MFA in Fine Arts

WAZO

WAZO is a design institute in the Kayafungo location of rural Eastern Kenya. They provide design and business workshops to foster social entrepreneurship and product development in East Africa.

Project Overview:

WAZO is a design institute in the Kayafungo location of rural Eastern Kenya. They provide design and business workshops to foster social entrepreneurship and product development in East Africa. To offer their workshops, WAZO partnered with 12 members of the Kenyan NGO Muthaa Community Development Foundation, a youth-led organization that provides programs promoting positive community change through self-empowerment. WAZO’s first venture focused on footwear; specifically, a protective shoe made using the local “kiri-kiri” production practice of repurposing old car tires.  WAZO’s entrepreneurship courses and product development tools helped participants generate income and build the capacity to launch future projects.

WAZO also provided three months of paid training in the design thinking process, and hosted workshops on business development and financial literacy that were conducted by Equity Bank. WAZO participants sold over 20 pairs of shoes and made a significant profit to support their continued shoe production. WAZO also awarded materials, a stipend, and one-month internships to three young men and three young women so they could continue producing shoes to generate income.

“We are so excited and proud of the team, and can’t wait to hear about the future!” – WAZO, IMPACT Awardee 2011
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20/20 Foto

20|20 Foto lead a photography workshop created to empower youth affected by the femicides in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Project Overview:

Seeking to support the critical cultural reconstruction of a region, 20/20 FOTO: Cross Border Community Action was the first proposed institutional cross-border art program between the two cities since the 2008 eruption of violence in Juárez. 20/20 FOTO was a photography workshop introducing youth to the fundamentals of photography, critical thinking, therapeutic storytelling, writing, reflection, and installation skills. Taking place in El Paso, Texas and in Juarez, Mexico; 20/20 FOTO partnered with Creative Kids (US) and Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa (Mexico) on photography workshops. In order to create a sustainable program Team 20/20 FOTO sought to create a camera library for the organizations and an academic curriculum so that the workshops could continue past their initial implementation.

“We believe, as evidenced in our work with the workshop participants in Juárez, that the longest lasting impact of 20/20 FOTO has already begun with them, as critical thinkers and producers of powerful images.” – 20/20 FOTO, IMPACT Awardee 2011

Outcome:

Prior to the start of their workshops Team 20/20 FOTO: Cross Border Community Action presented their project to Pentax, who quickly recognized the significance of their project and donated 20 high quality cameras. 20/20 FOTO workshop participants at Creative Kids (El Paso) and Nuestras Hijas (Ciudad Juárez) shared their experiences with one another through exchanged letters, photographic work, and video chats. Under the theme “Heroes and Super Heroes,” 20/20 FOTO crafted an engaging photography curriculum and hosted an online photography exhibition for the images produced by the young people at Nuestras Hijas about their heroes and superheroes. 20/20 FOTO was such a success in Ciudad Juárez that local photographers continue to use their curriculum to work with Nuestras Hijas on their photograph project.

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