Participants of the speed dating event

During the workshop, we also organise a speed dating event and dinner with the participants of the workshop and people from the local cultural scene . The participants for this evening program are:

Camille Wekesa

Artist, curator of exhibitions of contemporary African art in London and board member of RaMoMA, the Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Art.

Camille Wekesa works primarily as a mural artist both in Kenya and in Europe. Clients include Mr & Mrs A Wildenstein, a family that is world renowned for their involvement in the Arts (and for whom she painted 6 entire rooms at their ranch in Nanyuki) – owners of a leading Art gallery in New York, a contemporary Art gallery, ‘Pace-Wildenstein’ in California and a leading Institute in Paris documenting, researching and writing about ‘The Impressionists’. Other clients include Coca Cola Africa with headquarters in the UK for whom she organised the purchase, curator-ship and documentation of over 180 works of African art including paintings, sculpture and tribal art as well as painting a commissioned boardroom mural. Others include residential, hotel and commercial clients looking to commission a one off unique mural, custom designed for a particular space.

Camille organized and curated the ‘Contemporary Kenya’ art show at the Ensign gallery in London in 2004 and showcased Kenyan artists at two London art fairs. Camille joined RaMoMA gallery as a Trustee and member of the Board in March 2009 with the view to continuing to promote and support upcoming East African artists as well as helping in the long term preservation and conservation of Art within Museums in Kenya.

Personal website : www.sublimedivine.com

Judy  Ogana

General manager at The GoDown Arts Centre and earlier the director of Kuona Trust.

The GoDown Arts Centre is a centre, internationally recognized and respected as East Africa’s key institution in nurturing talent in the arts, in a society where artists, confident in their own culture, effectively unleash their creative potential, and make their full contribution to an East African society which values arts and culture as an integral part of life. The GoDown aims to develop independent artists across multiple art forms and to participate in the advancement of the cultural sector, thereby contributing to the establishment of a robust arts and culture sector with expanding receptive audiences.

Follow Judy on Twitter.

Danda Jaroljmek

Director Kuona Trust. Kuona Trust is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1995 at the National Museum of Kenya to serve visual artists and has since worked with over one thousand five hundred artists giving them skills and opportunities to advance themselves whilst increasing the profile and role of the visual arts in Kenya. We are one of the oldest organisations in East Africa to provides skills, training and opportunities exclusively to visual artists. Our mission is “to advance the skills and opportunities of artists and make art a valued and integral part of our society”. We do this through providing artists with studio spaces, art training workshops, exhibitions and we organize local and international workshops, residencies and artist led outreach projects for local communities. We have just moved to a new space in Hurlingham, Nairobi with studio space for around 20 artists. Visit us to meet artists, buy their work and find out about regular exhibitions, art classes, film showings, artist-led outreach projects and international residencies and workshops.

Keith Pearson

Managing Director of The Theatre Company. Over the past nine years, The Theatre Company has been responsible for some of the most dynamic and adventurous performance work which has been seen in Kenya. In the year 1999, TTC began the first series of Fire By Ten short performance which are designed to give audiences and performers an unusual and exciting performance experience. TTC is also active in the Film Industry.

The productions of Death and the Maiden (1993 and 2003), the Vagina Monologues (2003 and 2005) and Yanagai, Yanagai! (2004)  saw TTC engage in topical, vital, social and political issues; each of these projects had a profound effect on audiences and were the catalysts for important changes in our social structure.

TTC has also had a profound effect on the way in which performances are developed in Kenya. TTC has been instrumental in the development of the devised work technique. Voice of a Dream (2002) KigeziNdoto (2006) and Githaa (2006 and still showing) were developed through the techn  ique of engaging the experiences of the performers. Dance and music are fluidly combined with stories to produce an unique and satisfying performance. Because the stories are drawn from the performers, and the performers are rooted in and connected to society, public audiences find there is a strong connection to this material. In addition, because improvisation is encouraged in this technique, the audience is further attracted by the lack of formality. TTC has produced a performance style by the people and for the people.

The work is seen in communities, bars, restaurants, homes, and sometimes, even in theatres!

The Spaces
Central to the innovative and high quality work of TTC is the ongoing development of an inspiring physical facility at Karichota on Mt. Kenya. Karichota is set in 10 acres of indigenous forest on the slopes of Mt. Kenya and has been an endless source of inspiration to Kenyan artists over the years. Musician Eric Wainaina created his current album there; groups of artists from the Kuona collective have spent months together painting and sculpting. Karichota offers equal inspiration to performance artists. All members of TTC projects have spent a few days there in rehearsal, and all testify to its relaxing yet inspiring atmosphere.

Moses Mbasu (Blaze)
Event manager, writer and CEO of Spark Africa Management.
Moses Mbasu mostly known as Blaze started his career as writer and editor for the first entertainment magazine of its kind called PHAT! Magazine. As an editor he interviewed and mingled with the some of the greatest African artists from Yvonne Chakachaka, Alpha Blondy, the late Lucky Dube, Mandoza, Lebo Mathosa and Brenda Fassie just to name a few.

Being an editor at PHAT! Magazine for many years he found himself becoming an arts activist and an active promoter of musical development in Africa. Through his activism he helped put young Kenyan musicians on the global map and most importantly making them very popular at home. His passion for music has seen him involved in many global arts project such KORA Music Awards in Johannesburg South Africa. He would like to see hip-hop artists get the respect that they deserve on the national and international platform.

Upon leaving PHAT! Magazine, he started a music and arts agency called Spark Africa. Blaze is the manager of the monthly British Council event WAPI (Words and Pictures). WAPI is a celebrated space of creativity in Africa; it started in Nairobi in 2006 and Blaze has been instrumental in having it spread out to Lagos-Nigeria, Dar es Salaam- Tanzania, Zanzibar, Accra- Ghana and Kampala- Uganda. WAPI has paved the way for forgotten creative expression.

As CEO of Spark Africa Management he has been involved in many music projects including Emcee Africa, Slam Africa, Your City Summit in Durban South Africa, UN Habitat Youth Empowerment Summit, UN Habitat Urban Youth & Arts Summit. With a passion for global art, culture and music, he spends his free time engaging young people to use their creative abilities for positive change.

Through his work Blaze has been able to transform the arts landscape in Nairobi and created an environment of creative freedom. Moses Mbasu is a correspondent for Amsterdam based online magazine BaobabConnections. He has written for local newspapers such as Nation, Standard and Adam magazine. He is the international contributor to North Carolina USA based Tribe Magazine.

Maggie Otieno

Maggie Otieno is an artist and General Manager at AfricanColours. AfricanColours has just redesigned and launched their new website. The organisation plays a major role in distributing information on arts online. AfricanColours works towards a “viable contemporary African art scene that is internationally recognized and technologically savvy”. We do so by “Connecting artists and engaging the art industry through leveraging technologies, offering cultural experiences in and creating value for contemporary visual arts in Africa”.

Angela Wachuka

Angela Wachuka is the Executive Director of Kwani Trust. She oversees the Trust’s daily operations and provides direction toward the achievement of the organisation’s mission, strategy, annual goals and objectives.

Angela joined Kwani Trust in February 2008 and previous to this, studied and worked in England for 6 years. As a Freelancer for the BBC’s African News and Current Affairs Department, she worked as a Broadcasting Assistant on both Focus on Africa and Network Africa Radio Programmes, and on the quarterly Focus on Africa Magazine. Angela holds a BA in Anthropology & Law from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) and has held various research-oriented posts at the London Borough of Lambeth, the Association of British Insurers and the Centre for African Policy & Peace Strategy (CAPPS) in London.

Carol Lees
Former director of RaMoMA who started her own gallery, the One Off Contemporary Art Gallery in Nairobi where she represents African painters.

Sanne van den Berg
Cultural attaché at the Dutch ambassy in Kenia.

Will Janssen
Regional Representative for Hivos.

Rudy van Dijck
Chairman & Founder Sarakasi Trust

Sarakasi Trust is a performance arts developmental organization that was founded in 2001. We facilitate training and capacity building of acrobats, dancers and musicians from the slums.

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