Art Aids Art

Sunday, February 1, 2009

eKhaya eKasi: Moving Forward!

Art Aids Art is pleased to introduce eKhaya eKasi's first staff members. Co-Managers Funeka Maria Dukwe (left) and Nonceba Nonkevu bring a variety of talents to the job, and have impressed us with their enthusiasm and ability to work collaboratively. Funeka's work in food service will be a great asset as we develop the JAZZ Tea Shop, and Nonceba's experience in handcrafting will be invaluable in the establishment of the art boutique.

Sakhumzi Makaula organizes children's books provided by Art Aids Art's many generous supporters (Thanks, Sakkie). Art Aids Art is building a library of multicultural children's literature to support its Family Literacy Project. In addition, duplicates have been donated to local preschool programs.

What's wrong with this picture? We continued our research and found that many retail stores still carry ZERO black dolls...

...and many school dramatic play areas still offer white dolls and stuffed animals, but no black dolls, despite having 100% black enrollment.

So our collection of black dolls continues. Pictured here, eKhaya eKasi staff and volunteers sing with joy as they receive dolls donated by students at East LA College, Mount San Antonio College and numerous individuals, and those handmade by Dollies Without Borders...

... as well as the Sherman Oaks/Studio City Girl Scouts. Many dolls were donated to local child care programs, while others are being used at eKhaya eKasi to complement our Family Literacy Project.

With so many quality books on hand, the next step was translation. Our 2008 Jungle Justice team translated twenty children's books into Xhosa, allowing for bilingual English/Xhosa reading sessions in our programming.

In addition, bilingual readings were videotaped for future use in both training and direct service.

Special thanks to our 2008 Jungle Justice team of staff, volunteers and students-in-residence. From left, Funeka Dukwe, Nomfundo Yaso, Dorothy Garcia, Siphokazi Rasmeni, Chloe Garcia (Mills College), Yoliswa Thembani, Chris Bostwick (UC Berkeley), Nonceba Nonkevu and Jordan Aiken (UC Berkeley)....

...and those who played a pivotal role in eKhaya eKasi's Grand Opening, including (from right) Holly Sparks, the 2008 Tumi McCallum Women's Advocate, Pamela Davis, the 2008 Jungle Justice Artist-in-Residence, and Nadeem Davids, who tirelessly oversaw the center's construction process from start to finish. Congratulations to them, and to each one of our Art Aids Art family who helped us build the center, brick by brick. Together, we will continue to move forward with our projects, doll by doll and book by book.

We look forward to your comments below!

Photo credit for final triptych: Kamielah Davids


Art Aids Art promotes education and sustainable economic development through the arts.
We support cross-cultural exchanges between Americans and South Africans.

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