Nafasi was forced to shut down completely to the public and shutter artist studios for four months this year. It has been incredibly difficult, but the community has come together and managed to surive. We are very grateful for all of the generous contributions we received to help us respond and support artists.
Luckily, in August we were able to begin a slow re-opening and in September we hosting our first major return event, Wikiendi Live Pamoja Tena, which provided dozens of artists with their first opportunity to exhibit or perform since February 2020.
We also have continued the Nafasi Academy training for young artists and just completed the 5th Intensive workshop week on Professionalisation and Entrepreneurship. The Nafasi Academy students have now gone through nearly nine months of tailor designed art education and programming and we have seen great strides in their work from both a technical and conceptual standpoint. The artists have addressed issues in their work that range from mental health to environmentalism to untold histories. It has been such a wonderful journey to watch them grow and develop as artists. The Academy has also provided an opportunity for senior artists to pass on their skills to the younger generation while also helping supplement their income.
Finally, we received the very great news that the Swiss Embassy will provide funding to Nafasi to provide grants for 5-6 artists and arts organiations during the next year.
As always, Nafasi seeks to continue growing and supporting as many artists as possible, and there are always significant gaps that our donor and grant funding does not cover. We deeply appreciate the support of art lovers from around the world who chip in small amounts to help us meet these costs. Thank you, and we are eternally grateful for your contributions.
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