The concept of MASA was developed in 1990 at the Liege conference of the Ministers of Culture and Francophonie. The MASA was formally established in 1993. The two groups organized the 1993, 1995 and 1997 editions of the MASA as a biennial.
In 1998, the MASA was officially named “an international organization for the promotion of African performing arts”.
In January 1999, an agreement was signed between the Côte d’Ivoire Government and the MASA establishing its headquarters in Abidjan
The MASA is a cultural platform for promoting African Performing Arts. Its main objectives are :
To Support creativity and good quality productions
To facilitate the movement of artists and their works within Africa and throughout the world
To train artists and key professionals in the production field
To promote African Performing Arts
Over the years, the MASA has had a significant impact.
It has become an important showcase for African contemporary creation and it adds commercial value to groups and their performances.
It leads to the signing of contracts between promoters and artistic groups. In 2001, one third of the groups selected for the MASA signed at least one contract.
It has helped Performing Arts professionals to organize their sector by creating formal and informal networks
It has trained technicians to meet high standards for their work
It has been a financial success in that income has been equal to expenses
The MASA is attended by a large public in the capital city of Abidjan, particularly as more and more performances are organized outdoors.
MASA IN concerns artists and artistic groups that have been officially selected by the Internationally Artistic Committee. All expenses related to their participation are paid by the MASA (accommodation, Food, international fares and local transportation, fees paid for the performance).
MASA OFF is a platform for famous artists and less known artists not on the official selection list to perform at MASA.It is the festival part of the event. More than 200 performances in different fields are organized in Abidjan. Groups performing at the MASA OFF pay for all their expenses including airfare, accommodation, food and local transportation.
The main objectives of the MASA OFF organized by the District of Abidjan are :
Liven up the City of Abidjan;
give a festive and popular dimension to the festival;
to increase the commitment of the population;
give an opportunity to perform to groups that are not part of the official selection and groups invited to the MASA;
Encourage meetings between professionals, the population and the artists;
contribute to the development of cultural infrastructures.
Le MASA OFF or FESTIVAL targets the following categories:
Musicians and groups in the fields of dance, theater, storytelling and standup comedy;
professionals of the performing arts and journalists;
the public at large.