About Kutsinhira

Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center was founded in 1990 as a non-profit school dedicated to studying, teaching and sharing the music of Zimbabwe.


The core purposes of Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center are:


  • Teaching and sharing the music of Zimbabwe by providing classes, workshops, performances and lectures
  • Community outreach by providing musical and cultural arts instruction and performance to its local and extended community
  • Providing humanitarian relief to disadvantaged communities in Zimbabwe through the Zimbabwe Community Development Project
Kutsinhira was created at the encouragement of Dr. Dumisani Maraire, the Zimbabwean musician who introduced his nation’s music to the Pacific Northwest in the late 1960’s. Dumi, who was studying at the University of Washington at that time, was Kutsinhira’s first teacher. Today Kutsinhira offers marimba and mbira classes to youth and adults as well as provides musical performances and cross cultural experiences. Committed to authenticity in representing the music and culture of Zimbabwe, Kutsinhira regularly hosts Zimbabwean master musicians to teach and perform in the area.  In 2002 Kutsinhira initiated the Zimbabwe Community Development Project providing tangible assistance in health and education to some of Zimbabwe’s most vulnerable people.

Kutsinhira operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit, and is largely volunteer- run and financially self-funded. An administratively involved Board of Directors meets on a quarterly basis.

The logo for Kutsinhira Center is the traditional Zimbabwean instrument called an mbira held in a gourd resonator. The Shona word kutsinhira refers to a musical part on a mbira that responds to the main line of a song (kushaura). Taken together, they are a metaphor for the idea that a note struck in Zimbabwe reverberates with us here in the United States.


Gary Spalter – Executive Director
Kay Burdick – Education Facilitator
Karen Howe – Facilities Manager
Craig LaFollette – Instruments Manager
Gary Spalter – Performance Coordinator


Eli Calalang-LaCroix
Caleb Donahue
Gary Spalter
Wanda Walker
Bud Cohen (former)
Ratie Dangarembwa (former)
Maggie Donahue (former)
Chris Halaska (former)
Joel Lindstrom (former)
John Mambira (former)
Marilyn Mohr (former)
Jake Roberts (former)
Mandy Walker-LaFollette (former)


Nancy Novitski – President
Marilyn Mangus – Secretary
Dennis Urso – Treasurer
Marilyn Kolodziejczyk – Zimbabwe Liaison
Chris Donahue
Maggie Donahue (Director Emeritus)
Betsy Priddle
Lynne Swift
Mark Swift

Contact Us

Executive Director

Gary Spalter

Mailing Address

Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center
P.O. Box 50823
Eugene, OR 97405

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