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Exploring a new art adventure: Imbali Artbooks website launches soon

Book launch and roll-out

As the Imbali Visual Literacy Project is a non-profit organisation, funding needed to be raised for the research, writing, design, printing and roll-out of the books. ‘The initial funding for the development of the books came from the MTN Foundation,’ says Watterson. ‘This was in 2008. But as the work progressed, we realised we wanted to do something beyond the Teachers’ Guide, which was the scope of the MTN grant. So, as the project grew, it was necessary to seek additional funding. The Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation, a US-based family trust, contributed and, in the final stages, the NEA Foundation, a US-based organisation supporting education, came on board to cover the printing.
     ‘With a grant from the National Arts Council (NAC) in 2018-2019, we were able to roll-out 360 book sets to three provinces – the Northern Cape, North West and Limpopo (120 books each). We selected these provinces initially, along with the NAC, as they seemed to have the greatest need. Working with the provincial education departments to identify the specific districts and schools, teachers were invited to attend a one-day workshop where they were introduced to the books and some of the practical artmaking activities therein. Because of the vast distances in the Northern Cape, we were required to run additional workshops in this province. The NEA Foundation came on board to fund these extra Northern Cape workshops in De Aar, Upington and Springbok. 

    ‘In early 2019, to accompany the launch of the Imbali Artbooks at the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, we delivered a special workshop to 20 exceptional art teachers and community arts workers, hand-picked because of their commitment to teaching and learning in visual art. This initiative was funded by Suzanne Ackerman, of the Ackerman Foundation.
     ‘In 2019-2020 we partnered once again with the MTN Foundation to deliver books and workshops to a further two provinces, the Free State and Mpumalanga. We ran three workshops in Mpumalanga with 120 teachers attending in total. Each teacher received a set of Artbooks for their school as well as a generous pack of art materials including paints, brushes and art paper. Once again, we worked through the provincial departments of education to identify the schools and teachers who would benefit most.
     ‘In 2020-2021 there are further plans to roll out books and training workshops to more teachers and schools in the Free State, Eastern and Western Cape provinces, also in partnership with the MTN Foundation.

     ‘Although the books are accessible and easy to work with, the introductory workshops are critical as they stimulate and excite teachers, thus ensuring the books are used in the classroom and don’t end up locked in an office somewhere. The workshops also make explicit the very close links between the content of the books and the CAPS document. All three topics in the CAPS, “Creating in 2-D”, “Creating in 3-D” and “Visual Literacy” are covered extensively in the books in diverse ways.’
     In addition to the funded book roll-outs, Watterson says that ‘through selling some of the books we are able to help support our book roll-out initiative which, in phase one, will see 1 080 books going to under-resourced schools in each of the nine provinces (120 per province). Our ultimate aim is to see a set of Imbali artbooks in every South African school!’

Navigate the article:
Introduction
Back to the beginning
MTN SA & Imbali: 20 years of partnership
Adventuring into artbooks
Imbali Artbooks: carefully chosen themes and artworks
Book launch and roll-out
A brand new, interactive website

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