As much as it was wonderful to spend a month in Ghana, it is also very lovely to return.
My family picked me up at the airport and it was great to hear about what they have been up to whilst I was gone. I’m glad they were there to help with the baggage as well as we have lots of new drums and resources to use in your schools soon.
This week has been a lovely way to ease back into things as well, three schools I’ve been to so many times I can’t remember, a drum class at the Art House and finally a trip up to Birmingham on Friday – where we seem to be developing quite a fan base of schools!
Kwame is currently in Buipe. We have been delighted by the progress of the returnees house which is now fully roofed and operational. The trees are growing well, unsurprisingly as Adamu is currently watering them three times a day!
The foundations are in for the river project and we are working hard to find the most viable sanitation solutions.
Kwame met with his sister Candi (in the middle) yesterday. It was an emotional day, he hadn’t seen her for over 30 years.
We are often asked about outcomes from our adinkra printing workshops so I thought we would pop some up online for you to take a look at.
Adinkra is highly accessible and adaptable which means that a wide range of ages and abilities can access it in different ways and have different outcomes and experiences. We provide adinkra stamps, traditional adinkra cloth for students to look and and explore and of course a practitioner to explain all of the symbols, techniques and history behind the cloth.
It is possible for older students to explore making their own stamps – you might also wish to delve deeper into the proverbs behind many of the stamps – to explore the multiple meanings and what this might mean for you.
African Activities CIC are excited to announce that we are finalists for the Outstanding Musical Initiative award 2019! Thank you to the schools and community groups we work with that have nominated us. It is truly rewarding to know that they value working with us as much as we enjoy working with them, and we are very grateful.
The Outstanding Musical Initiative category is one of the most prestigious in the Music Teachers Awards For Excellence which is in itself known as the “Oscars of the Music Education world”. As an African organisation teaching African Arts in British schools we campaign hard for African Arts to be recognised as the excellent and outstanding modern art forms they are. It feels wonderfully validating to be shortlisted amongst such outstanding organisations and have these achievements recognised.
Our African Activities workshops now reach over 200 schools a year, face to face, and over 2000 teachers use our online resources to support their learning. This work is only made possible by the outstanding artists who work with us to deliver workshops of such a standard that the ‘high arts’ and ‘diversity’ have no need to lie in separate categories.
Our work engages and excites young people by bringing the music and culture of Ghana, Gambia, Senegal, Guinea, Kenya, Benin and Tanzania right into classrooms and community groups across the UK. Our interactive workshops showcase excellence and then engage students in fully participatory learning. The levelling nature of a ‘new’ art form enables students of all abilities, teachers and even parents to learn together without boundaries.
“We are incredibly proud to be a finalist for this important award. It’s great recognition of a lot of hard work and determination, but also of the African Arts and artists that we support. We know African Activities CIC brings musical excellence to thousands of children and lights a creative fire, often for the first time, with many ‘hard to reach’ students. We also know our workshops start to break down barriers and begin conversations about race that can completely change perceptions. Important but difficult conversations are often best done in the form of music. For us, as Africans, we are proud to share these arts but to see students engage with the music within its context, understanding its importance and thus leaving with a richer and more accurate vision of ‘Africa” than they started with is as important to us as it is to the children.”