We combine our love for Guinean dance and drum with our desire to give back to communities in need, partnering education with cultural exchange.

 

Our Mission

Our goal is to aid Guineans to reach their highest potential.

Whether the goal is to be first in their family lineage to read and write, or to start a brand new business to support the needs of their community and feed households, Guinea Exchange is here to help achieve goals.

We do this through a profound respect for Guinea culture and capacity.  

Our programs help send students to school, teach trades and fund budding entrepreneurs. These things that Americans take for granted are precious to the Guinean population and your donation of just $30.00 a month is making a world of difference.


Our founder

“We are directly connected with these communities through our love of Guinea drum and dance.”

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I founded Guinea Exchange in 2013, after my second visit to Guinea, West Africa where I studied dancing and drumming of the tribal cultures there. Those experiences inspired me to make a commitment to give back to this culture that brings so much joy through their artistic expression.  I travel to Guinea often to oversee projects and reconnect with the Guinean culture. My trips have given me opportunity to become familiar with the people, culture and needs of this region. My 20 years experience as a bookkeeper and 4 years as Treasurer of a non-profit Montessori school ensures Guinea Exchange's fiduciary transparency.  Back in the US, I work to expand the love for Guinean culture in Montana through sharing West African dancing and drumming in elementary schools, dance/drum classes, performances and fundraisers. I am wholeheartely dedicated to the people of Guinea and the way of life they express.

Kelly Ann Brown


Our Staff & Board of Directors

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MAMADY MANSARE

Administrator 

Mamady is our fearless leader.  He handles all of the details and implementation of our programs.  Mamady has a deep understanding of the culture and people of Guinea.  His caring for his people is the driving force for Guinea Exchange.    

Mamady is also the lead flute player for the Ballet Africains in Conakry Guinea coming from a tremendously long lineage of flutists.  

Mamady and his wife Sarah Lee split their time between Seattle, WA and Guinea West Africa. They teach dance classes all over the country and share Guinea culture everywhere they through their organization One World Drum and Dance.

They lead cultural trips to Guinea every year, hosting guests in their home and villages. Please consider joining them on one of these trips.

http://www.oneworlddance.com/travel-to-guinea-compare.aspx

Photo taken in 2014 in Dembayara by trip participant Emily Sandefur

Photo taken in 2014 in Dembayara by trip participant Emily Sandefur

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DANI DOANE

Dani is one of our founding board members who works in downtown Washington, DC at a prominent think tank. Her 15 years of experience working in the non-profit sector bring Guinea Exchange an in depth understanding of communications and promotion.

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KATHRYN BOWEN

Kathryn has been in practice for over 8 years as a Licensed clinical professional counselor in Bozeman. She graduated with a Masters in Counseling from Montana State University.

She currently resides in Bozeman with her husband.

Her former career as a Certified Public Accountant specializing in non profit accounting coupled with her understanding of child and family psychology offer Guinea Exchange insight and guidance as a founding Board Member.


ADVISORY BOARD

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EMILY SANDEFUR

Emily, originally from Kentucky, lives in the mountain community of Bozeman, Montana. She holds a bachelor's degree in Spanish Literature from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana and is a certified Montessori teacher at Middle Creek Montessori School. 

In 2014, after years of studying African dance, Emily traveled to Guinea, West Africa. She was immersed in the culture of African drumming, dancing and life. Touched by the warmth and openness of the West African people, Emily returned dedicated to helping support the children and families of Guinea through Guinea Exchange.

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JACKIE GILMORE

Jackie lives in Bozeman, Montana with her husband and 2 children. She works part time as videographer shooting weddings and freelancing for a local production company.

On the side she is an instructor at Main Street Fitness and guides people to reach their health goals.

Jackie is passionate about African dance and is thrilled to be involved with Guinea Exchange.

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KAREN FUNKE

Karen joined Guinea Exchange board bringing passion and advocacy for international health and literacy education. 

She currently holds a bachelor of science degree in community health education, from the university of Wisconsin, LaCrosse and is working toward her masters degree in adult education at Montana State University. 

Karen is the owner of Essential Vitality, an essential oils company dedicated to healing and empowering people to take charge of their health care.

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HEIDI LEA

Heidi Lea, based in Bozeman, Montana has practiced and performed African dancing for over 20 years. 

Her passion has been with sharing the community and ritual aspects of rites of passage through the creative arts. 

She also works as a project manager within the information technology industry. Heidi studied abroad at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, and graduated from Washington State University with a BA in Managing Information Systems with a minor in Fine Arts, Electronic Imaging.