As part of deliberate efforts to awake the consciousness of the study of history among the Nigerian students, the management of Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA) has trained 527 students on careers in arts and heritage.
The benefitting students were drawn from the University of Benin Demonstration Secondary School (UDSS), Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Benin, Ogbe Junior Secondary School, Anglican Girls Grammar School (AGGS) and Phelim High School all in Benin City.
The Arts and Heritage career mentoring was funded by the Open Society Foundation in Africa (OSF Africa). Speaking during the career programme, Ore Disu, director of EMOWAA Pavilion said that skilled curators, conservators and archaeologists were in short supply in Africa, especially countries like Nigeria. Disu said the EMOWAA Pavilion was consciously working to design programmes that would expand opportunities for young people to be trained and get involved in the care, study and representation of their heritage.
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She explained that the EMOWAA Pavilion was a state-of-the-arts research facility currently under construction in the Benin City centre. She said the benefitting students who are between the ages of 13 and 16 years were tutored for over 30 hours of in-class learning sessions and 16 hours of an array of out-school activities.
The director of EMOWAA Pavilion said the students visited the live EMOWAA Archaeology research site where Olusegun Opadeji, a senior lecturer of Archaeology at the University of Ibadan, took them on a tour of the site. She also added that the students visited Nosona Art Studio, owned by a renowned Artist Enotie Ogbebor, where they engaged in pottery making under the supervision of professional ceramists. “EMOWAA would not just benefit people in Benin City or even Edo, but should also expand to other young learners, educators and scholars across Nigeria and West Africa.
“We are working towards rolling out seasonal internships and volunteers opportunities. These interactions will bring important histories, archives and research projects to life for young learners,” she said.
She added that EMOWAA was a nonprofit organisation which aimed to build a self-sustaining ecosystem in West Africa heritage, craftsmanship and contemporary arts by providing an environment for learning, research and exhibition, as well as a workspace for artists, artisans and scholars in Benin City, Nigeria.
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