts as catalyst. The long term plan was to build an Arts Centre for the community with the strong focus on the youth, women, children and disabled persons.
The NADC’s aspiration was to make this project not only an Arts focal point but an Arts Institution/Academy, which will be the home and heart of all artists around the community of Nyanga and the Western Cape at large. Blessed with a pool of artistic skills within our community, the NADC intend to haul these fragmented concerns into a citadel that NADC is, thereby creating an environment conducive for skill cross fertilization, between the young, old, professional artist and funders.
The NADC has a long and illustrious history of 40 years as a successful Arts Development enterprise in Nyanga, Cape Town. The NADC’s focus is on enabling children and the youth, women and physically challenged persons through the arts to have a positive social impact in the community. This active art initiative, was founded in 1979 to promote arts development, skills training and enterprise initiatives using visual and performing arts, at first the project was known, as the Nyanga Arts Centre operating from an old farm house on the site, currently owned by the organization on erf 1931.
The centre was run by seven self-taught voluntary artists and has been a thriving nursery which unearthed some remarkably young talented people, such as Herbie Tsoali, well known Jazz Musician, Thembinkosi Goniwe, and an Academic, Curator and Art Historian and many more young people thriving in different professional careers. The organization was supported by several individuals such as Lucy Alexander, Claire Graaff, Victor Honey, David and Sue Sonnenberg, Mr. Wilson an Accountant as well as the UCT Department of Fine Arts, The University of Stellenbosch faculty of Arts and the IZIKO South African National Gallery.
During 1986 the WitDoeke faction fighting in Crossroads, traversed to Nyanga and the old farm house was vandalized, because it accommodated refugees running away from the violence, unleashed by the Apartheid State. In 1994 an arts facility was temporary built, the work and functioning of the Nyanga Arts Centre was again interrupted by the social upheaval of 1996/7 again coming from Crossroads/KTC and New Crossroads and this facility was also vandalized.