In celebration of the youth month, SAPN Entertainment and On the RedCouch with - is celebrating the youth and their respective roles in making our community and country a better place. (#YouthDoingTheMost better ) This hashtag is usually used by the "skrr skrr" youth saying they are doing the most by dressing up, or being cool and all but here at SA Positive News we are celebrating those that are actually bringing change, impact and or influencing others to actually do something productive with their lives and today we caught up with Bonolo Puleng Plessie, Who is the Founding Director of a Non profit organization called Keep The Dream Arts.

Keep The Dream Arts is a Johannesburg based Non-Profit Company that is responsible for community arts education, entertainment programs, developing and supporting young learners.  It's approach to the arts is applying creative methods, collaborating with different types of art forms and developing new audiences. Keep The Dream Arts provides unique and meaningful art educational programming for all ages to educate, support, to build a lifelong audience for the arts and a sustainable platform. "Part of the program we run is training artists to facilitate in schools. They have a mentoring aspect that comes in two ways; first, they mentor the facilitators during this process, secondly, in some instances, the facilitators peruse this and mentor their students or become mentors in their communities.

"We actually have one of our facilitators that started off as a student, then became Keep the Dream Arts facilitator, and is now facilitating workshops in galleries. Part of his process is mentoring the young artists to also do artistic work in their communities," said Bonolo.

 

The organization has brought so much impact because the state of arts education in the city of Johannesburg is that high schools offer Creative Arts as a compulsory subject in grades 8 and 9. If the school has limited financial resources then they do not have arts education. They would have to approach or be approached by arts organizations or individual arts practitioners to allow some involvement in arts education. At times, they do not have teachers to implement this. Keep the Dream Arts bridges that gap not only in schools (through arts programs) but also in community spaces (through holiday programs) to bridge the gap through the access of arts education, resources, and pedagogy. "We have worked with over 7000 learners over the years; partnered with organizations such as The Goethe Institute, Wits Art Museum, Keleketla Library, Gay and Lesbian Archive (GALA), The Bioscope Independent Cinema and Wits School Of Arts. We have also had over 20 facilitators and mentors".

As part of their holiday program, Wits Art Museum in partnership with Keep the Dream Arts would like to invite the youth-teenagers to the Teen_Connect Holiday Programme workshop, which will be taking place from the 24th – 28th of  June. Sign up for this EXCITING art making holiday program where you will tour Wits Art Museum, explore African art, enjoy a delicious meal, and create your own masterpiece. Limited spaces are available.  For participants between the ages of 11—19.

 

Puleng has completed her MAFA at the University of Witwatersrand in 2017 and is also part of the Johannesburg Working Group of Another Road map School, an international network of practitioners and researchers which use arts education to question and transform the social. She sits as a Board of Trustees for an arts education organization Curriculum Development Projects Trust,  and since 2016 she has participated in conferences in São Paulo, Vienna, Maseru, Zurich, Huye and various areas in Johannesburg. She is invited to contribute a research-edited volume entitled Critical Pedagogies in South African Visual Culture (2019).

 

Her research interest explores the notion of facilitating through dialogue to improve pedagogy by localizing content and introducing different IsiZulu terminologies used to re-imagine the language and practices associated with arts education such as Inkulumo-Mpendulwano. The research explores the dialogical in art pedagogy. This form of pedagogy is understood to allow for both the learner and educator to participate by exchanging experiences without the one being more superior to the other.

" I use the Zulu term Inkulumo-Mpendulwano, which, rudimentarily, means dialogue. Broken down, Inkulumo means to talk or to have a conversation and Mpendulwano means to respond. However, I also use the term Ukufundisa, which means “to teach” but also “to instruct” and “to school” which is an authoritarian way of teaching. What is emphasized in this research is not only the potentiality of Inkulumo-Mpendulwano interactions which can be adapted in the classroom as well as curated spaces but by introducing different terminologies I attempt to reimagine the language and practices associated with arts education. This further engages with the possibility of changes in terminology and vocabulary, how the written and spoken is understood differently and how visual and spatial modes become central to changing the learner/teacher dynamic. " she said.

 

From all of us here @sapositivenews #OnTheRedCouchWith-, we would like to say halala to you Bonolo for being one of the #YouthDoingTheMost and keeping the youth movement on fire by empowering the fellow youth to prosper and succeed.

 

By Bradley Brizzy

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