UANÁ is based in Tervuren/Belgium and was created by international artists who share a common goal: to produce art in order to help people in need worldwide.
“The founding deed of the non-profit association was published in the “Moniteur Belge” on 30/01/2018”
Initially, the association aimed to provide financial support for children from the favelas and ‘backlands’ of Brazil, by promoting concerts, art exhibitions and album releases.
Today, the main focus is on pedagogical and artistic support of social welfare projects using music and art as a way to social integration of children and teenagers from the poorest regions of Brazil.
The word UANÁ means “firefly” in Tupy Guarany, the native language of the Brazilian Indians.
This is exactly what we want to be: a group bringing light and supporting those who enlighten the lives of others.
The initiative to create the Uaná Association for the Arts came from pianist SYLVIA THEREZA and from composer and flutist VICTOR SOMMA.
The idea arose in 2008 as a result of their work as volunteers in social projects for children of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Through this experience, they decided to use their talent and part of their time bringing these children a better social situation and education, by organizing charity concerts and by bringing together other artists who share the same ideal.
In addition, bringing the children into contact with music, they believe that musical talents will no longer be lost due to lack of opportunities.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Sylvia has been performing since the age of six as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, South Korea and Japan.
Her musical talent is widely recognized by the public and music critics.
Sylvia defends an approach to art in which the artistic experience can fulfil a social mission.
This has led her to perform both in prestigious venues as well as in some of the most deprived regions of the world.
Besides the concert scene, Sylvia felt the need, from an early age, to develop a special methodology that combines philosophical depth, playful experimentation and the resilient side of art.
This way of experiencing art brought her close to the internationally praised pianist Maria João Pires, who invited her to become her assistant professor at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium; from 2012 to 2016.
Through her social commitment and musical philosophy, Sylvia developed an innovative project that brought classical music to more than 12,000 underprivileged children in her native country, Brazil.
This work has the support of well-known artists and of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil.
Over the last decades, eminent musicians and renowned ensembles have been playing his works in Europe and South America.
Victor Somma is dedicated to the search of a new paradigm for contemporary composition in which music becomes (again) a tool for inner expression and a path to spirituality.
Victor Somma is currently the leader of the Musical Workshop of the “Chorales Equinox” in Belgium, founded by pianist Maria João Pires and now supported by the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
This workshop is devoted to teenagers suffering from psychiatric disorders, in specialised institutions and in prisons.
Since 2011 he has been working with underprivileged children in favelas, as well as in asylum centres and prisons in Brazil and Belgium.
This volunteer work has not only influenced his compositional style, but also opened the perspective to an artistic ‘credo’ in which art can lead to social integration and human transformation.
In 2019, Uaná started a collaboration with the project Orquestra nas Escolas (Orchestras in schools), a non-governmental foundation working in 52 primary and secondary urban schools in Rio de Janeiro.
Through a musical education programme, this project reaches about 15,000 children and teenagers from the favelas and high-risk areas of the city and in this way contributes to promoting their social contacts and their quality of life; so far there are 3 symphony orchestras, a big band, a choir and a folk music group.
Uaná’s role is to help this young people to reach the highest artistic level and to promote an international cultural exchange.
This exchange has the institutional support of the Belgian Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, and of Brazilian and Belgian entrepreneurs, who are currently setting up their cooperation with Uaná and with the foundation Orquestra nas Escolas.
The work of the missionary Gelson dos Santos in these places has changed the lives of hundreds of children and their families, who live there in the most difficult social conditions.
He set up a support centre and organised a food bank, basic schooling, sports and free medical care by volunteers.
This work is still ongoing and allows hundreds of children to hope for a better future.
Concerts are organised in Belgium, Swizerland, Italy, USA and Brazil to raise funds for the projects, in cooperation with volunteers, sponsors and local authorities.
These concerts have so far been performed by well-known musicians who live in Belgium, such as Sylvia Thereza, Judith Ermert, Ning Kam, Victor Somma and Alan Weiss.
To support the fundraising for charity works, the UANÁ music label was launched in 2018, which is a phonographic and audio-visual brand that has already realised various works (CD albums, orchestrations and music videos), performed by Alan Weiss, Berten D’Hollander, Sylvia Thereza and Judith Ermert.
These editions received very good reviews in the specialised media.
The Belgian painter Ward Lernout created a series of large semi-abstract paintings, inspired by the bright colours of the flowers of the Amazon and Pantanal.
As a neighbour of Sylvia and Victor, the idea arose to use this artistic contribution to support their charitable association by donating the benefit from the sale of these paintings entirely to UANÁ.To know more about the works of Ward Lernout :
A partnership with the Belgian consulate allows for an artistic exchange and cooperation with famous musicians, residing in Belgium, who participate in the projects of Uaná.
Music Fund is a Belgian humanitarian organization that supports musicians, music schools and socio-artistic projects in conflict zones and in developing countries, as well as in Belgium.
The recent partnership with Music Fund allows to bring a large number of musical instruments to Brazilian children who are part of the Uaná projects.
LUCA is a group of art schools offering a wide range of artistic training courses, on five campuses, spread across Flanders and Brussels. LUCA works with many partners in Belgium and abroad, and employs a team of renowned artists, designers and researchers. LUCA strives to be a centre of excellence in the field of artistic research.
Our cooperation with LUCA, associated with the famous KU-Leuven, will create a special pedagogical and artistic link with the projects supported by Uaná.
Kumesa (Art for a More Human Society) is a voluntary collaboration of a number of people united in their pluralistic commitment to democracy; they reflect their desire on how the artistic and cultural values of freedom, equality, solidarity and mutual respect can contribute to a more humane society.