Iruke Institute International

The Iruke Institute International is a center for arts-based research into African-centered spirituality. The Institute’s mission is to promote the discovery and recovery of America’s African ancestral heritage through the exploration of the creativity, spirituality and politics of Africa and its Diaspora. The Institute is led by Butterfly Williams, MFA, PhD, an expert in the decolonization of culture through creativity.

Group of black males sitting around a table
“The Alchemy of Manhood,” an arts-based workshop on healthy masculinity, led by Dr. Butterfly, co-sponsored by the Institute, and presented at the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center.

Founded in 2009, the Institute was previously known as The Iruke Project, a multimedia production company that explored social justice and sustainable communities through theater, music, and video. The Project, collaborating often but not only with LGBTQ communities of color, has presented its work in art galleries, psychology conferences, health organizations, and community centers, in addition to traditional performance venues. The Institute continues the Project’s work of creating multimedia productions, facilitating workshops, and hosting community forums, while producing research publications, online courses, and social media.






“The Beat,” a music video produced by the Institute for the psychedelic art pop duo OLOKUN

A man and woman visit two sound healers who upload their consciousness into an Ancient Egyptian video game – and a confrontation with the ancestors and the gods ensues!


Video & photo courtesy of Artistic Director Butterfly Williams