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    A Studio for Nakivale's visual artists

    Day 209

    Art From The Ground Up

    In a place filled with thousands of people from different backgrounds, like Nakivale Settlement, the hobbies of the community are as varied as the people who live there. But everywhere we turned we found talent – people exploring their own outlets of creative expression. One example is the Revolutions Artists collective founded by Ben Terarc.

    “No one trusts artists, no one sees what we do” he says. He wanted to change all that, by creating a safe space for people to gather and create art together.

    Ben started drawing and painting when he was a kid, and was only 17 when he arrived in Nakivale. “I started with nothing” he explains. “I create art using anything I could find.” And he used his art to meet friends too. While soft spoken, he lights up when talking about his favorite pieces – including the 4×6 hand-painted cards he sells to raise money for more art supplies. But for Ben, just creating art isn’t enough. He wants to pass on his knowledge to the next generation. “I didn’t finish school” Ben explains. “Now I want to help kids, to teach them what I know.”

    So on Day 209, we are helping Ben with his dream, working together to build a new artist studio.

    Stocked with new art equipment, including brushes, acrylic paint and canvas, the studio will work as a place to teach others artistic skills. It creates a safe space for artists to gather and to give the youth in the community a productive hobby. And the art isn’t the only thing that’s thriving. “Lots of kids drink or take drugs” Ben says sadly. But then he smiles. “I want to change that. Art gives me courage to go forward.”

    A special thanks to Brian Kindler, Robin Brusman, Jane Leahy, Patrick Kindler, Beachy Boheme, Greg Smith, Bella Wordsworth, Ian Winston, Chris Kindler, Palmer McElhenny, Jill Emmer and anonymous donors for making the Revolution Artists studio a reality.

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