Mobile Art School in Kenya (MASK) employs a comprehensive approach to its work in promoting learning for creativity and innovation through art. MASK believes that creativity and innovation are essential and powerful contributors to economic growth and poverty alleviation, but believes that creative education in East African schools is unacceptably limited. MASK operates on the belief that creative learning is an ultimate economic resource and that fostering creative skills in young people is key for increasing job opportunities for youth, promoting peace, eradicating poverty through the development of entrepreneurial skills, and fostering personal growth through increased confidence, motivation and self-esteem.
MASK has developed an effective learning model for non-formal education arund creativity and innovation in schools that utilizes the arts as a pedagogical tool. The model can be implemented across schools with minimum costs and policy change. Since its establishment in 2006, MASK has worked in 20 Kenyan schools with orphaned, homeless, or abused students and over 25,000 children have benefited from MASK's programs that include: workshops and weekly art clubs in schools, Art for Peace-Building, Facilitators-Training, art camps, and the national annual art competition for young people in Kenya, the MASK ART PRIZE. MASK students' art has been exhibited in Kenya, France, the UK, and the USA.
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CEI approaches in action
Funders: Creativity Gym, Linbury Trust, JJ Charitable Trust, Swire Foundation, SOAS, IIEP UNESCO, Saatchi Gallery, Black Rock, Stephenson Harwood Solicitors, Stone King Sewell Solicitors, UNON, Center for Conflict Resolution-Kenya, Russian Embassy in KEnya, Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, Kenya Embassy in the USA
One of MASK's programs is a national creativity competition, the MASK prize, that is open and advertised to millions of young people in East Africa (through the competition's media partner, The Star, a national newspaper.
Since starting in 2007 from a small mobile unit, MASK has progressed enough to present its programs at UNESCO, UNESCO IIEP, UNESCO (KNUC), UNICEF (Kenya), University of London, Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Center, George Washington University, Saatchi Gallery, Nairobi National Museum, and US Chamber of Commerce. Las year, MASK presented its programs to the president's adviser on Africa at the White House. MASK's work was also featured in a number of East African and UK press and media.
MASK has begun two new programs: Creativity for Entrepreneurship and Creativity for Leadership in two secondary schools. MASK is also publishing a book and a series of manuals for teachers to provide a framework for education for creativity in schools.
Monitoring & Evaluation
MASK assesses processes of creativity, and the ideas or physical objects that students produce are evidence of that process. MASK's assessment methodology is dialogue assessment. It contains a series of options or questions that help with creative processes such as: "What can be?" "What if?" "How can we?" "Do you remember so-and-so did this?"
The objectives of the dialogue assessment are for students to learn through collaborative work with facilitators and to negotiate the assessment criteria in order to understand what they aim to achieve.
MASK also assesses main indicators such as:
1. Visual skills such as observation and visualization
2. Ability to generate, evaluate, communicate, and implement their ideas, and novelty, effectiveness, and ethics of thinking
3. How clear students understand creativity and their creative learning process