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The Imbali Visual Literacy Project

The Imbali Visual Literacy Project was founded in 1988, as a project of Women For Peace, to address the serious lack of art education in black schooling in South Africa at that time. Since then, as an organisation we have continued to develop art education in this country: through the training of teachers, the ongoing formulation of curriculum policy and design, our work in museum education, our educational materials and resources, and through the development of visual literacy skills and art-making skills for adult craftspeople and out-of-school youth.

We train teachers in art and visual literacy education. Our courses focus on looking at art as well as on art-making, curriculum design and planning, and teaching methodology. We work mainly with teachers from under-resourced schools and areas. We run a two-year accredited Advanced Certificate of Education programme in partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand.

Imbali trains craftspeople in two centres in Gauteng. One is in Kagiso Township on the West Rand, where we run a three-year full-time programme for young adults, specialising mainly in ceramics and textile design. The other is in the Bus Factory in Newtown, Johahannesburg, where we run SETA-accredited learnerships at NQF 2 and NQF 4 levels, in craft production, product development, and craft management. These programmes include literacy and numeracy training, and basic business skills training.

Imbali develops museum education programmes for special exhibitions, as well as providing gallery guide training and education officer training. Special workshops are developed to train teachers in ways of using museums as teaching resources. We have worked extensively with the Johannesburg Art Gallery, the Pretoria Cultural History Museum, MuseumAfrica, and the Joubert Park Project, among others.

We run an ongoing programme for streetchildren, in art-making. This programme includes art-therapeutic elements, and training in peer-support. We have worked in partnership with the Twilight Shelter, Muka Streetchildren’s Drama Group, and the Market Photography Workshop, among others.

Imbali is continuously developing educational resources for Arts and Culture teachers. These currently include a handbook on visual literacy teaching; workshop-material to support published resources such as the Taxi artbooks series; cultural literacy resource packages such as the Suitcase Project; museum educational packages; and the extensive teacher-support materials that accompany all of our courses.

Street Children Exhibition Opening
- 2nd October @ Museum Africa

Imbali Visual Literact Project has been running an art programme with street children for the past year and a half. This programme involved bringing youth from the streets of Hillbrow into Museum Africa twice a week for a range of creative art making activities and discussions. The youngsters' showed great enthusiasn and commitment to the art making and have created many wonderful pieces.

An exhibition of this programme will open on the 2nd October 2004 at Museum Africa. As well as showcasing the work made by the groups, the exhibition will engage with a number of other issues around the workshop programme. How the workshop impacted on participants' lives, the various perceptions surrounding the programme by all parties involved, problems encountered during the workshop are just a few of the areas that will be covered.

This multi-layered exhibition will contribute in a very real way to discussions around the value and worth of arts programmes aimed at marginalised groups.

Opening: 2nd October 2004
Time: 2pm (with a performance by the group at 2:30)
Place: Museum Africa

For more information, please contact:

011 492 3333 (fax and phone) or 083 324 4644

at The Bus Factory
corner President & Goch Streets

P O Box 3404

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