Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Kumasi, Ghana are sister cities participating in the Sister Cities International program. Grow Foundation For Ghana has partnered with Sister Cities Winston-Salem to provide art for an upcoming student art showcase. GFFG advisory committee member Benjamin Offei – Nyako (BON) solicited student art from three Kumasi schools. (BON is an artist and lectured at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) for many years. See more about him in Board Members & Friends.) Students submitted artwork based on the theme “Connecting Communities for Peace and Prosperity.”
Samuel Antwi, a KNUST student, received the 2016 Sister Cities International student art competition grand prize. BON wrote:
“Excited to write this. That, the event went out well and the whole student body was invited. In attendance was Dr. Kwame Boafoa GFFG board member. Samuel Antwi received his prize with a standing ovation. It crowned several achievements by the school. The Chairman of the board of directors intends on organizing a radio interview for the students. It was a proud moment for the Staff of the Art Department also. The $1,000.00 can do a lot for Samuel. His guardian was around to give him the family support.”
2018 Kumasi Art Workshop
The initial Kumasi Student Art Workshop was held in July 2018 and was hosted at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) High School.
- Participants had hands-on practice using the cameras in varied environments and received feedback from instructors and fellow classmates related to their skills.
- We facilitated a live video session with Ghanaian photographer Nana Kofi Acquah who provided his knowledge about photography as a profession and photography as a tool to make positive change in Ghana.
- Ghanaian artist and retired KNUST lecturer and art department chair Benjamin Ofei-Nyako (known professionally as BON) mentored teachers throughout the workshop allowing teachers the opportunity to interact with him. He provided feedback and guidance as needed. BON also presented his own work and provided a professional artist’s insight into composition and storytelling.
- Introduced the concept of generous listening to develop personal skills to interact with other persons without conflict or prejudice.
- Learned from each other about conflict that occurs in their schools between students, between students and teachers, and among staff members.
- Introduced them to resources for bringing peacekeeping skills to their students such as Peace Jam Ghana.
- Teachers had actual hands-on practice utilizing the skills presented.
Building Community and Prosperity
- Teachers shared their ideas about how to use photography in their classroom settings and their communities.
- We visited Achinakrom and St. Louis Senior High School. We met with various student groups and discussed our goals and learned from them as art students what they needed and wanted to learn as part of their curriculum.