THE ART-TREE FOUNDATION
The Art-tree Foundation is a registered Community Interest Company based in the UK that seeks to provide a creative platform for young people in Uganda. We are dedicated to creating spaces and creative educational programs that nurture and empower a new generation in Uganda, a generation who will use this opportunity as an artistic platform to express their creativity. We aim to work with young creative people at home and abroad in an attempt to forge a connection through the arts and give people the opportunity to improve their lives and affect positive change in their communities.
We provide a creative platform for young people, and encourage young people to have faith in their ideas and think for themselves.
Art is powerful. It has the ability to bend, sever and literally change presupposed ideas and notions concerning every aspect of our lives. It discovers, occupies, and defines, in cities or in the countryside, in newly developed or continuously changing places. Artists and the arts have played a central role in education and lifelong learning for centuries. The arts nurture innovation and creativity from the earliest stages of a child’s development, to the end of a life.
Artists have continually found new ways to explore subjects such as order and disorder, society, and change. It is in these exploration processes that we might find new tools for life in this current age of uncertainty. In places of past oppression and social instability, such as the beautiful country of Uganda, art in all forms can be used as a powerful tool - creativity is everywhere. The youth of Uganda, when provided with an artistic platform, can affect formidable change. They have the opportunity to make art’s methods of reasoning and execution applicable to other realms of public life, and have the ability to introduce new systems, scales, and standards.
In Uganda, great strides have been made against illiteracy in the past few years. The literacy rate for adults is approaching 70%, with youth literacy exceeding 80% (UNESCO 2004). In addition, the gender gap between male and female literacy is beginning to close. With this effort to increase the literate population comes a major problem: supplying newly literate people with reading material so that they can retain and improve their skills. An alternative to public libraries that has shown great promise in providing communities with reading materials and other services is the community centre. By providing artistic facilities, such as libraries and community centres, young people have the chance to express themselves, learn new skills, and expand their artistic boundaries; ultimately resulting in the chance to affect positive change n their communities.
Artistic creativity is cultivated by love. It can be born out of resistance, but truly grows in peace. Culture isn’t constituted solely by the history of the people, a region or a period, but it is created by shared views. There is a growing body of evidence about the positive impact of arts education; many young people attach a high level of significance to the arts in their lives, experiences have a positive impact on raising a young person’s levels of motivation, determination and consequently, their achievements. We must continue to advocate for high-quality arts experience for young people, to engage them in decisions that affect them, and to reflect and value young people’s own cultural expression and creative freedom.