Request Proposal

Artistic Collaboration with A Purpose: Exploring Art, Music, and Performance in Kenya

Study AbroadStudy Abroad Kenya

Overview & Dates

This program begins with one week of virtual programming before starting the four weeks of in-country programming. 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. Students will meet with the local performers during their virtual programming week. On arrival in Kenya, they will visit these local performers and experience the work they are doing in their communities firsthand. 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 to transform communities. The program will culminate in a performance by the students and local artists as they share their message through art with a community audience.

Program Dates

23 July – 20 August 2023

Registration Deadline: 1 June 2023

Key Study Topics

  • Intercultural competence
  • Key issues impacting local communities
  • Artistic collaboration
  • Art as a vehicle for community education 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the culture of music and art in Kenya with that of their home country
  2. Harness intercultural communication skills in collaborating with local peers and professionals 
  3. Comprehensively understand the key issues facing Kenyan communities – focusing on one issue to address in the final performance 
  4. Expand their ability to effectively collaborate with the artistic skills and unique perspectives of a wider team
  5. Refine their ability to apply intercultural competence and interpersonal communication skills to accomplish a determined goal
  6. Understand their own strengths and weaknesses, values and beliefs, and how to best use this new self-awareness in the service of the community 

 

Location

Brackenhurst Learning Center in Limuru, Nairobi was created to help meet specific educational requirements. Surrounded by a restored indigenous forest, and being just a 45-minute drive from central Nairobi, this hub is the perfect location from which to enjoy the nature and culture of Kenya. Students may engage in on-site recreational walking, jogging, or birdwatching along the forest trails.

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.

Pre-requisites

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.

Eligibility Requirements

Students participating in this program should be aware of and be prepared for the following: 

  • Producing a certificate of full and up-to-date (i.e. including booster shot where eligible) vaccination against COVID-19 before being allowed to enter Kenya
  • Signing and adhering to the policies outlined in EDU Africa’s Participant Agreement, which include protocols for Notifiable Medical Conditions (such as COVID-19)
  • Obtaining travel insurance (compulsory) before travel. This should include adequate cover for baggage, curtailment, and provision for any forms of disruptions to travel due to Notifiable Medical Conditions such as COVID-19.
  • Obtaining medical insurance (compulsory) before travel. This should cover any potential medical expenses and the cost of repatriation should participants become too ill to participate, including helicopter rescue and air ambulance services, as well as cover any forms of medical expenses that may be incurred due to illnesses due to Notifiable Medical Conditions such as COVID-19. 
  • Carrying their own luggage as much as possible to minimize cross-contamination with germs (help will be available when necessary in adherence to any Notifiable Medical Conditions protocols)
  • Walking long distances (i.e. on the walk with the Maasai herders)
  • Traveling on bumpy roads (gravel and tarred)
  • Living in a setting away from reliable internet
  • Managing dietary needs with limited available options in the Maasai Mara
  • Possessing an awareness that participation in the program might evoke a level of stress, anxiety, and discomfort as they will be in an unfamiliar environment with peers that they may not know
  • Working collaboratively in teams

Program Accessibility

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.

Academic Credit

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.

Instructor

Billy Mugambi

Billy Mugambi, also known as Mr Sketch, is a freelance illustrator, children’s content creator, and fine artist. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Design from the University of Nairobi and has worked as an art teacher in various schools in Nairobi.

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 for social revolution used by mankind; a universal language of activism that does not require a translator. He, therefore, strives to use it responsibly in unique ways. 

Application Process

Apply here: Student Application Form

  • The application deadline is 1 June 2023. Earlier 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 June 2023
  • A 10% deposit will be due on confirmation of acceptance

Featured Experiences

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.


Enquire about this program