The Central Asian Network for Arts and Culture (formerly the Central Asian Academy of Arts) was established in 2003 to foster the growth of cultural activity in Central Asia, both by protecting cultural heritage and by creating new outlets for arts and crafts in the region. CANAC’s primary goals include preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage by consolidating the efforts of local cultural scholars and organizations; training artists and arts advocates; using the arts to confront social problems; fostering intercultural dialogue among ethnic communities; and presenting Central Asian arts and crafts at world cultural events. Along with a variety of other forums, meetings, and conferences, CANAC has since 2006 co-sponsored the annual Oimo Festival (Oimo meaning “ornament” or”pattern” in Kyrgyz), which takes place in and around Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, every summer.
A 2018 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported the development of the Dilmuras Center of Traditional Knowledge, which is a communicational platform at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bishkek. They present traditional Kyrgyz knowledge of ethnography, health care, diet, and culture to young people via presentations, master classes, exhibitions, and contests. Video presentations are also disseminated among schools in the region.
A 2016 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported the creation of a crafts center in the Leilek region of Kyrgyzstan to promote the unique carpet-making crafts of Kyrgyz, Tajik, and Uzbek craftsmen on the local and international levels. The grant fostered partnership and networking amongst the three countries in the Leilek border region. The center will promote the trade and exhibition of local crafts and host seminars, meetings, musical concerts, and video presentations in support of art, design, and craft-making.
A 2015 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported the Silk Roads Arts Festival, which aims to foster intercultural exchange among Central Asian communities, and the Oimo Crafts Festival.
A 2014 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported the production of the Silk Road Arts Festival.
A 2013 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network promoted CANAC’s Culture and Advocacy program, which trains young women and girls in craftsmanship and arts advocacy.