The Morning Call newspaper has started their second (annual?) Best Blogs of the Lehigh Valley. ArtsLehigh was the 2011 winner in the “arts” category. We are thrilled to see so many new blogs added to the ballot. Why would we want competition? When everyone participates in creative competitions and shares information about the things they love, everyone wins.
Ugandan artist Fred Mutebi uses art as an educational tool to reach underprivileged and vulnerable children and communities in Uganda. His mission is to educate the diverse segments of society by using the principles of creativity to encourage mutual understanding and constructive change for a positive future.
He put together a collection of artwork and stories from a diverse group of children living in Uganda. The artwork is accompanied by the artist’s story that inspired each piece.
Many children were affected by the 20 year rebel insurgency in northern Uganda that targeted innocent civilians. Some lost parents and family members to the senseless killing. Some were sexually abused. Some were abducted by the rebels and turned into child soldiers. All have been traumatized by the war.
Many children have been affected by the scourge of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Some have been orphaned by the disease. Some are living with the disease. All have been touched in one way or another by HIV/AIDS.
Many children have been living in extreme poverty. Some have not been able to attend school. Some have lacked access to adequate medical care. Some have been raising younger brothers and sisters. All have struggled with poverty.
The thoughts and talents of the youth of Uganda are exemplified in this collection of artwork. These incredibly resilient children have creatively documented their personal experiences.
NOTE: Fred Mutebi visited Lehigh University in October 2008. The Global Union sponsored the visit. ArtsLehigh connected him with the local community. He showed students at Holy Infancy Elementary School how to create a “talking mural” and gave a presentation to art students at the Lehigh Valley School for the Performing Arts.