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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.

From Orchestras to Orange Juice: How Muslims Made the Modern World

April 4, 2011
Contact information:
Bryn Barnard Studio
360 378 6355
About the World Affairs Council of New Orleans:
The World Affairs Council of New Orleans seeks to raise community awareness of international issues through educational, cultural, and social forums, with a commitment to cultural diversity and inclusive fellowship.

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Arts and Social Justice: The Media Connection

March 30, 2011

20-23 October 2011

University of Nicosia, Cyprus

We are proud to announce that the Department of Communications in conjunction with the Mass Media and Communications Institute at The University of Nicosia will be hosting The 2011 Arts and Social Justice Conference which will be held from 20-23 October 2011 at the University of Nicosia. The title of this year’s conference is Arts and Social Justice: The Media Connection (ASJ). The ASJ is a well established international conference based on arts, expression and citizen activism, and its various mediated forms of representation. ASJ has close ties to the World Social Forum, also held annually at the same time as the Davos Economic Forum and conceived as its counterweight. In 2010, the ASJ conference was held in Durban, South Africa, with such luminaries as Albie Sachs and Rajmohan Ghandi among the plenary speakers and key presentations from William Cleveland, Mike van Graan, and Angelina Kamba.

At the 2011 conference, we expect about 200 – 300 delegates from all over the world – artists, academics, activists. Special emphasis will be put on the media and how they can and do influence societies at large to take on greater responsibilities in making this world a just place to live. There will be three strands:

1.        Arts, Media and Advocacy

2.        Media, Culture and Identity

3.        Arts, Cultural Diversity and Conflict Resolution

Additional ideas are also welcome from participants regarding panel discussions, poster displays and artistic workshops.

Especially the first strand will give the opportunity to analyze citizen media production and how, as in the recent cases of Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries, this has contributed to giving a forceful voice to formerly disenfranchised groups. We have approached a number of important global figures and while the negotiations are still continuing, we hope to have such celebrities as Desmond Tutu, important film directors and artists to be part of the programme.

We welcome your interest and would encourage you to enroll in the conference and actively participate in it. There are several ways of doing that. A dedicated website will be up within the next few weeks where you will find the latest information and updates. Also, a conference publication is planned.

We look forward to welcoming you at the University of Nicosia!

Please indicate interest of participation by return email to the following two email addresses:

Dr Mike Hajimichael (, Dr Holger Briel (
University of Nicosia
BA Programme Coordinators
Communications Department
School of Humanities, Social Sciences & Law
46, Makedonitissa Ave, PO Box 24005, 1700, Nicosia-Cyprus
Tel 00 357 22 352563
Fax 00 357 22 353682

An evening of Spectacular Art, Fabulous Food and Sensuous Music with Artfully AWARE NOLA and the United Nations

February 24, 2011

Saturday March 12, 2011- 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Exhibit continues through March 20, 2011.

The global not for profit Artfully AWARE (AfA) NOLA is hosting its premier fundraiser to showcase the paintings, photography and sculpture of some of the finest contemporary artists in New Orleans in partnership with Cathedral Creative Studios at their impressive new location at 527 Julia Street, on the most prominent of thoroughfares for the arts in the Crescent City.

Featuring guest speaker Sean Cruse of the United Nations Global Compact, Col. Wayde Benson and Lisa Crossman from the World Affairs Council of New Orleans and Artfully AWARE Executive Director Hilary Wallis on the importance of using the arts in education and development.

Original artwork and prints for sale. Proceeds benefit AfA’s projects in New Orleans and around the world.

Musical entertainment provided by Quartet.

A selection of hors d’oeuvres and beverages from Bennachin Restaurant: A Taste of Africa.

We are excited to help artists and implement the global networking central to AfA’s vision. We will be delighted to see you at the grand opening or during the following week.

Saturday March 12, 2011

6:00-10:00 pm


Cathedral Creative Studios

527 Julia St.

New Orleans, LA 70130


1310 N. Rampart St.
New Orleans, LA 70116

About Artfully AWARE:

Artfully AWARE (AfA) is a global not for profit established in the United States and in the United Kingdom that uses the arts as an important tool for social improvement and emotional recovery of persons who have suffered from traumatic events, disabilities or inadequate living conditions. We are a member of the United Nations Global Compact, and our board of directors and advisors serve in leadership capacities with organizations including the Aspen Cancer Conference, The Hunger Project, Council of American Ambassadors, United Nations Fund for Women and USAID.

We implement a range of educational arts programs locally, nationally and internationally, in order to promote empowerment, cultural understanding, as well as to enable individual and community development. Our work provides the opportunity to create arts projects, exhibitions, performances and educational curriculum. All programs draw on five major categories: drama, dance, music, media and visual arts.

We wish to thank our sponsors:

Special Thanks to:

Honorary Sponsors:

Design centre open its doors to help local artisans

February 20, 2011

By NIKITA GELDENHUYS on February 18,2011
MBABANE – Swazi artists and artisans will soon be able to exhibit their art to buyers from across the globe through a new Design Centre initiative.

Proud Swazis Peter and Aleta Armstrong are the creators of the soon-to-open Yebo Art and Design centre, where artists will get the chance to exhibit their work in the gallery space or on the centre’s internet site.

The centre, which is located past the Town Board offices in Ezulwini, will be opened on February 26 and will feature a stunning first exhibition titled ‘The Year of the Rabbit’, which will feature works from 30 local artists.

Armstrong said the idea behind the centre is to create a permanent space where the work of local designers and fine artists can be promoted.

“Yebo Art and Design Centre is a venue that gives the public constant access to contemporary art in Swaziland and our vision is to help to create a professional local artists and designers and in uncovering and developing the amazing hidden talent we have in Swaziland.”

Three training and production workshops will be running at the centre, Aleta explained.

She said workshop discipline will range from learning skills for fine art and design to craft skills for jewellery design.

Armstrong also said the centre will also be open to government departments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who need to train individuals as part of income-generating projects.


“Yebo Art and Design organisation is vital to exposing Swazi society to fine art. A gallery like this can open people’s eyes to what contemporary art is about. It can show the youth there is money to make in the arts,” she said.

A consultant for the department of Arts and Culture in the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, Khulekane Msweli, said he was ‘blown away’ when he first heard of the concept of Yebo Art and Design. “Yebo is a good thing for the arts and culture sector. There are not enough platforms and training for artists in Swaziland,” Msweli said.

He said the ministry is interested in using the Yebo centre for training. According to him, a directory of artists and artisans has recently been created which will enable NGOs and sponsors to connect with artists. He said sponsors can use platforms like Yebo to support developing artists.

“The ministry is in full support of the concept. It has not been decided if the ministry will sponsor artists as well. The greatest hindrance at the moment is financing programmes such as these. We are scouting for NGOs to fund artisans,” Msweli said.

He said artists who want to become part of the directory should go to the department’s Arts and Culture Office in Room 211 on the Second Floor of Bhunu Mall. Alternatively artists can call 2505 4437.

Armstrong said the gallery will open on February 26. Once the gallery is open, investors will be able to order artworks from the centre. The art gallery, with free entrance, will be open to schools and will offer workshops for the public on weekends.