Jamestown School of Art and Culture lets children use creativity to engage with their community - it needs your support to keep it going stronger than ever.
In January 2017, I visited Ghana. Little did I know how a guided tour around Jamestown, which is one of the oldest parts of Accra, would unsettle me. Emmanuel Markhansen (Samuah), guide, artist and arts educator, didn't only show me the fishing village and its hundreds of years' old community, but also the Sempe 1 and 2 Primary school where he gives voluntary arts classes. Having children of a similar age, how could I not relate to the need to foster creativity.
But he does it after school, in voluntary classes and at times without adequate materials. The children need paper, pencils, and other arts materials. Not only to keep them working over the year, but especially now to help them prepare for the Chale Wote Street Festival 2017, taking place 14-20 August. Chale Wote Street Festival Website.
Each year, Samuah works with children from this and other schools and sets up the Jamestown School of Art and Culture. Together they create art works which from part of the annual Chale Wote Street Festival. Making art together gives them skills, let's them discover talents, enhances their confidence and promotes a sense of community for all involved.
They are little, but together they are proud to take part in the festival. Again, they need materials to realise their ambitious projects.
Help - so that the over 30,000 visitors to the festival can see what children of all ages can do!
Having worked in the arts all my life and being a university lecturer at an art school in London, I want to help these children as it is a simple way for us to make a big difference to them. I know the school, the teacher and the organisers of the festival and can ensure that all your donations will go where they are meant to go. I will work with Samuah to discuss what we buy and will keep everyone up to date throughout.
For a professional account of my visit to Ghana see my article for Apollo online.
I can't wait to go to Ghana again this August to see what we can achieve and to listen to see how the children's stories unfold.