This month, our art program turned ten years old. What once started as an art class in a room of our community center in November 2011 has now bloomed into Uweza Art Gallery. Over the last 10 years, our art program has nurtured talented artists in Kibera by providing them with a safe space, tools and resources to be able to create, learn, socialize and earn a living. As of 2018, the gallery is self-sustaining through the sale of artwork. 60% of all sales goes to the artist and/or to his/her school fees if the artist is under 18. The remaining 40% is retained to run the gallery operations, rent and purchase art supplies. Several of the artists have been able to pay the entirety of their high school and post-secondary education through the sales of their artwork, and many of the older artists are able to fully support themselves through their sales. Uweza Art Gallery also hosts art classes for children from Kibera every weekend.
Last night, we were at Kofisi 9 in Nairobi to mark 10 years of existence and impact, showcase the artists’ latest work, and celebrate this amazing milestone with some of the friends, partners and supporters who have made it possible.
A big thank you to our event sponsors Oam Studios, Imran Okoth, Member of Parliament, Kibra Constituency, Uweza Board President Dorothy Coletta, and our raffle sponsors Jack Daniels, SpaDreaming.com, and LooksLike Avido . Kofisi Africa very kindly provided us with the most beautiful rooftop venue and to date, has been one of the art programs biggest supporters by purchasing more than 100 pieces of art.
Lastly, thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate this important milestone. We had a blast and are looking forward to the next ten years of amazing art!