Arts Education International is a 501(c)3 non proﬁt organization committed to providing sustainable, community-based arts programs for orphaned, abandoned and traumatized children all over the world. We currently have five programs in Ghana and Sierra Leone serving over 600 children, and will soon be expanding domestically. We hire indigenous artists, musicians, dancers and dramatists to teach workshops for the kids. The children we serve have grown up under the most harrowing of circumstances. Some were orphaned as a result of the AIDS epidemic, while others were forced into combat as child soldiers in a brutal, 11-year civil war.
Our programs provide:
Emotional Rehabilitation Through the Arts
The exploration of artistic outlets of expression provide children with the ability to confront trauma on their own terms. Participating in the arts restores the ability to play in children who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.
Connection to Indigenous Arts
By connecting orphaned and abandoned children with the bearers of artistic tradition within their own communities, we offer children a connection to their own cultural heritage that would otherwise be missing in cultures where traditions are passed on through family lineage.
By employing indigenous visual artists, musicians, dancers, dramatists and writers, AEI emphasizes the importance of sustainable programs in which communities help themselves. By maintaining a close working relationship with local artists, and with caretakers and administrators at the orphanages and children’s homes we serve, we can more effectively address the specific and unique needs of each community in which we work.
For those children who show a particular proclivity towards or dedication to a specific discipline, we provide opportunities for private study and eventual apprenticeship with prominent artists who have maintained successful careers within that discipline.