With one of its newest projects recently recognised by the New York Times as a must visit while in Cape Town, Lalela Project provides year-round, community-based arts education workshops to youth in the Western Cape who are affected by extreme poverty, so as to spark creative thinking and awaken the entrepreneurial spirit. During the vulnerable after school and holiday periods, Lalela Project uses the power of the arts to help youth navigate a clear path that is often cluttered with the hazards of extreme poverty, including gang violence, HIV / AIDS, and physical and substance abuse.
Through its Ideas, Art and Music (I AM) curriculum and its critical messaging component, Lalela Project engages and empowers youth in creative thinking and solutions, igniting imagination and teaching youth how to map and manifest their dreams and goals. Lalela Project believes that innovative and creative young people will contribute to social and economic development, launching a possibility of a different future for themselves and their communities.
As its patron, One&Only Cape Town has a close working relationship with Lalela Project. A permanent exhibition space, devoted to various exhibitions and work by Lalela Project, is situated on the Mezzanine Level above the hotel lobby. Open for viewing at any time by the public and hotel guests, the gallery features an ever-changing array of work and installations by Lalela Project students.
The latest exhibition to feature in the space is A Year in Design, Innovation and the Arts. Launched in December, the exhibition features a wide spectrum of art and experiences created by Lalela Project students ages 5 to 19, from the Art of Jazz, which involved a collaboration with the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, to the Art of the Colours of My Flag, where the children explore South Africa's diversity by drawing from the colours of the national flag, and to the Art of Part of Me, which entailed students creating self-portraits inspired by the wisdom of Nelson Mandela. The unique pieces from the Art of Part of Me were also exhibited in the gallery on Mandela Day as part of a larger tribute to Nelson Mandela, creating a mindful connection to Madiba which asks the important question ‘How will we personally help carry on his work?'
On viewing the exhibition there is no denying the talent that Lalela Project has helped harness for many children. “It’s impossible not to be moved by the sheer emotion of some of the works as well as the artistic talent and brave ‘heart’ work our children display through their art," says Oliver Nurock, of Lalela Project.
Thanks to its role as World Design Capital 2014, there is no doubt that the eyes of the world are on Cape Town. It goes without saying then that its artists and creative innovators are amongst the city’s most important ambassadors, and thanks to programmes like Lalela Project, the diversity of the city is being shown to beautiful effect by its future leaders and adult citizens.
Source: Travel People
For more information on the One&Only or the Lalela Project please contact us: email@example.com