Sometime in 2003, the journey to convert a disused yard which previously was a cars-repair warehouse into a creative space for varied arts-inclined disciplines, commenced.

Over a decade later, anyone keen to indulge or participate in artistic activities within the Kenyan capital Nairobi, is at some point - bound to find their way to the GoDown Arts Centre, located in the city's fringes.

Besides having an auditorium, subsidized visual artists studios and contemporary dance rehearsal space - the centre hosts numerous arts and media organizations.These include Ketebul recording studio, Tazama TV programmes project, NairoBits software initiative, Buni TV [XYZ puppetry production series] and the Kenya Music Conservatoire Annex.

A variety of gigs - contemporary dance performances, live music concerts, creatives' workshops, visual art and photographic exhibitions, feature regularly on the GoDown's events calendar. Most of these activities are open to the public.

At the onset, the centre was a popular rehearsal space for acrobatic troupes, prior to being a fully fledged artistic platform. By virtue of facilitation and fostering collaborative encounters between artists from various disciplines and different parts of the world, the growth, recognition and visibility of local creatives is significantly enhanced.

The Jok-a-Jok Dance Company shows and the Nairobi County Manjano Visual Arts Exhibition & Art Prize competition are among GoDown's initiatives. Manjano is an annual showcase of visual art paintings, installations and sculptures, with cash prizes up for grabs for student and established artists categories.

The exhibition provides exposure for particularly little-known Nairobi-based artists; to wider audiences hence it is an avenue to market their artworks. In the past half decade, the GoDown has forged a partnership with Kenya Conservatoire of Music, chipping in support for budding classical instrumentalists with bursaries for chart music lessons.

The centre promotes artistic programs, which are relevant to local communities. One such initiative is the annual Nairobi's neighbourhoods Dunda Mtaani [bounce in the hood] music festival - held in various localities within city estates.

So far, the event has been staged in Buruburu, California, Huruma, Korogocho, Kibera, Kawangware and Riruta. The musicians connect to their various community audiences where they grew up - inspiring youngsters to believe they too can make it.

Local youth groups utilize the platform, sharing same stage with professional artists. It is an opportunity to showcase their artistic talents through music, dance and acrobatic displays.

Graffiti art at the GoDown