As part of its social responsibility and community outreach programme, The Visual Arts Department of the University of Namibia has decided to relaunch the Tulipamwe International Artists’ Workshop, it was announced in a press statement. “After 11 successful years during which many Namibian artists have benefited from its outreach programme, Tulipamwe International Artists’ Workshop has decided to redirect its infrastructure and capacity to also help alleviate other important social needs. It is envisaged that Tulipamwe will in future also function as a project to help empower needy communities. Many local and international artists associated with Tulipamwe are now in a position to transfer their knowledge to other individuals in need of self-reliance and empowerment,” the statement said. The primary goal of Tulipamwe remains that of sharing ideas and skills. “However, Tulipamwe wants a change of focus to be more in keeping with the meaning of its name “we are together”. To this end the infrastructure and capacity of the project will be redirected to take a more inclusive approach to its activities. Tulipamwe would thus like to continue to involve the international and the Namibian arts communities in its activities.” According to the release, in future Tulipamwe will endeavour to share its positive energy to help empower communities. “Aiming to help elevate and empower neglected Namibian communities, especially in rural Namibia, it will send skilled artists to conduct development projects in needy communities. Artists participating in this project will have the opportunity to apply their creativity in community context, while identified communities will build their capacity by receiving technical and business (marketing) skills in a joint project with professional artists,” it further stated. At the relaunch a new working group of artists who would embrace the new vision of Tulipamwe will be formed. The new working group is expected to launch Tulipamwe as an independent long-term project with a rhythm of its own. Artists and members of the public passionate about the empowerment potential of the visual arts, and/or possess skills that will be beneficial to the project and its vision, are invited to apply to become members of Tulipamwe’s New Working Group (NWG). Individuals must please express their interest in becoming a member of the NWG before Friday, May 26, 2006. They may do so by sending an email to email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org or a fax to 061-2063804, or they may phone the Tulipamwe Caretaker on 061-206 3184. A shortlist will be drawn up from responses, followed by a meeting to establish the NWG and its terms of reference. Organisations and international agencies interested in partnerships with Tulipamwe, and independent observers are also welcome to attend the official launch by the Visual Arts Department at Unam on Friday, June 2 at 11h00.
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