Art exhibition to raise funds for music scholarships in Southern Africa

An initiative hosted by Music Crossroads International seeks to bring together artists from all around the world to help raise funds for students at music schools in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Students at Music Crossroads' Mozambique campus. Photo: Music Crossroads / Facebook
Students at Music Crossroads' Mozambique campus. Photo: Music Crossroads / Facebook

Dubbed the Acrylic Melody Exhibition (AME), the initiative was launched in February 2016. The latest AME exhibition takes place in June and July at two different venues in Brussels, Belgium, where Music Crossroads has its headquarters.

The first phase of the exhibition is already underway at Ethiopian restaurant Kokob in the centre of Brussels. It started on 1 June and continues until 22 June.

It will be followed by a 15-day exhibition at Kuumba, the Flemish African House, in Brussels from 23 June until 7 July. There will be live acoustic music during the opening night and musicians are welcome to participate in a jam session.

The goal of the AME initiative is to unite artists globally to further promote the access to artistic and cultural education and expression. On display and on sale are music-inspired wood-panel paintings from artists and art enthusiasts from 20 countries. All proceeds will go towards funding scholarships for students at our music academies in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Roughly one third of the students enrolled at these campuses benefit from the scholarships, which are available to marginalized youth who could not otherwise be able to access music education. These are the students who will be benefitting from this initiative. For every 500 euros raised, one student is able to attend a full year at the academy.

According to Music Crossroads Director Joe Hermann, “At Music Crossroads we put every effort into supporting talented young people in Africa by providing them with music education and training. We are very grateful to all the artists who have seen value in what we do and decided to donate their work to this fundraising initiative.

“The beautiful works you will see at the exhibition were inspired by music. Music means much more to the young people we work with than any of us could ever imagine. In the challenging environments within their home countries, music has given our students a chance to make a living, a way of earning respect and credibility within their communities and for some, a reason to live," continued Hermann. "This is why we strive to provide the best possible education and opportunities and – with your support – we may continue to help these young people develop and use their musical talents, empowering them through music.”

Art critic and historian Genny Di Bert explained: “The intention of the Music Crossroads Acrylic Melody Exhibition is to achieve a sort of synergy between thought and organization in phenomenology, as it regards comtemporary art and music from different cultural contexts… Through its empowerment of African youth through music education, non-profit organization Music Crossroads has shown how artistic and cultural expression bring people together for social betterment. The relationship formed between art and music in the context of their Acrylic Melody initiative is clearly a positive and effective example, which further stressed the universal significance of culture, music and the arts in society.”

The artworks have been done by professional artists Derick Smith (Ireland), Xavier Yarto (Mexico), Reyna Zapata (Mexico), Marie-Agnes le Guen (Belgium), Christy Titus (USA), Giorgio Radicati (Italy), Nancy Marisa Arlt (Germany), Luciana Mathioudakis (Greece/Italy), Dovile Simonyte (Lithuania), Gisella Fama (Argentina) and Susan Willcocks (Canada), as well as students from Art Company (Belgium) and Rome University of Fine Arts (RUFA) (Italy) and art enthusiasts Anita Rocha, Augusto Hernandez, Diana Cangueiro, Ines Moreira, Margaux Rouchet, Michal Zuk and Rikke Lorenzen.

For more information visit the exhibition event page on Facebook. If you are interested in buying a panel, even if you are not able to attend the exhibition, you can look through the catalogue and email the code to info@music-crossroads.net.

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