About the project

The Challenge

Constructed in 1977, the Louis Leakey Auditorium was a contemporary architectural design of its time, and was widely used for theatre, arts, dance and public speaking. However, from 2008, it became clear that the auditorium was no longer the prestigious Nairobi venue that it used to be. It was in dire need of a major face-lift.

The Intervention

The Safaricom Foundation provided a grant to the Kenya Museums Society for the renovation of the Louis Leakey Auditorium, with a view to creating a modern and competitive event facility that could be used by both the museum audience and additional new markets.

Completed in 2009, it was part of a long term rebranding process of the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) that started in 2002 that included refurbishment and modernization of its buildings and exhibitions and the preservation of Kenya’s cultural heritage, promotion of the arts, music, theatre and other forms of artistic performances that make Kenya uniquely Kenyan.

The Impact

The revamped Louis Leakey Auditorium has both theatre and performance capabilities, making it the perfect venue for performances and events in Nairobi and providing a source of significant rental income for the National Museums of Kenya. New seating and flooring has also been installed and the performance area enlarged




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Economic Empowerment

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