The aim of Hands On Art Workshops is to support and encourage creative and imaginative thinking, engagement and exchange globally and intergenerationally between artists and students.
Hands On Art Workshops, initiated by Lisa Milroy, offers a programme of practical art workshops for primary and secondary school students in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya.
In 2015 Lisa Milroy initiated Hands On Art Workshops with the support of Vodafone Foundation, Vodafone’s charitable arm and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Hands On Art Workshops offers a programme of practical art workshops for primary and secondary school students in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya delivered through live video conference sessions and mobile phone messaging. Hands On Art Workshops is facilitated by Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR’s Instant Network Schools programme, which utilises digital video conference technology. Lisa travels to Kakuma Refugee Camp annually to deliver Hands On workshops, working with UNHCR Kakuma.
Stephanie Nebbia joined Hands On Art Workshops as Deputy Director in 2020.
The aim of Hands On Art Workshops is to support and encourage creative and imaginative thinking, engagement and exchange globally and intergenerationally between artists and students. All Hands On Art Workshops are devised by artists, and based on the artist’s practice. Through Hands On Art Workshops, students can develop their creative skills through drawing, painting, performance, object-making and writing, and aspects of functional design.
Hands On Art Workshops is grounded in Lisa’s artistic practice. The programme grew out of a practical drawing workshop “Everyday Objects” that Lisa developed in 2004 based on her approach to still life painting, first delivered to secondary school students in London.
To encourage more students to take part in independent art practice sessions across Kakuma Refugee Camp, Lisa devised the Hands On Self-Directed Art Workshops Manual, an ever-evolving set of practical art workshops devised by artists, based on the artist’s practice. The manual provides instructions on A4 sheets that outline the focus of the workshop, art materials required and illustrated guidelines. Using these instructions, any workshop can be communicated and shared through email and printed locally to facilitate workshops delivered by other teachers and artists in Kakuma Refugee Camp and beyond. A number of Slade Graduate Painting students now contribute workshops to the Hands On programme based on their own practice.
In 2019 Lisa set up the Hands On Art Scholarship to support secondary school education, providing full secondary school tuition for a Hands On student.
In 2020 Lisa established the Hands On Gateway Bursary, which provides a one-year salary for a secondary school graduate in Kakuma in the role of ‘Hands On Coach’ to support art activities.
In 2021 the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL offered support for Hands On Art Workshops by setting up the Hands On/Slade Short Courses Bursary, enabling the Hands On Coach to join the Slade Short Course programmes online throughout the academic year.
Both the Hands On Art Workshops Scholarship and Hands On Gateway Bursary have been funded through donor support and Lisa’s artistic practice, and are administered by Windle International Kenya. Lisa has secured donor funding for an annual Hands On Art Workshops Scholarship until 2024.