Arts Classes

Arts Classes, Madarasa la sanaa

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January 19th, 2016

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Although the Festival is still many months away, the CAC staff have not been idle these last few months. In November we hosted our first round of Arts Classes for children. For six weeks volunteer teachers taught drawing, games, and music, each one day a week in the late afternoon.

In the drawing classes, students practiced drawing and finding members of the five elements of shape families; dot, circle, straight lines, curved lines, and angled lines. In the games class, students played traditional games in Chigogo and Swahili. For the music classes, we divided the children by interest; muheme and mazeze na malimba.

One persistent problem throughout this six weeks was space. Although we registered 25 children for these classes, some days we hosted 50 children. Since this was the first round, and the classes were free, we did not turn anyone away. Among these students were children from Chamwino as well as Msanga, the next village over. Each afternoon these children, ages five to fifteen, walked the nearly 5km from their homes to the office. Many of these children are part of two established muheme groups who have preformed at the Festival in years past, Ndagwa and Nyota Njema. We are grateful for the support of these groups in the efforts of the Chamwino Arts Center.

Due to the success of this first round of classes, and with the agreement of the teachers, we are planning to offer another round of classes for three months, starting third week of January. This time around we will offer only drawing and music, specifically muheme and mazeze na malimba. Additionally, to prove the seriousness of the students we will only allow those who registered to attend the classes. With many possibilities looking forward to the future, this is the next brick in the intangible foundation we are laying while building the Chamwino Arts Center.

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