Director of The Performing & Visual Arts Centre Ltd, popularly called the Godown Arts Centre.
Participating in Europe Now/Europe Next
Joy is the Director of The Performing & Visual Arts Centre Ltd, popularly called the Godown Arts Centre, a young nonprofit facility providing subsidized space for Kenyan artists and public programs for local audiences.
Through appointment by the Minister of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services, she has served on the Governing Council of the Kenya Cultural Centre, under which falls the Kenya National Theatre.
She is a Trustee of Gaara Dance Foundation whose aim is to develop contemporary African dance. She has served on the Board of Trustees of Action for Music. In 2004, she received the National Women’s Council of Kenya 2004 Merit Award for her contribution to the development of the performing arts.
After university, Joy worked for 7 years as an architectural designer with a practice in Nairobi. At the same time, she joined the Kenyan pop band Musikly Speaking as lead singer. This all-woman music group made important contributions to Kenyan popular music by contemporizing traditional African folk-tunes and transforming them into popular dance music. She also became involved theatre, in particular the Phoenix Players, Nairobi, where she was both an actor and a writer/director of musicals.
Leaving the architectural profession in the early nineties, Joy re-located temporarily to Sydney Australia. Here, she pursued post-graduate studies in Voice, and upon graduation taught Voice & Text to student actors, as well as working part-time as a radio presenter on the multicultural SBS Radio in Sydney. She presented the African Hour news and was dee-jay on the world music show Alchemy. Returning to Nairobi in the late ‘90s, Joy, together with her business partners, launched two very popular and successful annual events – the Love Jam, which celebrated contemporary Kenyan musicians in a live night-long concert, and Vunja MifupaGames, a hilarious sporting event around an obstacle course.
Because of her keen interest in arts education for youth, Joy initiated a training program in performance-making for young people aged 15 to 22 years in Nairobi in 1998. This Trust, “Fame”, was among the ‘founder organizations’ of a communal arts space concept which was finally realized as the Godown Arts Centre.
Joy is married to Andrew White, Partner & Executive Creative Director of the advertising company Lowe Scanad, Nairobi. They have two teenage daughters.