Friday, April 29, 2011

Arts Education in Africa. . .

The following is a letter from co-Founder and Project Director, Sarah duPont. We hope you consider making a pledge. 

Dear Friends,

Over the past years my dear friend Gigi Hancock and I have been working on a project that has often brought much joy to our hectic lives.  It’s called ArtForce Africa, a project that promotes art education as a tool for dynamic growth in Africa. Our work is based in Ouidah,  Benin, West-Africa where we’ve recently opened CIAMO – The International Center for Art and Music in Ouidah.

It’s a simple idea - equal opportunity education. We want to give the students of Benin the same opportunity most American children have - to develop their creative and cognitive thinking skills through courses and extra-curricular activities in the arts.

We’re trying to find the best way to reach out to the maximum number of students. This school year we’ve already offered basic arts education to 280 students as well as lessons and other activities to an additional 150.  In the coming year will work with Beninese and international artists and educators to  develop a sustainable arts curriculum, and train local teachers  to use it.  

The teaching is carried out by a team of local and international artists. To see a video of resident artist and team member Leni Stern working at the center, visit YouTube Page at  Also, our blog at has all the latest news about events and activities in Benin. I think you’ll be impressed.

I am writing to see if you can help us to give these children a chance to thrive in the arts.  $400 can provide guitar lessons to one student for an entire year. $500 can permit an art class to paint a mural in the city. $1000 can help us to expand our keyboard lab and offer more lessons. $6000 can pay for an international artist to come and teach to our students while helping us develop an arts curriculum. $100,000 can fund our project for the next year.  

Your dollars help us expand and enhance our outreach not only in Benin but throughout Africa.  Please send your tax-deductable donation to our fiscal sponsor, Rachel’s Network, INC (in the memo line, write “CIAMO”).  

Rachel’s Network, INC
1200 18th Street NW
Suite 310
Washington DC, 20036

You can also make a pledge on our website at and we’ll be in contact with you in the coming days. If you have any questions about the project, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sarah duPont
Co-Founder and Project Director
ArtForce Africa

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