Imagination Station: The Arts, Bay artist help children in Morocco
By Echo Staff
Jan 17, 2014, 18:27
Lori Gordon with two Moroccan children, Salma and Hanane.
Thanks to contributions from two Mississippi-based corporations, one Moroccan cultural association, two Marrakechi businessmen and a handful of volunteers, a group of Moroccan children recently learned the ancient art of henna. This trans-Atlantic venture came about when The Arts, Hancock County Mississippi offered to present their “Imagination Station” through Six Degrees Consortium, another US-based organization presently operating in Marrakech. The Arts dispensed funds to hire a professional henna artist, Henna Cafe Cultural Association stepped forward to provide the henna, Marrakech businessman Brahim Ait Moulay donated the leather that was used as canvas, and Maroc Excursions provided refreshments.
According to The Arts Board Member Martha Whitney Butler, Imagination Station springs to life once a month on Main Street Bay St. Louis during the Second Saturday Artwalk. Professional artists are hired to share their talents with the children of the community. Children proudly walk away with the piece of art they created and a sense of what it means to be an artist. The activity has flourished for more than a year, and Butler says she is thrilled that the project has expanded to an international venue.
Mississippi artist Lori K. Gordon, Founder and President of Six Degrees Consortium, is presently living in Marrakech and working with Henna Cafe Cultural Association to provide a weekly arts workshop for children. The activities at the workshops have been based on experiences that provide the children with exposure to and respect for other cultures as well as their own. Projects have included the creation of art based on traditional Lakota designs from the US Northern Plains, colorful fish inspired by Japanese koi, and necklaces based on the beaded adornments of the Samburu tribe in Kenya. Gordon affirms that the collaboration with The Arts is perfectly in tune with the mission of Six Degrees Consortium, which is to build bridges between cultures through the arts.