Small Grants Awarded to Four Artist Groups in Papua New Guinea

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The first round of American Arts Incubator “small grants” has been awarded! More than fifty community members in Papua New Guinea came out to participate in the public presentation of project ideas, which was hosted by the YWCA Port Moresby. Four creative and courageous Port Moresby teams presented public art concepts addressing women's empowerment, which had been developed during a week-long workshop led by American Arts Incubator visiting artist, Kendal Henry.

The following projects will be developed over the next few weeks, and then unveiled during a public ceremony. You can read more about the exchange here.

ELYOK Products, a women's collective of traditional artisans crafting bilum (the unique woven bags indigenous to PNG) will create a project that connects local women bilum-makers to the market demand that exists both locally and internationally.

Melanesian Institute of Arts & Communication (MIAC) at the University of Papua New Guinea intends to develop interactive installations in well-traversed areas on campus that combine functional sculpture, sound, and social media. Each installation will serve as a gathering spot as well as a tribute to a successful female UPNG graduate.

Youth Adolescent Health (YAH) Club, a group advocating for health and social issues affecting teens and young adults in PNG, has proposed a project tentatively titled Confidence-Builder Outfit Booth (C-BOB) where young people in a busy mall will be invited to choose custom-designed articles of clothing intending to instigate dialogue around building confidence. Photography and social media will extend the conversation to the virtual world.

YU YET Center is a holistic approach to community engagement and healing for youth, using traditional and contemporary art, yoga, dance, music, and theater in the Paga Hill neighborhood.

Photo of PNG newspaper, The National. "American artist gives grants to four groups," The National. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. 24 March 2015. Print.

Thank you to the brave presenters: Allan Mogerema (YU YET Center); Albert Joseph (UPNG); David Rupa, Faith Kila, Kay Ila, & Janelle Kila (Youth Adolescent Health Club); and Emmanuel Kaitas (ELYOK Products).

And we’d like to extend a special thank you to our selection committee: Beatrice Mahuru (CEO Digicel PNG Foundation), Dulciana Somare-Brash (Deputy Executive Director of Pacific Institute of Public Policy), Hamish George (Director Port Moresby Theatre), Ed Soltow (U.S. Embassy Port Moresby Public Affairs Officer), and Carlos Williams (U.S. Health Attaché of Pacific Islands).



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