“The Call to Create”: Sam Kessie on Artistry & Empowering Oppressed Youth Through Film Friday 27 May, 2011

–DONATION LINKS @ BOTTOM OF POST– Guest Post by Sam Kessie of Tomorrow’s Kaleidoscope of Artists Foundation (TKAF) I’ve told people from time to time that it’s taken me quite a long time to finally accept and proudly call myself an artist. For the last 6 years, I have had to figure out if I was really […]

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–DONATION LINKS @ BOTTOM OF POST–

Guest Post by Sam Kessie of Tomorrow’s Kaleidoscope of Artists Foundation (TKAF)

Sam Kessie

I’ve told people from time to time that it’s taken me quite a long time to finally accept and proudly call myself an artist. For the last 6 years, I have had to figure out if I was really making the right choice in pursuing this passion. There’s been the ups and downs, the harsh realities of the entertainment industry (and life in general), the picking up of myself and starting this vicious cycle all over again.

But the good days have come. These days remind me that my work has paid off–work that has moved people, intrigued people, and confused people in important ways.

Today I do smile and call myself an ARTIST :-) because through it all, I am still here, living my daydreams and trying to do what I can to help use my talents and gifts for good. I am proud to have listened to my true calling in life; the call to create.

As a child, I experienced wanting and needing a creative outlet, especially in a place where people just don’t understand the true magic of art; where it’s never encouraged or addressed. At Tomorrow’s Kaleidoscope of Artists Foundation (TKAF), our mission is simple: We help children believe that to love art isn’t shameful, to love art isn’t weird, to love art isn’t to be stupid–To love art is to be unique!

The Foundation’s 2011 charity of choice is AKOSIA, a non-profit organization that develops and facilitates creative projects for underprivileged children and women all over the world.

For the past two summers, the AKOSIA team has been in Accra, Ghana working with the students from the Street Academy – a school that provides free education to children aged 6-18, as well as uniforms, books, and a decent meal each day for Ghana’s abandoned and homeless youth in Accra. During the summer, the school is shut dow. As a result, these youth find themselves back on the streets peddling until school resumes.

The aim of the summer month long filmmaking program is to provide 45 children from the Street Academy a creative filmmaking journey bringing storytelling to life by having the kids write, create, direct and produce their own two short films. The aim is to let the children produce the films as independently as possible, providing them with creative tools and technical skills where necessary. This way, we hope that the children will get the chance to see themselves in a different light and that this will inspire them to become more confident in their creative abilities. At the end of the summer, a mini film festival will be held in order to bring the community together, help impact the less fortunate and less encouraged through something as magical as art.

The TKA Foundation for the 2011 summer project will join the cause to provide an engaging and safe environment where underprivileged children’s natural
abilities can be expressed and nurtured. At the same time, we aim to show a way out of poverty with useful skills in an ever growing African Film Industry that has rebuilt itself from the ground up. This growing industry relies on local skills and funding to create an internationally recognized multi-million to billion dollar industry within the last decade.

TKAF has had fundraiser events to help a team of eight volunteers, all of different backgrounds and walks of life, go to Ghana this summer to provide the arts program for its third consecutive year.  We are extremely excited about this opportunity to make the summer dreams of these kids come true.

We are still working towards our fundraising goal, so we are planning one last small get together for a one-day informational session and 10-part short film series, with films (10 mins or less) from the team members going to Ghana, as well as two past shorts from the kids of the Street Academy. The event will be sometime late June or early July, so stay tuned for more information on that.

If you are interested in making a donation that could empower and change the lives of these youth, please visit the following links.

http://ulu.ly/hg1Ssa

http://tkafoundation.org/sponsorsdonors/

Words can’t even begin to say how grateful we are to everyone who has helped us by supporting our commitment to AKOSIA.  AKOSIA, TKAF and the Street Academy say a giant THANK YOU!



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