Tuesday, October 05, 2010

RAISING VOICES Art Benefit Event 2010

The RAISING VOICES Art Benefit was a huge success! Thank you to all the artists and everyone who contributed to making this event so enjoyable and successful.

Fair trade products made by the Opuk Jakinda Cooperative in Kisumu, Kenya.

The lovely Christina Moses and Tiease Lee.

The Chiapas Project was present with their fair trade artisan products made by a network of women's cooperatives in Mexico.

Servicing Wildflowers International came with beautiful dolls in the most fashionable clothing and detailed Romanian painted eggs.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

RAISING VOICES Art Benefit Event

1pm to 5pm
LA Daylight Studios
201 South Santa Fe Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Join us for an exciting event showcasing artistic expression from all over the world, while supporting work with vulnerable communities in Africa. Voices for umoja is hosting an afternoon of food, drink, music, cool products, and good company as we come together to celebrate the connections that emerge from the process of creative expression.

2010 Raising Voices Benefit Art Show
An event to raise funds for Voices for umoja to support work with vulnerable populations in Africa will take place on Saturday, September 25th, at LA Daylight Studios in Downtown Los Angeles. The daytime event will include DJ, refreshments, auction, photography & art work, fair trade products for sale & good company. All in-kind and monetary donations are tax deductible.

Voices for umoja (umoja means unity in Swahili) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to using various forms of communication and action to create change at the community level and beyond. Voices for umoja strives to connect groups and individuals with the goal of strengthening our global community. Voices for umoja was started out of a project with a community-based organization called Abila Creative Center (now Abila Creative Arts) in Kisumu, Kenya that began in 2006. Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya, is located in the Nyanza province, home of Barack Obama's grandmother and the area with the highest HIV rate in the country. Kisumu has high poverty and unemployment rates and very limited opportunities for economic advancement, especially following the violence that erupted in response to the last presidential election. Voices for umoja continues to work in close collaboration with Abila Creative Arts as well as other community-based organizations in Kenya.

For more information: please contact

"Raising Voices" Art Donation Show Statement

Artists and photographers where asked on an open call to submit/donate small artworks. Under a short amount of time to collect artwork, the aim for this donation group show was to collect as many national and international artist to express the interconnectivity around artist communities and community creative sharing. By collecting works of art from artists around the world we intent to expose the greater dialogue of community in which we have brought together creative individuals and multiple communities to share their own creative, cultural, and demographic perspectives of artistry and artistic practice.

All proceeds will be raised for future funding for community projects in Africa by Voices for Umoja; and as well as in support of strengthening our global community and creative voices around the world.

Organized by Sara Feldman, Christina Moses, Alexis Hudgins, & Calvin Lee

Participating Artists and Photographers

- Pauline Adhiambo, Kisumu, Kenya
- Jeffrey Agono, Kisumu, Kenya
- Carrie Rebecca Armellino, Los Angeles, CA
- Tracy Von Becker, Montville, NJ
- Michelle Bonfils, Los Angeles, CA
- Jimmy James Canales, San Antonio, TX
- Forever Young Chung, Los Angeles, CA
- Diana Sofia Estrada, Los Angeles, CA
- Dennis Feldman, Los Angeles, CA
- Neal Feldman, Los Angeles, CA
- Sara Feldman, Los Angeles, CA
- Nacho Genzon, Los Angeles, CA
- Nicolas Grenier, Montreal, Canada / Los Angeles, CA
- Carl Gunhouse, Brooklyn, NY
- Alexis Hudgins, Los Angeles, CA
- Eric Kim, Los Angeles, CA
- Helen Kim, Los Angeles, CA
- Karolina Karlic, Los Angeles, CA
- Calvin Lee, Los Angeles, CA
- Sidonie Loiseleux, Los Angeles, CA
- C. Francisco Martinez, Los Angeles, CA
- Harry McGowan, Los Angeles, CA
- Lisa Miller, Los Angeles, CA
- Joanne Mitchell, Los Angeles, CA
- Kean O'Brien, Los Angeles, CA
- Amelia Opalinska, Landing, N
- Robert H. Ordonez, Forrest Hills, NY
- William Otieno, Kisumu, Kenya
- Gastave Oyani, Kisumu, Kenya
- Joseph Peila, Royal City, WA
- Jason Plunkett, Los Angeles, CA
- Marina Pinsky, Los Angeles, CA
- Trevor Powers, Boston, MA
- Lisa Paige Robinson, Los Angeles, CA
- Jason Underhill, Los Angeles, CA
- April Windsor, Los Angeles, CA
- Nic Yakhama, Kisumu, Kenya
- Silke Zeidler, Germany

Monday, May 10, 2010

CSAfrica invites you to come celebrate the Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars new album release with a live show by the amazing artists themselves. Save the date and buy your tickets early for the show... Wednesday, May 12th at 8pm at the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip.
Sierra Leone's Refugee All stars are six musicians who formed a band while in a refugee camp in the Republic of Guinea during Sierra Leone's civil war.

They created music to keep their hope strong and inspire the spirits of the thousands of other refugees suffering from having to flee from their villages and cities.

After a few years of touring the refugee camps, sharing their music, they returned to Sierra Leone after talks of peace had proved to be true. There they were able to fulfill their dream of recording an album.

Since then, they have performed all over the world spreading their message of peace and awareness for their country and the global community. They have performed with legendary artists such as Aerosmith and Angelique Kidjo.

They've known the horrors of war firsthand and have become ambassadors of peace. An unbelievable testament to the human spirit, the journey of Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars exemplifies the universal healing power of music.


FREE DOWNLOAD: http://sierraleonesrefugeeallstars.bandcamp.com/track/free-download-living-stone

for TICKETS go to: http://www.theroxyonsunset.com

Festivities begin with the legendary booty shaking, feel the musics' soul in your bones, DJ Jeremy Sole of AfroFunke!
Then we get down to the inspiring uplifting afro, reggae, rhythm and blues, funk, soul of the Refugee All Stars.

Coalition for a Sustainable Africa (CSAfrica) is a collaboration of non-profit organizations offering sustainable solutions for grass-roots initiatives to empower the people and communities of Africa.

CSAfrica Member organizations:
• Artists for New South Africa
• Art AIDS Art
• Earth Rights Institute
• Empowerment Works
• GO Campaign
• Hands For Africa
• Help a Life
• Lost Boys of Sudan
• NextAid
• OneWorld Works
• Open Arts
• SWF International
• Save Africa’s Children
• The Niapele Project
• The Samburu Project
• Village Network Africa
• Voices for Umoja

See you there!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Voices' recent activity

In an effort to support the Creative Peace Foundation's (http://creativepeacefoundation.org/) One Thousand Pairs of Jeans for Africa campaign and help them reach their goal, we at voices for umoja, sent out mass emails to friends and family and within week, were able to help them accomplish their intention. 1000 pairs of jeans were collected!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Opuk Ja Kinda Cooperative and Abila

Opuk Jakinda and Abila met today and will be taking a trip to the Art House to get inspiration for new designs. Here are some photos of their meeting.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The New Abila Youth Club....

Well, we finished our first week in Kisumu!!

We met with the new Abila Youth Club and discussed their current
projects and hopes for the future. They are interested in avoiding
becoming idle, which can lead to high risk behavior, and they want to
find avenues to bring in some income. They are working on a production of an
original play about the post election violence by one of the members.
They have been writing and practicing some original songs that they
performed at the meeting. We will have a follow up meeting on

Giving voice to street kids...the beginnings of a possible collaboration...

We met with Pastor Johnson who works with street kids. He updated us on his project and we
discussed ways to collaborate. He also arranged for us to visit the
Kisumu Juvenile Remand Home, a place where children accused of crimes
are held while they await the resolution of their court proceedings
and where they put kids from the streets while they try to find their
families or other places for them to go.

Continuing ventures in fair trade self-sustaning micro-enterprise ventures...

We met with Caroline Agwanda, who previously trained the Opuk Jakinda members in making jewelry, paper products and baskets from the water hyacinth plant, and
discussed the progress of her new project, HOPE, which trains disabled
women to make crafts. Caroline then sells these crafts at her store
and around. We will be creating a stronger partnership with Caroline
by working on marketing her goods alongside the Opuk Jakinda products.

First meeting this trip with Okok Widows Group...

We met with Rose of the Okok Widows Group at her residence in the
rural area of Okok outside of Kisumu. Although the other members were
attending a funeral, she shared with us information about the products
they make. We will meet with the group again next week. We are taking the next and hopefully final steps in setting up distribution of fair trade avocado oil and other products made by the group with the American group Anti-Body.

What's new with VOICES....

We are currently on safari with Nelson of the Oldarpoi Maasai Safari
Camp, a safari camp run by Maasai that invests a great deal of its
funds back into the community. We will be visiting their projects
tomorrow before returning to Nairobi.