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«eptual art LAMBENT kuonatrust is part of AccessKenya africa GROUP Kingdom of the Netherlands FOUNDATION S A F A R I S ANNUAL ...»

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March 2011- February 2012

eptual art




is part of


africa GROUP

Kingdom of the Netherlands



March 2011- February 2012... in this report Context

Organisational Information

Narrative Progress Report on Activities

Marketing and Corporate Relations

Capital Campaign for long term Sustainability

Art and Business Partnerships

Community & Education Outreach Projects


Art Training

New Studios and Gallery

Kuona Catalogue

Provincial workshops, Local &International Residencies

Kuona Trust Open Day

Kuona Trust Art Shop

The Artists

The 11th Wasanii International Artists Workshop, Naivasha, August 2011..............26 Collaborations

Kuona HR Review


Strategy Map

Appendices context Invitations

Monthly E-Newsletter

website extracts

Press Cuttings

Kevvo Stero’s film at Hysterical Injustices exhibition

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The Trustees meet with the Director once every two months and are in regular contact by weekly emails and informal lunch meetings. Kuona holds monthly artist meetings and a working group of artists assists the office on major projects.

4 Kuona Trust is a non-profit registered Trust established in 1995 that has been in the forefront of developing the visual art scene in Kenya in the last 15 years.

Kuona now has a highly successful art centre that is open to the public 7 days a week; providing studios space, workshops, a resource centre, educational programmes, outreach projects and exhibitions from a busy location in Hurlingham. It is an efficient, professional, accountable and experienced organisation that has supported the extended artistic community in Kenya and abroad by providing 16 years of skills, networking and service to a loyal following of artists and the public through its central hub of creativity, education and inspiration.

Since 1995, Kuona Trust has played a major role in raising the profile of visual arts. There is an increasing presence and interest in the visual arts, with more exhibition space for artists, a group of established artists, emerging artists and a definite increase in public awareness and enjoyment of art; but there is still a long way to go before art is valued and visible in Kenya and apart from a few galleries and public buildings showing art, only Kuona Trust provides all the other facilities visual artists need for development.

Over the past 15 years nearly all Kenyan and many other African artists have benefited from Kuona Trust with at least 1,000 artists participating in Kuona programmes, either working at the studios, participating in the workshops, residencies, exhibitions, art training, public and outreach projects. Kuona has provided support and opportunities for artists to excel and encouraged the larger Kenyan public to become interested in the visual arts. There is no other organisation in East Africa catering specifically to the wider needs of the visual arts community.

Kuona’s Mission „To advance the skills and opportunities of contemporary visual artists to create innovative, world class art in Kenya.� Kuona”s Vision ‘Art is a valued and integral part of our society.’ Kuona Objectives

1. To find and nurture innate artistic talent Without Kuona Trust, centre for visual arts, emerging artists will not have an organization to work from that is dedicated to providing them with working space, exhibitions, research facilities, art training workshops, mentoring by established artists, peer to peer learning in a communal, safe working environment which provides all utilities, equipment, library and internet and access to the networks, opportunities and guidance that the office and the director offer.

2. To improve capacity and opportunities for professional artists Kuona has supported over 1000 visual artists since 1995, with an alumni of many professional, successful established artists who use the space as a central resource to support the emerging artists, show their work, teach workshops, fund artist-led projects and source information and opportunities. Artists can become isolated whilst working from private studios, Kuona continues to provide a link to the wider artistic community and a link to all art events both local and international.

3. To increase awareness and appreciation of contemporary Kenyan artists and art Kuona provides a hub for the public and artists to meet and a service to link the public to artists and art projects.

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12 conceptual exhibitions, 12 artists' workshops and mentoring sessions, the 11th International Artists' Workshop, Wasanii 2011 in Naivasha with 20 local and international artists and a visitors, the completion of the artists' studios, 12 new artists moving into the space, our first corporate artists' bursary, the Kuona Shop opening, Kuona Wasanii film, the Wasanii brochure and Kuona book are in the draft stages, a Human Resource Review with new staff appointments, regular talks and presentations, 6 provincial workshops, 3 provincial residencies and 18 community projects. Alongside supporting numerous artists with their activities, travel, etc. and offering help and guidance to art writers, curators, galleries, academics and general members of the public.

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The general atmosphere at Kuona has increased in vibrancy with the 11 new incoming artists bringing excitment and enlarging the artist community and the increase in studio space. At the end of the studio contracts, 3 established artists moved out; Michael Soi, Thom Ogonga and Xavier Verhoest. These artists will of course remain supporters of Kuona, teach workshops and be involved in projects but they make space for new emerging artists who need to be part of a community that provide support, mentoring and opportunities.

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With the amount of projects and support requests, it had become obvious to the Director that more full time dedicated staff members were required. She initiated an HR review which was conducted over the whole period culminating in a complete change in the office. See the paragraph on HR review below.

Kuona has slowly but surely been building new relationships with supporters, the public, schools and businesses and after 3 years in Hurlingham, a focus on marketing has produced good publicity material, flyers, new systems for mailing list updating and collaborations, the art centre has become a popular place to visit.

Funding in 2011:

� a grant from the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi, Sept 2010 – Aug 2012 � a grant from The African Arts Trust (TAAT), Oct 2011 – Dec 2012 � a grant from Lambent Foundation, July 2011 – June 2012 � The Kuona fundraiser in February 2011 raised 2 million Kenya shillings � A top up grant to complete the funds needed to build the new gallery from TAAT � A grant from The African Arts Trust of $40,000 per year for 12 months began in October 2011 with a pledge for 5 years of funding � Corporate Sponsorship for our Artists' Bursary Scheme from Kobo Safaris to sponsor 3 emerging artists � Income generating activities such as the Shop, Open Day, commission on sales

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8 banner, an advert and book marks. We have also revamped the newsletter to contain more information that would appeal to the general public and encourage them to visit Kuona Trust.

A new website is being constructed and will be completed by April, this delay is due to the length of time it has taken to find a suitable professional to help create the right website for Kuona. We have had meetings and got quotes and plans from other 3 different designers to find that none of them really understood Kuona and had the right ideas to represent the organisation.

The new website will be designed by http://enkaydesigns.com, They are committed to giving Kuona a site that truly represents the vibrant space that we are using the latest web technology. A new modern, user friendly website packed with information will be uploaded by end of April 2012.

The Website will have the following features:Futuristic & graphical layout design

- Interactive photo gallery

- Advertisement banner placement capabilities

- Donation management facility

- Document downloads capabilities (brochures, pamphlets, forms etc)

- Artist Portfolio Management/Presentation

- Newsletter Mailing-list & Archives Management

- The online Kuona Shop

-Links to our other social networking sites Nyandia from Enkaydesigns has a lot of experience in building websites and working in the design field. Her organized style of working and knowledgeable presentation highly impressed us. We have the confidence that she will deliver a website that represents us well.

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10 Internship Programme Kuona’s internship programme has succeeded in achieving the following ObjectivesTo create an opportunity for students who have just finished their studies and/or those in the process of completing to familiarise themselves with the working environment and gain practical experience;

2. To assist Kuona in its effort and vision of capacity building by empowering young people to gain experience and engage in the arts;

3. To assist in the development of young professionals.

4. To provide a critical bridge between the world of study and the work place for young professionals;

5. To compliment staffing needs.

Resource Centre The Kuona Trust Art Library has over 2000 art related publications, and we think it is the best art library in East Africa! We are in the process of updating the library management system so that we can account for all the reading material as well as implement a membership programme. We hope that the revenue raised from the membership fees will go towards buying new literature and we have also put out a call for donations of art books and videos.

Art and Business Partnerships Brief Overview of Activity Kuona staff participated in a variety of training courses with KPMG and British Council Objective To strengthen the internal capacity of Kuona Trust Realised results The Creative Enterprise Programme organized by Strathmore University and British Council was developed as a training program on business management skills for entrepreneurs in the Creative Industry.

The aim of this program is to improve the financial and management skills of entrepreneurs in all sub-sectors of the Creative Industry (Advertising, Architecture, Art and Antique markets, Broadcasting, Crafts, Design (Including Fashion), Film, Video and Photography, Software development, computer games and electronic publishing, Music & the Visual and Performing Arts (incl. Theatre) and Publishing).

One staff member and one of the artists at Kuona Trust participated in this training programme.

Topics that were taught included: So you�re An Entrepreneur, Defining Your Market/Marketing Yourself, Brand Building/Communicating Your Brand, Negotiation and Networks, Intellectual Capital/Contracting, Basic Financial Management/Record Keeping, Pricing and Selling Your Product and Fundamentals of Business Planning. Cyrus Kabiru at work, one of the Kobo Trust beneficiary

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12 Exhibitions Kuona has continued its programme of experimental exhibitions with various exciting and well attended shows in the Kuona gallery and the large new communal studio space. These exhibitions attempt to encourage artists to look at conceptual practice and to address issues close to their hearts. These four exhibitions are some of the most interesting that Kuona has held in the last few years. This sort of thematic work is still rare in Nairobi as artists are forced to make more commercial work on a daily basis to survive. Kuona is able to give small production fees for artists to work in different ways and many of the artists who have benefited from this have made breakthroughs in their practice after these exhibitions and workshops.

Hysterical Injustices A collaboration that began before the Wasanii International workshop, when Kenyan artist Gor Soudan began communicating with British African artist Jason Barka and comparing political events in both countries. This was during the riots in London which led the artists to make comparisons between these riots and the post election violence. Barka attended Wasanii and remained in Nairobi to produce a series of works with Soudan, Kevvo Sterro and Anthony Okello, inspired by their conversations and mutual experiences in Naivasha during the workshop. The works spread between the gallery and project space and created a dialogue with the public who had to walk between obstacles to move from space to space.

Eyes on Animation Four artists have been experimenting with the medium animation in their work and with Kuona�s mandate to encourage artistic experimentation, they were given the opportunity to curate their own animation exhibition.

Artist Peterson Kamwathi created a tiny animation inspired by his „Queue� series that could be shown on a iphone/tablet as a statement that art can be accessed anywhere. (New very cheap smart phones such as the IDIOS cost under 8,000 Ksh and are therefore affordable to many Kenyans now.) Andrew Ngoroge collaborated with a hip hop band to make a series of music and political animations; Patrick Mukabi, projected a fast paced animation of a woman running using the fast sketches he is renowned for. This exhibition culminated in a workshop and presentation on animation to a large group of artists. Detail of Gor’s Hysterical installation

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