Artistic Collaboration With A Purpose: Exploring Art, Music and Performance in Kenya 2024Study Abroad Kenya
Overview & Dates
This program begins with one week of virtual programming before four weeks in-country. The in-country programming is based at Brackenhurst, an eco-campus in Limuru Kenya, with a weekend wildlife safari excursion into the Maasai Mara region. This artistic collaboration course focuses on African music, art, and performance and their role in creating awareness and social transformation in local communities.
Students will collaborate with local performers in the areas of art, music, and theater performance and focus on creating a presentation around a current social issue in Kenyan communities. Participants will meet with the local performers during their virtual programming week. On arriving in Kenya, they will then visit these local performers and experience firsthand the work they do in their communities. Through interactive lectures by Kenyan activists in the arts and running community service learning workshops, students will develop an appreciation for Kenyan art and the potential it has for community transformation. The program will culminate in a performance by the students and local artists as they share their message through art to a community audience.
Virtual program: 13-14 June and 17-21 June 2024
In-country: 7 to 4 August 2024
Registration Deadline: 1 April 2024
Key Study Topics
- Intercultural competence
- Key issues impacting local communities
- Artistic collaboration
- Art as a vehicle for community education
By the end of this program, students should be able to:
- Compare and contrast the culture of music and art in Kenya with that of their home country
- Develop intercultural communication skills to help them collaborate with local peers and professionals
- Develop a comprehensive understanding of the key issues faced by Kenyan communities, and focus on one issue to address in the final performance
- Expand their ability to effectively collaborate with the artistic skills and unique perspectives of a wider team
- Refine their ability to apply intercultural competence and interpersonal communication skills to accomplish a determined goal
- Understand their strengths and weaknesses, values and beliefs, and how to best use this new self-awareness in the service of the community
- Final performance
- Reflective essay and journal entries
Brackenhurst Learning Center is approximately 40 kilometers north of Nairobi and is set in a safe and peaceful environment among the rolling hills of Limuru, an area famous for its tea fields. Students may engage in on-site recreational walking, jogging, or birdwatching along the forest trails. Brackenhurst is equipped with learning areas that are prepared to meet specific educational requirements, with custom settings and materials to meet program needs.
The Maasai Mara, part of the expansive Maasai Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, has 15 conservancies. These conservancies cover over 300 000 acres and provide connected critical wildlife habitats that complement national parks and the reserve; they also secure major wildlife migratory corridors. Their vast open plains, Acacia-Commiphora woodland, rocky outcrops, and varied riverine vegetation provide habitat for around 400 bird species, over 60 mammal species, and host some of the highest wildlife densities in Africa.
A background in the visual or performing arts. Participants need to be culturally aware and open-minded to thrive in this program. All lectures and tutorials are conducted in English; hence a good command of the English language is essential.
Students participating in this program should be aware of and be prepared for the following:
- Walking long distances (i.e., 5 km) over rough terrain and muddy terrain during fieldwork
- Exposure to sun and wind during fieldwork
- Living in a setting without a consistent internet connection for the duration of the program
- Managing dietary needs with limited available options in some location
We are committed to providing an inclusive and accessible learning environment for all our program participants. Specific needs for disabilities and/or different functionalities should please be communicated to us during the program preparation phase so that they can be assessed, and wherever possible, the appropriate arrangements may be made to accommodate them ahead of time.
We do not currently offer independent credit for this program. However, students are encouraged to contact us so that we supply the required documentation if their participating professors can assist in applying for credit through their home institution. We provide a certificate of completion and a grade report on the successful completion of the program, but we do not provide an official credit-bearing transcript.
Billy uses various forms of visual and performing arts to express himself and his beliefs. He draws, paints, sculpts, crafts, writes, sings, and plays the guitar. He also cherishes the belief that art is the most powerful and enduring tool used by mankind for social revolution; a universal language of activism that does not require a translator. He strives to use art responsibly in his unique ways.
Apply here: Student Application Form
- The application deadline is 1 April 2024. Early applications are encouraged as there are limited placements available.
- You will be contacted within 7 working days of submitting an application to set up an interview as the second stage of the process
- The final determination will be communicated to you no later than 15 April 2024
- A 10% deposit will be due on confirmation of acceptance
USD $5 380 (Based on Shared Accommodation)
Brackenhurst Botanic Gardens
Brackenhurst Botanic Gardens is a vibrant gateway into the world of pre-colonial climate diversity. Rising out of misty, rolling hills of emerald-green tea, these gardens stand as a testament to the power of environmental restoration and protection. The project began in the year 2000 and includes an arboretum of rare tree species that are critically endangered across the continent.
Big Cat Monitoring
Incredible wildlife is one of Africa’s most appealing icons and is desperately in need of protection through conservation and educational projects. Many conservation efforts give rise to amazing service-learning programs, such as the opportunity to research and monitor big cats. Taking part in this project gives students a chance to deeply experience and engage with some of Africa’s most powerful and breathtaking wildlife.