The importance of Art
The Kageno Kids Art and Cultural Exchange Program focuses on nurturing creative thinking and communication. Art is a universal language that comes from the core. It is a very important and necessary part of ones being, but in communities where Kageno builds its projects, this is a luxury. This means that in these areas, every single person from infant to elder, is struggling on just staying alive...which is somehow getting a meal, dong their chores, fighting sickness and then having to do even more work when close family members die leaving their children for other relatives to feed.
Creative thinking is not only fun and inspiring, it helps to build strong minds that have the ability to make new and creative answers to old problems. This allows each mind to see new solutions that will enable them to change destructive cycles they are stuck in.
So, as you can see, The Kageno Kids Art and Cultural Exchange Program is a very unique and important part of Kageno’s special multifaceted way of making great things happen. One which helps give the children the tools to think of the special solutions needed to stop the poverty and sickness that they have been born into.
This is an important page and is reserved to give credit and help explain all the creative images that have been used to make this site.
Art and images are not just anonymous images to look at that help tell a story.
For the person that made them, each single piece is something that holds a personal memory or a trace of that person’s time on this earth. This image will usually never mean as much to the person looking at it as it meant to the person who made it, but if you spend time studying the images, you will understand more of what they mean for the person who made them.
A Photograph that is used to illustrate a story is a physical image from a persons exact moment in time, and of a unique experience. Drawn and Written Art is something which surfaces for us to see through much concentration and actually comes from deep within ones mind and collective thinking.
For the Kageno Kids in Africa, this experience of meaning and symbolism is more intense than it could possibly be for anyone from parts of the world who are constantly faced with media and two dimensional visual images all day and night (TV/ movies/ books/ billboards/ shop windows/ street posters/ internet/ phones/ cameras /packages/ shopping bags/ tee shirts). Just imagine how powerful a picture or drawing would be to you if you had never ever made one or never really saw one before. This is what it is like for the Kageno Kids in Africa.
About the KagenoKids.org web site
The first phase of this web site was made by Michael Akuamoah-Boateng. He worked very closely and for a long time with the Kageno Kids Project Director to make sure all the Kageno Kids art and all the contributed images that were used, could best tell their story.
Michael grew up in Ghana, and his father is an Artist. Michael came to the U.S. to study Graphic Design and recently graduated from SUNY New Paltz. Therefore Jayne felt that he was in the position to contribute special insight to the design of this very special web site.(click here to learn more about Michael)
Then the website was finished up and completely reprogrammed in mid 2007 before its official launch by Justin Talbott. Justin is a freelance designer, filmmaker, and musician based out of Brooklyn, NY.
The Kageno Video was produced and edited by Justin Noto in 2005. Justin is a filmmaker based out of New York City and has been working with Kageno since 2003.
For the top design of all our web pages, an area from a Kageno Kids work of art was selected. Then that image area was altered further by color or diffusion... or sometimes even the merging of images. Next, the main image was placed on top of the cropped and manipulated Kageno Kids Art. The other functioning design elements were then put into place.
If you look at them closely, I bet you can now see how they were made!