2019 UNESCO International Arts Education Week Celebration in Nigeria

At the beginning of the 21st century, UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) began to acknowledge the crucial role of arts education as the very foundation to promote creative educational environments and as an essential element of education itself. To this end, as the first step to form a consensus with the international community, UNESCO proclaimed the “International Appeal for the Promotion of Arts Education and Creativity at School” at its 30th General Conference session in 1999.
In 2010, a decade following this appeal for increased awareness on the importance of arts education, the Second World Conference on Arts Education was held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea. Following the success of the 2nd World Conference on Arts Education (25-28 May 2010), the 4th week of May of every year has been proclaimed as International Arts Education Week by UNESCO’s General Conference at its 36th session.
The most notable outcome of this conference was the “Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education,” which was agreed upon through in-depth discussions of international experts, regarding the significance of arts education in and out of schools. The Seoul Agenda serves to enlarge the roles and scope of arts education and to encourage its social contribution efforts, while enhancing the overall quality of arts education and acting as a guiding direction for the education system.
The International Arts Education Week aims at increasing the international community’s awareness on the importance of arts education and at reinforcing its cooperation by promoting cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion.
During this week, art educators across the globe share the story of the impact of the transformative power of the arts in education.
Dr. Angela Saldanha was in Nigeria, West Africa on invitatation of the TEACHING VISUAL ART to celebrate the UNESCO International Arts Education Week with the Nigerian children. While in Nigeria, she was in company of Prince Olusegun Michael Adeniyi, an award winning Artist-cum-Art educator (2019 Inspirational Teacher of the year)
Dr. Angela Saldanha is the vice-president of the Association of Teachers of Expression and Visual Communication (APECV) and member of the European Council of the International Society for Education through Art (InSEA). She has undergone Postdoctoral degrees in Digital Media Art, Open University, Lisbon: PhD in Arts Education, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto, with “On the way home” thesis, approved unanimously, with Distinction and Honors. Master in Visual Arts with the dissertation “My Mirror, Your Mirror. And Degree in Design, University of Aveiro. PhD student in Contemporary Art, at the College of Arts, University of Coimbra.
2019 UNESCO International Arts Education Week at Caleb British International School, Lekki Lagos
In Nigeria, the 2019 UNESCO International Arts Education Week (20th to 26th of May, 2019) was celebrated at Caleb International School with two great events: Why Art is important to me and open Art studio.
At the “Why Art is important to me” event, the participants were made to write why Art is important to them. This also spark dialogue between students and there was a lot of conversation around importance of art among students and teachers. The InSEA Manifesto painted beautifully on 2.5 by 5 feet canvas was also on display to add to the ambience and to get the school community acquainted with the InSEA Manifesto. The whole essence was to create awareness for Art education week. The INSEA Manifesto can be downloaded at: http://insea.org/InSEA-Manifesto

 The Open Art Studio offers the CBIS community, the students, and teachers and parents the opportunity to explore, express and create art without inhibition.
"Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up", Pablo Picasso. Creative impulses are present in all human beings, but for one to excel in art, this creative instinct has to be cultivated, nourished and exercised so that it can be stimulated in others. This debunks the impression that Art is only meant for the gifted. Some adults were also able to discover their inner creative genius again at the Open Art Studio.

 The platform inspires creativity and provided Dr. Angela and Prince Olusegun the opportunity to offer mentor-ship to the participants aimed at discovering their unique voices in visual expression. The overall goal was to increase students’ motivation, awareness and understanding of the arts. Our little way of putting the Art in the heart of every child...
Before a child talks they sing. Before they write they draw. As soon as they stand they dance. Art is fundamental to human expression. Art, beyond the ability to draw is indeed a veritable platform to nurture divine talents, build character and harness intellectual capacity of people. Art opens a child to self-discovery; therefore any artistic endeavour engaged with the children should be fully supported and encouraged.
Collage was created from the artworks made at the Open art Studio.

Art Engagement in commemoration of the International Arts Education Week held at Early Moulders Private School, Ibadan.
TEACHING VISUAL ART has always been creating creative platforms to provide enriching and creative art activities for the kids with aim of promoting art from the grassroots level. TEACHING VISUAL ART brings continued resources and support to the advancement of art theory and practice in Nigeria. It was a rare privilege to have Dr. Angela on the outreach in Ibadan City to celebrate the UNESCO International Arts Education week with the concept “Making”, an artistic engagement juxtaposed with cultural exchanges. Many thanks to Mrs Oluwafunmilayo Adebiyi, the proprietress of the Early Moulders Private School for hosting us.

UNESCO International Arts Education Week Celebration at Greensprings School, Anthony Campus.
Dr. Angela and Prince were presented "Award of Stewardship" for their contribution to Art Education in Nigeria during the 2019 UNESCO International Arts Education Week at the Greensprings School, Anthony Campus, Lagos. Well done to Mr. Tayo Adekugbe and the Vocational Department led by Mr. Allen Ochieng.

Dr. Angela was also presented a piece of artwork by the Education Administrator of Caleb British International School, Mrs Pedro.

We invite the Art teachers to join InSEA (International Society of Education through Art). InSEA is a worldwide society of art educators concerned with education through Art.  Members work together to share experience, improve practice and strengthen the position of art in all areas of education. To join or learn more about InSEA, log on: www.insea.org

Conclusively, we hope that this report will further spread the awareness of UNESCO International Arts Education Week celebration in Nigeria and beyond; contribute to improving participation of Nigerian Art educators in InSEA; encourage creativity and inspire new concept in Art Theory and Practice. TEACHING VISUAL ART is committed to improving the quality of Art education in Nigeria with the aim of encouraging art participation and enrollment in Nigerian schools. 

Get involved in the future celebration of UNESCO International Arts Education Week!
Celebrate: host a celebration in your community, whether big or small, an existing event, or a new one.
Advocate: Share the value of the arts in education.
Participate: Share your story in the social media campaign...