Blog post #2 – ADEA’s work with Artisans
[vc_row type=”vc_default” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”5″][vc_column][vc_column_text]Blog #2 This introductory blog post on category – ADEA Artisan Work
Under this category you will learn about ADEA’s work with artisans that initially launched ADEA – and thus our name “The center for African Development through Economics and the Arts”. These blogs will include accounts and explanations of how we worked with the artisans: our challenges, mistakes, successes and setbacks. You’ll learn about individual artisans, their stories and products. And I will share how my views and attitudes changed on development after finding myself immersed in a world very different from my previous professional experiences in the United States. In 2015 the artisans of ADEA broke off to form The African Makonde Arts and Crafts group (AfriMak). You’ll hear about them too, and even have the chance to buy some of their products.
Here are expert from an ADEA flier that summarizes well how we engaged with artisans:
ADEA – Securing a better future for artisans and artists, their communities, and their cultures in an aggressively globalizing world.
When the wave of modernization and capitalization sweeps through a community, indigenous cultures and artistic traditions are tragically lost. In places like East Africa where jobs are few, traditional culture, craft, and art can serve as a valuable source of revenue for food, medicine, and education. However, without training in production skills and business, artisans receive poorer than necessary returns for their work, and fail to take advantage of the role their culture and traditional arts can play in securing a more promising future.
It is the mission of ADEA to help artisans to become aware and take advantage of income generating opportunities that they are currently ill-equipped to seize upon.
What we provide
Skills Training Workshops
Workshops instructed by local and international professionals are offered twice annually to introduce artisans to new skills and nurture creative thinking. The collective environment gives artisans the courage to step into uncharted territory of new designs, new materials, and new ways of working.
As a follow up to workshops, one-on-one training helps artisans establish new work patterns, production consistency, and dependability. Also, this allows us to address the unique challenges an artisan may face (including family struggles, medical issues, and substance abuse).
Every other Saturday (since 2003) artisans gather for presentations and open dialogue on various subjects. Beyond ADEA’s instruction related to the arts and business, guest speakers present on issues related to health (HIV/AIDS), the environment (tree planting and marine life conservation), nutrition, and various community and life issues.
Through ADEA’s in-house gift shop artisans are learning about the business of retail sales and can better understand issues of product appeal and buying trends, and benefit from the sale of products.
By maintaining high standards and unique designs, and through growing exposure, artisans are gaining access to an increasing number of markets world wide.
What makes ADEA Unique?
The bi-cultural makeup of our leadership team sets ADEA apart from the majority of economic development projects
Philipo Lulale (a Tanzanian) and Douglas McFalls (an American) represent both the source and destination of our efforts.
Philipo, as a Tanzanian entrepreneur, educator, journalist, and former carver, helps to effectively develop a genuine relationship of understanding and connection with the artisans. He understands the cultural, economic, social and technical struggles that East African artisans face.
Douglas, as a designer, enables ADEA to teach the rigor of design, quality standards, and customer service. He brings an international perspective to the development and marketing of new and traditional products.
“Thanks to salad servers, I am able to put my children through school!” – Almasi Mkulola –Carver
Maintaining a Long Term Presence
To change new ideas into habits in a community without role models and unaccustomed to radical change, patient determination produces the greatest results. ADEA’s ongoing presence allows it to thoughtfully grow and be reshaped by learning from experience. Also, artisans are encouraged to participate as leaders and instructors to establish stronger roots in the community.
So welcome to all of you who wish to join on this safari through many very very short stories from Africa and to enjoy a diversity of accounts from small points on a large continent.
Asante Sana – Thank You
Douglas – Kupikita – Oloikurrkurr
Reminder: The foundational purpose to these blogs is to invite financial support that will allow ADEA to keep our team paid, and our programs going and improving. Please consider a one time or monthly gifts.
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