Nusantara Arts was born from the growth and success of the Buffalo Gamelan Club, an informal group existing since 2016. Nusantara Arts is the start of something bigger and even more beautiful for a group of people dedicated to the arts of Indonesia. Buffalo Gamelan Club had grown in size and community appreciation with successful shows at Kleinhans, Artpark, and dozens of other places, and with hundreds of students in Buffalo learning this new artform. Facing increasing numbers of performances and classes, and growing primarily through the use of volunteer time, Buffalo Gamelan Club founder, Matt Dunning began the process of establishing a nonprofit organization in the Spring of 2019. Approved in the Summer of 2019, with a board of engaged community members excited to support its growth, Nusantara Arts is well on it’s way to spreading this beautiful music and culture further in Buffalo and the surrounding areas.
Most gamelan that exist in the United States are sponsored by major universities with large budgets; Nusantara Arts is unique being independent from institutions. Despite this, we have done great things due to the dedication and passion of our members and donors. Many gamelan groups in the US do only one or two performances a year, and rarely outside their permanent home. Nusantara Arts plays 12-17 shows in a year, located at public venues around Buffalo and WNY. Like groups in Java, Nusantara Arts prides itself on being a community organization. We have made our home on Buffalo’s West Side will be moving into the newly-renovated Richmond Ferry Church arts and culture center when finished.