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The ART of Collaboration project is wrapping up in Jinja, Uganda. Three organizations –Light Gives Heat, Sole Hope, IAmJ3 — collaborated with artist Patrick Maxcy on a project designed to transform the face of buildings in Uganda with street art.
Many of the buildings in Uganda are run down and neglected. The ART of Collaboration project will transform these buildings from dull, lifeless structures to vibrant works of art the people of Uganda will be able to enjoy for years to come.
This collaborative art project was funded through a Kickstarter campaign, in which the organizations reached out to their respective networks, seeking donations to make the project possible. In just a matter of days, the project was fully funded (a total of $10,800) and soon after, Dave Hanslow, co-founder of Light Gives Heat, Dru Collie, Executive Director of Sole Hope and Brent Moore, founder of IAMJ3, along with Patrick Maxcy, were headed to Uganda.
Shortly before they left for Uganda, we talked with Dave Hanslow of Light Gives Heat about the project.
How did you find Patrick and decide he was right for the project? I met Patrick a couple of years ago through the filmmakers of Moving On (movingonmovie.com) – The Director of our film’s name is Matt Katsolis( http://www.interpretstudios.com/ ) and he had worked on a few projects with Patrick. So, through the 2 years of filming and working on the movie we got to know Patrick and began collaborating on a few projects.
We felt he was right for the project for two reasons: First, his immense talent, which goes without saying. Secondly and maybe just as important, if not more is the simple fact that we gelled. His heart is similar to ours in that we have no intention of going in anywhere and telling people what they need–instead we listen and hopefully get to meet them where they are at, not where we are at. He has that same desire to listen instead of just speaking.
Were the designs for the murals made ahead of time, or will all the creation be done on the spot? We have gone back and forth the past few weeks with the Light Gives Heat Staff in Uganda to make sure the designs are appropriate and would be well received by the community. Since many of the designs will have an animal presence, we simply wanted to make sure that they were appropriate and have a general positive feeling about them.
In what cities or villages will you be working? We are working in a small village outside of Jinja, Uganda called Danita and Walukuba . It’s a community mainly comprised of Acholi Refugees from the war in the North over the past 20+ years.
How will buildings be selected to have murals painted? We have strategically chosen buildings that are very public and where we believe will have the most impact! We have chosen the side of an elementary school that is located dead center in the middle of this community, as well as a building of ours that we built just about 5 years ago that is also pretty near the center of town as well. Along with those two places, we are still scouting and will scout while in Uganda for a couple more.
Will they be done on homes? Our hope is that we will get to do at least one on a home. The only issue with that is how to choose one family over the others. Light Gives Heat currently employs 120 families, and it’s touchy concerning choosing one over another, but we’re hopeful.
What role will local citizens have in the project? Honestly, we’ll have to see. I know that Patrick would really like to have children in the community play a part, but until the time comes, it’s a bit of a guess to see what that will look like.
Who will be working on the project in Uganda? Along with Dave, Dru, Brent and Patrick, Light Gives Heat has two full-time American staff and six long-term volunteers on the ground in Uganda who will be helping with the project, along with a handful of Ugandan employees.
In a day and age where it seems like collaboration between companies and especially non-profits for some reason is a really difficult thing, I am excited to see us come together for something so simple, yet beautiful like the ART of Collaboration Project. Just cool to see people all using their talents, connections, and resources to get behind something like this.
David Hanslow, Light Gives Heat
For more on the completed project: