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Becoming Artfully AWARE: Linking Local and International Communities through the Arts

January 5, 2012
Artfully AWARE  Connect. Collaborate. Change.
12/2011 10th Issue 
SAVE THE DATE: Friday, February 3, 2012 from 5pm-10pm
Becoming Artfully AWARE: Linking Local and International Communities through the Arts

Artfully AWARE (AfA) will take over the New Orleans Museum of Art for a special event. For a night that will celebrate the rich diversity of New Orleans, children and adults from across the community and the world have contributed artwork and creative writing that will be displayed in the Great Hall and surrounding galleries. The evening begins with a performance by the Mardi Gras Indian tribe, the Guardians of the Flame. Michael Watson, the musical director of Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, will play with a four-piece band, and the New Orleans Dance Collective will perform an inspiring dance piece based on unity.

Visitors can interact with professional writers and artists from A Studio in the Woods, catch a literary reading organized by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, listen to original poetry and prose read by students from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, view photography that reflects the Sierra Club‘s local environmental efforts, hear speakers from the Young Leadership Council and watch short films selected by FosterBear Films that explore the vital role of the arts in society. One Million Bones, a hands-on art initiative that raises genocide awareness, will exhibit an installation that contains thousands of handmade bones.

The Odgen Museum of Southern Art will display their Artists and Sense of Place exhibit, which pairs students with artists to explore the influence of situation and geography on their lives, and the Contemporary Arts Center will show a short film, alongside a selection of handmade masks, about self identity, produced by their talented Youth Group.

“Adults and children strengthen their minds and abilities through creative stimulation,” says Hilary Wallis, Executive Director of Artfully AWARE. “Our goal is to welcome a cross section of community members under one roof, so we can celebrate our uniqueness as well as what makes us relate to the rest of the world. We want to express why arts and culture are so vitally important, and emphasize their positive impact on society.”

All visitors will receive a booklet of poems, short stories, and visual art created by AfA participants. Food and drink will be available from Ralph Brennan’s Café NOMA.

For this event, Artfully AWARE is collaborating with the New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council (NOCDC), the World Trade Center of New Orleans (WTC), Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society and the World Affairs Council of New Orleans (WACNO). Special thanks also to the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), Ogden Museum of Southern Art, A Studio in the Woods, Young Leadership Council (YLC), One Million Bones, FosterBear Films, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), New Orleans Dance Collective and the Sierra Club.

Cultural Exchange and The ForestIt has a been a busy year for AfA UK, as we have settled into our new home in Bristol. We are pleased to introduce Python Hill Primary School in Nottinghamshire, who have begun an exciting new relationship with our community in Gulu, Northern Uganda. Cultural exchanges are underway, and we look forward to developing innovative new projects for the children to collaborate on.

We have teamed up with Alchemy Productions, a production company that specializes in outdoor arts, festivals and circus. We are creating an arts and environmental awareness project called The Forest, a 12 month unique intervention that will take place in Bristol from December 2013 – 2014.

Using trees as a universal representation for growth, change and renewal, our project aims to unite our community, education and business sectors. It will provide a local, national and international platform to raise awareness of environmental issues such as sustainability and climate change whilst encouraging people to become responsible, active global citizens.

Emily Hatfield, UK Director

Storybook and Business MentoringOur Ugandan based AfA Africa Team continues to work closely with our UK and US based members to develop sustainable educational programs for our Tororo and Gulu communities. An incredible summer training led to the creation of our AfA Storybook, a project that encouraged community members to write, paint and perform about their personal stories consisting of family, positive health and peace & reconciliation after the 20 year civil war. The book is currently under design and will be published and ready for purchase early next year in both English and Acholi.

We have already begun some exciting new partnerships, including providing educational workshops for World Vision and The AIDS Support Organization (TASO). We are working on developing a business mindset in our community members, such as starting up investment clubs to bring business ideas to the market so they can expand their financial power. Crucial to this is improving the quality of artwork and crafts that are currently being produced by workshop participants and finding additional outlets to market them.

Brian Pade, UG Communications


New Look, New WebsiteAs the years have passed, AfA has grown into new shoes and spread larger wings. We are thrilled to announce that we will have a brand new website that will bring followers closer to the work we do and provide an image that accurately expresses where we’re heading. Stay tuned. Website launches at the start of the new year!
AfA Short Animation FilmSpring 2012 will be the debut of our new Artfully AWARE short animation film designed and produced by a UK based animation team. Our film will bring AfA’s message to a whole new audience. Many thanks go to the team that include ex-Aardman Animation’s trained CGI directors and animators.

Make a difference. Connect. Collaborate. Change. Become Artfully AWARE.  •   •

Artfully AWARE is an international not for profit organization that connects communities, collaborates with local partners and generates positive change in peoples lives through advocacy events and innovative community development projects.Our philosophy is to inspire each one of us to recognize our power as an individual to promote change. Whether advocating for human rights, facilitating educational workshops or teaching income generating skills in rural communities, we bring a creative global perspective to society.Donate Here

501(c)(3) Public Charity, USA  •  Community Interest Company, UK #6589913


Shades of Healing

October 14, 2011

Contact: Alexander Rowe
Uptown Holistic Center
(847) 312-1298
Uptown Holistic

Shades of Healing
Alexander Rowe, LLC in conjunction with the Uptown Holistic Center welcome “Shades of Healing” an exhibition of works presented by the non-profit organization Artfully AWARE. The exhibit opens with a reception on Friday Oct. 14th from 7-10 p.m. The pianist, Blake Stokes will perform. Artfully AWARE uses art for social improvement and emotional recovery of persons who have experienced traumatic events, disabilities and/or inadequate living conditions. The artwork on display will consist of colors, tones, and hues which emote comfort, solace, and enlightenment in your being.

What: Reception “Shades of Healing” Hosted by Alexander A Rowe Massage Therapist, LLC
In conjunction with Artfully AWARE
When: October 14, 2011
Where: Uptown Holistic Center
723 Hillary St. New Orleans, LA 70118
Time: 7-10pm
Snacks and drinks provided

New Orleans’ Business and Social Network for Women

October 13, 2011

Women & Wine on Wednesdays connects women:
for building new relationships and for re-connecting old ones, through a unique facilitated forum – an ideal opportunity for women in New Orleans who are striving to balance their own needs with those of their families, jobs, community involvement.  The monthly events fulfill an ongoing and critical need for women to be able to share resources and discover new opportunities as they transition through the many stages of their lives, providing access to a larger network of both business,social, and community connections – for the growth and development of their professional and personal lives.

Wine, for centuries, has proven to liven the senses, cause thoughts to flow, and enhance friendly idea exchanges – so wine is a perfect accompaniment, blending to foster a relaxed and welcoming environment for sharing resources, idea exchanges, and a great reason to take time to maintain their own personal overall well-being.

Events are held each month on the third Wednesday. There are no dues or fees to participate.
Come enjoy a glass of wine, catch-up with old friends, or meet new ones.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.


Mia’s Balcony
1622 Saint Charles Ave.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Phone: 504-301-9570

This month’s featured non-profit:

Artfully Aware –

To find out how your business can be a sponsor
or to have your non-profit featured,
send an email to

This month’s wine specials for $5 a glass:

Colome Torrentes,

Pascual Toso Malbec,

Words and Music – A Literary Feast in New Orleans, Louisiana November 9 – 13, 2011

October 8, 2011

The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, a non-profit literary organization devoted to assisting and providing first class literary entertainment for educated readers, announces that it is joining with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Loyola University: Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the University of New Orleans: Latin American Studies to give Words & Music, 2011 an exciting salsa flavor. The festival will include important Hispanic/Latino authors in its array of literary headliners and events. The theme for general public sessions will be Literature & Life in the Global Village. Cuban-American writer and activist in the cause of worldwide human rights Armando Valladares will be keynote speaker, introduced by poet Amy Serrano. at the Society’s black tie gala, Faulkner for All, on Nov.11. Valladares, shown at top, wrote the bestselling memoir Against All Hope about his 22 years as a prisoner of conscience in Cuba. After his release, President Reagan appointed him U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations for Human Rights. He remains active in human rights causes today. Joining him at Words & Music will be two Latino winners of the Pulitzer Prize. Novelist Junot Diaz, left, of Dominican heritage and author of The Brief, Wondrous, Life of Oscar Wao, will appear at three events on Nov.10: a Master Class, Literature & Lunch, and Q. & A. following a live stage adaptation of his novel by The American Place Theatre of New York, starring: noted Latino actor Elvis Nolasco. Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz, above, will do a performance reading from his Pulitzer Prize play, Anna in the Tropics at the Old U. S. Mint on Saturday evening, November 12. The gala performance reading will be followed by an intermission for Mojitas. Then, Cruz will participate on stage in a conversation about stage writing with playwright John Biguenet. He will be guest of honor at After Hours at the Napoleon House later that night.

Friday, November 11, Featuring Armando Valladares 

7:00 p. m. – Hotel Monteleone, Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom


The Faulkner Society’s annual meeting and salute to all great writers,past, present, and yet to come.
Black Tie Gala. Part One, Keynote Address only, is included in Writers’ Tuition. $25, General Public, Students, $12.50. A number of student tickets are available on a complimentary basis, first-come, first serve. $100 General Public Ticket includes both keynote address and gals, $75 for registered writers and their guests.
Faulkner for All, both events, included in All Events festival package.
Uriel Quesada, Loyola
Elvis Nolasco


In Our Dramatically Shrinking World, Where Politicians Fear to Tread, Artists Must Use The Power of Their Talent in the Cause of Universal Human Rights Featuring Armando Valladares, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations for Human Rights, and author of the international bestselling memoir, Against All Hope, which detailed his 22 years as a prisoner of conscience in Castro’s Cuba. Ambassador Valladares continues to work for the cause of human rights all over the world, including especially a dedication to projects to secure human rights for children. Ambassador Valladares will be introduced by Cuban-American poet and filmmaker Amy Serrano, who also will do any translation necessary. Ms. Serrano, who is Chair of the Pan American Connections Committee of Words & Music, 2011, produced and directed the documentary Sugar Babies, about children of Haiti being used as slave labor in the sugar industry across the border in the Dominican Republic. The film was screened at Words & Music in 2007. Internationally acclaimed classical guitarist, Javier Olondo is invited to set the stage for Ambassador Valladares with classical Cuban songs in his honor.
8:30 p. m. – Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom


Cocktails, Dinner, Awards Ceremony, and Dancing. Special Guests of Honor: Ambassador Armando Valladares & Sponsors Faulkner for All, the annual black tie meeting of the Faulkner Society including cocktails and dinner with Ambassador Armando Valladares. The Society will announce its ALIHOT (A Legend in His/Her Own Time) Awards for achievement in literature, philanthropy, and social justice and will award its gold medals to winners of the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. Caribbean menu and Caribbean Music. The music for dancing will be by La Rumba Buena, led by Johnny Marcia, co-producer of the Hispanic/Latino television program, Qué Pasa New Orleans. Marcia, whose heritage is Honduran, grew up surrounded by music, as his father led the Latin band Los Sagitarios. Johnny first played with his father and, then, branched out to develop his own, unique sound, using the best Latino musicians in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas. The band specializes in the various rhthyms of the Caribbean and Mexico with a big band sound.

Jazz and Heritage Gallery Announcement

August 13, 2011
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.
Our Programs Our Events Forward To A Friend Contact
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. August 10, 2011

Gallery Opening This Weekend

“Local To Global: A New Orleans Story,” an exhibition of works in various media organized by the nonprofit Artfully AWARE, opens Saturday with a reception starting at 6 p.m. at the Jazz & Heritage Gallery.

“Homecoming (Blue),” a mixed-media work by Christing Dominique Bagneris, is featured in the exhibit “Local To Global: A New Orleans Story.”

The Jazz & Heritage Gallery welcomes “Local To Global: A New Orleans Story,” an exhibition of works in various media presented by the nonprofit organization Artfully AWARE.

The exhibit opens with a reception on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The cellist Monica McIntyre will perform.

Artfully AWARE fosters “sustainable empowerment through the arts.” It uses art for “social improvement and emotional recovery of persons who have experienced traumatic events, disabilities or inadequate living conditions.”

The paintings, photography and poetry in the exhibit focus on New Orleans themes – some contemporary, some historical, all commenting on cultural rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Artists featured in the exhibit include: Jamar Pierre, Christine Dominique Bagneris, Martin Benson, Robert Johnson, Clara Diaz, Hilary Wallis and Dane Verret.

The Jazz & Heritage Gallery, located at 1205 N. Rampart Street (at the corner of Gov. Nicholls Street) is at the gateway to the Treme neighborhood. Regular opening hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The Jazz & Heritage Gallery is a program of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell . The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other revenues, for year-round programs in the areas of education, economic development and cultural events. For more about the Foundation, please visit our web site.

For more information, please call the Jazz & Heritage Foundation at (504) 558-6100.

‘Indzaba Yetfu’ Art Exhibition a success

July 3, 2011

MBABANE – Yebo Art gallery, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and 22 local artists, celebrated an opening reception to launch the ‘Indzaba Yetfu’ art exhibition in Ezulwini on Friday.

The exhibition featured work by local artists who spent their time visiting PEPFAR partner organisations and worked across the country to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Each artist produced an art piece to reflect the work they witnessed. The result was the comprehensive exhibit portraying how Swaziland is working towards a healthier future for its people.

The guest of honour at this event was the American Ambassador to Swaziland, Earl Irving, who was the main speaker at the reception. He thanked the artists for participating in this very unique project.

“Through a variety of media we can now see what impact the PEPFAR partners are having in Swaziland and our eyes are also opened to the extraordinary talent of Swazi artists.”


He also thanked the PEPFAR partners and Aleta Armstrong, an artist and owner of the Yebo! Art Gallery for co-ordinating such an outstanding show and ensuring the participation of a range of Swazi artists.

Irving told PEPFAR partners that the artwork clearly portrays how their work is saving lives, preventing new infections and providing care to the people of Swaziland.

“The US Embassy and the PEPFAR programme are proud to support your work and we think this new way of highlighting your activities will alert others here, in the region and beyond to the innovative ways you address the HIV/AIDS epidemic every day,” he said.

Yebo! Art Gallery’s Aleta Armstrong, also expressed appreciation for the collaboration between the US Embassy, PEPFAR, and YEBO!. She further praised the commitment of the artists who created pieces for the exhibition. She highlighted the important role that art plays in helping interpret events, issues and emotions that arise in our daily lives. Armstrong encouraged people to come view the exhibits on display until July 23, and invited schools to book a time to bring pupils for a tour of the gallery.

Exhibitors on the day included Khulekani Msweli and House on Fire’s Phuzo Mtshali, to name a few.

For more information about Yebo! Art Gallery and to view the artwork in the exhibit, visit their website: http://www.yebo

The Art of Sippin’ and Strollin’: Art in Action on Julia Street

June 8, 2011
A twice-weekly snapshot of the cultural escapes and social happenings on tap in New Orleans. From wine tastings and blueberry pickings to lazy river tubing and Cajun country must-sees, check in here for the best insiders’ guide that New Orleans has to offer, complete with hours, numbers, maps, and tips. Because only we know where to park at jazz fest…

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The Art of Sippin’ and Strollin’: Art in Action on Julia Street PDF Print E-mail
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The Art of Sippin’ and Strollin’: Art in Action on Julia Street

Artfully AWAREYeah yeah yeah, we know. It’s an oversized photograph of a bacon-studded donut posed on a circa 1975 toilet, Photoshopped Cheeto-orange, which costs three months rent because someone claims it’s “Art.” Whatever. Can we have our college posters of that French black cat and Marilyn Monroe back already?

Haven’t felt excitement about “Art” since macaroni and lanyard? W(h)et your palette at next Saturday’s Art in Action, a free event organized by Artfully AWARE, a global nonprofit newly arrived to New Orleans. AfA promotes the arts as a source of empowerment and means of support for all, with a particular focus on those recovering from trauma. Cool off with homemade ice cream and pies by Chef Stanley Garczynski (former chef at the fabulous Green Goddess) as you sip wine and check out art made in AfA community workshops in Uganda and Swaziland, as well as by local New Orleans talent.

Art in Action will feed into Jammin’ on Julia , the monthly art stroll that shuts down Julia Street by opening doors of dozens of amazing galleries for hundreds strollin’ and sippin’ their way into Saturday night. In typically NOLA fashion, you can love the ostensible reason for celebration (in this case, “Art”), or you can just love drinking, people watching, and thwarting traffic flows. Great cause, great art, great fun: welcome to the Art of WINNING.

Artfully AWARE
Jammin’ on Julia

Related Article:
Freedom of Expression Has the Power to Inspire
New Orleans Arts District

Chief Operating Operator
Southern Orthopedic Specialists

Stuff To Know

Saturday, June 4, 6-9pm
M. Francis Gallery
604 Julia Street
Google Map

504ward Tips

Want to get your Van Gogh on without taking off your ear? Check out Art in Action’s offering of two hour-long painting sessions. Whether kindergartner scribler or kick-butt sketcher, anyone can participate. All supplies included, but limited space, so sign up now!

SoHo only wishes it could be SoNO (LA) during Jammin’ on Julia. Why wouldn’t they? In addition to art, the streets will have cash bars, food, tables for people watching, and of course, live music.

As a designated Louisiana Cultural District, no sales tax on any original art sold in the Arts District, meaning you can decorate your apt AND defy The Man! Wow, we’re lovin’ all these win-win situations.

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Art in Action: an evening of community, live painting, music, food and conversation

May 11, 2011

Come join Artfully AWARE on Saturday, June 4th at M. Francis Gallery for

Art in Action: an evening of community, live painting, music, food and conversation

Speak and paint with local artists and let your creativity be a part of global change. Proceeds will support our Artfully AWARE visual and performing arts education programs in Africa.

Come experience first hand the ways in which art is helping to empower and revitalize our communities. Join the global conversation; express yourself in a language that transcends cultures and borders, and listen to the colors and shapes of other artists here and around the world.

Your participation will help us to continue our successful workshops in Africa and to connect them to our local communities here in New Orleans.


June 4th, 6pm – 9pm

First Saturday Art Walk on Julia Street

Exhibition continues through June 13th


604 Julia Street

between St. Charles Avenue and Camp Street


Free to enter

Participation in painting sessions is $45

Painting Session 1 at 6pm – 7pm

Painting Session 2 at 8pm – 9pm

*Please RSVP as there are 20 spaces per session.*!__private-parties


Artwork and jewelry on display and for purchase created by:

Jamar Pierre, Robert Johnson, Stephen Rue, Katherine Wade, Clara Diaz, E Paul Julien,

D Banfield, Hilary Wallis, Myesha Francis and participants from Artfully AWARE workshops

Wine, beer, tea, ice cream and sweet & savory pies provided by local vendors.

CONTACT:Lionel Lombard.    504.609.6353

Artfully AWARE is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity

Swazi festival boycott call

May 9, 2011


Swaziland’s Bushfire Festival, due to take place on May 27 to 29, attracts people from around the world and is seen as a highlight of the Swazi social calendar. (Lisa Skinner, M&G)

Swazi democracy activists are calling for artists and fans to boycott the country’s world-renowned Bushfire Festival later this month — they say that performing in the crisis-stricken country would send out the wrong message.

The annual music, poetry, dance and art event, planned for May 27 to 29, attracts people from around the world and is seen as a highlight of Swaziland’s social calendar, second only to the Reed Dance. Top acts this year include South Africa’s Goldfish and Black Coffee, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe, Habib Koité from Mali, the Yale Concert Band from the United States and France’s Mime Decol. Tickets cost between R150 and R700.

Bushfire director Justin Thorne said he was extremely disappointed to hear of the planned boycott and stressed that all profits from the event were donated to a local Aids orphan charity in Swaziland.

“The Bushfire Festival is a pioneer on the continent in socially responsible event staging, generating economic empowerment for Swazis through a world-class platform.

“As an independent organisation, it supports the growth and development of the arts while highlighting and raising funds for some of the most pressing social needs facing Swaziland. According to Thorne, “100% of the profits from the Bushfire Festival are donated to Young Heroes, an NGO providing education, healthcare, food and general support to Aids orphans”.

But Mary Pais da Silva, co-ordinator of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign, said: “The point is to raise as much awareness as possible. We can’t just continue going on as if Swaziland is a normal place. We want to send a strong message to the government and the rest of the country. “There are some people who appear to not be bothered by what is happening in our country, but we hope this will make them sit up and listen.”

Last month trade unions, students and pro-democracy campaigners tried to hold a mass protest to call for change, but they were dispersed by the police, who fired teargas and water cannons and detained more than 100 people. Two youth leaders still in custody have been charged with possession of explosives. Last week police staged a dawn raid on the home of high-profile union member Simon Mvubu and questioned him about his connections to a Facebook group promoting an uprising.

Last week a delegation of advocates from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Lawyers’ Association went to the country on a fact-finding mission to prepare a report for the next regional bloc meeting.

SADC has been heavily criticised for its silence on Swaziland and the mission was welcomed by activists in the country. Last week the International Labour Organisation (ILO) also went to Swaziland to meet the government. Mission head Vic van Vuuren said he raised concerns directly with the labour and justice ministers about allegations of heavy-handed policing during what was supposed to be an organised labour march.
Van Vuuren said: “It’s not totally clear exactly what happened on April 12 and 13 but we made it clear that, for one thing, union leaders should not have been detained on their way to take part in the march.” He said the government had agreed to an ILO-hosted workshop to train the police in how to deal with labour protests.

Meanwhile, unionists are planning to take legal action against members of the Swazi Police Force over the way their colleagues were treated during the recent crackdown.

Thuli Makama, a lawyer and director of the Swaziland Legal Assistance Centre, said: “We’re speaking to the unions now to gather evidence, such as doctors’ reports, so that we can present our case.

“The police really overstepped the mark; people were assaulted, man-handled, abducted and dumped in remote forest areas.” Makama said that lawyers visiting clients in detention were made to sit on the floor and were aggressively searched. Some were considering taking civil action of their own.

New Artwork has arrived on Artfully AWARE’s Online Store

April 16, 2011

Art is a motivator, a force of empowerment and a source of support for people of all races, nationalities, ages, economic situations and genders. Art comes in the form of strength to those who lack confidence, wish for a mental escape from harsh environments or who seek to restore happiness and hope in times of great need.

We are proud to partner with professional artists who recognise the struggles their communities are confronting while developing creative and innovative approaches to address these issues and bring about change. They are visionaries, providing inspiration and optimism in the face of these challenges. Please visit our online store to view over 40 individual items created by professional artists, photographers and community members:

Please click here for our online store.

An income reduces poverty levels immeasurably, yet many communities have limited opportunities when it comes to participating in income generating activities. Artfully AWARE teaches training programmes and workshops to enable communities to create meaningful, beautiful artwork such as paintings, jewellery and crafts which are sold to generate an income, thus reducing poverty. We purchase what they produce at a fair market value and the communities make make a profit. To continue the cycle and develop sustainability, we show and promote the artwork to receive proceeds that are fed right back into our programmes.

Artfully AWARE’s own Artwork Line incorporates sellable products that include but are not exclusively limited to: paintings, photographs, prints, greeting cards and specially designed accessories. Proceeds are fed back into our educational and therapeutic programmes.

You can help support communities that are benefiting highly from our income generating activities by providing us with an opportunity to market and sell our unique and special items at retail stores, gift shops, craft stalls, festivals or galleries. All purchases are tax deductible and are shipped directly to your home. Your support dramatically helps us maintain our work in communities by purchasing art supplies, funding teachers and training participants in new skills.