Kigali Arts Festival (KAF) is once again bringing together a creative community of artisans, and during its third edition, the event will feature seasoned artists and up-and-coming ones, who will showcase products influenced by their daily life.
The festival, due on July 1, at Umubano Hotel, is designed to empower local handcraft cooperative members and solo artisans, especially those in rural areas, to become economically independent and to connect with the international community in order to further their craft.
Over 40 artists are expected to participate in the exhibition which, according to the organisers, will include workshops to connect rural artisans with the artists in the capital Kigali, to find market for their products.
François Ingabire, the festival organiser, told The New Times that this edition will be ‘special’, as participants will have an opportunity to network with many people, including potential clients.
“Our art crafts have high demand out there and we expect foreigners in Rwanda to visit the exhibition,” said Ingabire. “I have received positive feedback from many people and I am confident this time they will enjoy the exhibition like never before. As artists what we need is to be more innovative with our art crafts,” he added.
The organisers have also scheduled a workshop for the exhibitors to help them improve their handmade products, as well as help them to get market.
Different craft products will be on display at the exhibition, ranging from baskets, banana paper craft, accessories, carpets and wooden plates to ceramics products like cups and vases, tailored products like t-shirts, bags, pillows, and table cloths. Others will include visual products like frames and silk screen for T-shirts, among others.
Kigali Arts Festival is an annual event organised to promote art crafts and create network between the craft artists to the corresponding shops and other interested individuals. It also provides workshops to craft artists to empower them with improved technical skills and how to develop their craft skills into a big business.
In addition, organisers say this edition will include live painting by some of the renowned studios in Kigali, such as All African Handcrafts, Gama Arts, and Ivuka Arts. Other highlights include a fashion show courtesy of Rwanda Clothing, and Rwandan traditional music and dance.
During the festival, participants will have the opportunity to make their own hand crafts.
Previous editions helped more than 20 women artisans to develop their products.