Mtakuja Art Group Collective, Tanzania
Mtakuja Art Group
The Tanzanian artists who formed the Mtakuja Art Group Collective are Local Heroes in the small, rural village of Mto wa Mbu in northern Tanzania. In the beginning, five artists decided to combine their talents and form a cooperative, with the goal of being self-employed. Now, they sell their professional artwork to tourists and help local youth build better lives.
As part of the group’s mission, members teach at-risk youth, ages 6-13, about their cultural heritage and show them how to create quality pieces of artwork that the youth can sell in the Arusha city markets to help them earn a sustainable living. Mtakuja trains students in the hugely popular Tanzanian fine art of Tingatinga which is a style that originated in Dar es Salaam in the 2nd half of the 20th century. A favorite of locals and tourists alike, the art has now spread throughout East Africa and has become synonymous with Tanzanian fine art. The Mtakuja Art Group recognizes the value of education and offers flexible training hours to enable the students to develop their artistic skills after school, on the weekend and over holidays. In addition, the adult artists teach the students important life skills and help them learn to manage their earnings. Read more about the Mtakuja Art Group project with GO Campaign below.