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ART WORKS OPEN DAY (article first published : 2001-06-20)

Art Works Trust, an NGO working creatively to overcome disadvantage, has an Open Day from 12h00 to 15h00 on June 23. The venue is Art Works courtyard, Greyville School in Kolling Street between Game City and Greyville racecourse.

Over the past year Art Works has worked intensively with disabled youth and disadvantaged women, focusing on skills and product development and HIV/AIDS awareness. The Trust encourages originality and resourcefulness using discarded materials for art and to make items for sale.

The Open Day will showcase work by two Umlazi groups. One is the physically challenged youth from rundown hostels at the badly neglected Mason Lincoln Special School in V Section who attend the Thuthukani art workshops. The other is the Masibumbane Women’s’ Group who dream of a multi-purpose training and resource centre with water and electricity but currently work in an imijondolo (shack) in U Section.

Work from both groups will be on sale, including Jabula bags - and other alternatives to plastic bags -, telephone wire jewellery, cards and badges. From 13h00 to 15h00 there will be art and craft demonstrations and other activities. Soup and samoosas and other refreshments will be available.

"To run Skills Training Courses and issue certificates with no realistic chance of jobs for the participants, raises false hopes and breeds disillusionment," says Art Works coordinator, Liz Palmer. “In disadvantaged communities unemployment is between 40 and 80%. Only the few lucky ones stand a chance of a job. Skills alone are not enough. You must be able to generate an income for yourself and your family. We work with people not just teaching skills, but developing marketable products and outlets for their work. Our goal is to help people make things happen for themselves. We're a small NGO. Our input is a drop in the ocean. But each life changed, each success story inspires others to think - Maybe I, too, can do something to change my life."

So head for Street Art Works Courtyard at Greyville School in Kolling Street - opposite Independent Newspapers' delivery entrance. Look for the Art Works logo on the gatepost. More details from Liz or Nicki at (031) 309-8538.

A very valuable item for making the Jabula bags is the core of fax rolls. So, if you operate a fax machine that uses the small fax rolls, please keep the cores. They can be dropped off either at Art Works Trust or at Durban Arts, 316 Avondale Road, Durban.




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