Community Arts & Architecture Volunteer (Learn-By-Doing In CommunityArts & Vernacular African Architecture)

GHANA / NKA Foundation

In such a project as this, the empowering question is: How do you engage people who are culturally different? How do you enable sustainable rural community development? One way to begin is to see the people as a people to be known. Nka Foundation’s art village project in the sub-Sahara creates the relational spaces to these ends. We seek to position the arts village as an open door for building bridges across cultures and disciplines. At Abetenin and Sang Arts Village in Ghana, we are running series of art and architecture camps and community arts residencies to create and sustain a rural arts village that consists of accommodation and learning centers such as a library, classrooms, studios, a shop and a land art museum. The arts village is conceived as a live-and-work centre that brings together local artistic persons growing up in poverty and practitioners from diverse cultures to interact for skills transfer. Everybody is welcome to our arts village: tourists, volunteers, interns and professionals in all of the arts, architecture and sustainable development. In general, we provide community support for your residency and free accommodation in an arts village setting or homestay for cultural immersion. Participant is responsible for raising funds for own travel costs, subsistence and towards project.

Join us! You can create works of art or join others to build artistic structures by use of earth and other materials from the environment. Our mud master will give you instructions on how to build with mud in the vernacular way and about all we are doing at the arts village with the local community. The weekends can be used for cultural excursions, expeditions to the national parks, or attend community events such as weddings, funerals, and festivals. Or, if you are a cultural entrepreneur or an arts innovator, you can spend the rest of the period collaborating with indigenous musicians, storytellers, weavers, bronze casters, leather workers, or contemporary practitioners.

Keep in mind that participatory questions are keys to open the local door: What can we do to work with you on this…? Why? Thereby, they bring their gifts to the table and we bring ours to the table. Empowering them to be successful in leveraging the abundant local resources for community development may entail training and counseling in mutual respect and trust. We anticipate the result will be permanent long-term change.

WHERE: Abetenim Arts Village, 20 kilometers from Kumasi in Ashanti Region; and Sang Arts Village in Sang, 50 kilometers from Tamale in Northern Region of Ghana.

COST: The organizer provides accommodation, orientation, and community coordination of project. All participants contribute €60 per week toward food (2/3 meals a day) and Househelp at the arts village or homestay. Our estimate of the cost of the arts/architecture project is €400 – €600 per person depending on project. The above estimate does not include your airfare, visa, personal insurance and personal spending.

CONTACT: E-mail to your contact information and date you are applying. For information on our projects go

POSTAL ADDRESS: Nka Foundation, Box Up 1115, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.

Expires: Aug 15, 2013