On September 21, The Zimbabwe Artist Project, a nonprofit group that supports rural, predominantly women artists, in Weya, Zimbabwe, will celebrate the grand opening of its new office and exhibition space in the newly renovated Olympic Mills Commerce Center, 107 S.E. Washington St., suite 162, marking the organizations eighth year.
The event will be from noon to 7 p.m. and will feature a 10 percent discount sale, and a short presentation honoring community supporters and partners from 5:30 to 6 p.m. followed by music by Njuzu Mbira. The event is free and open to the public. The Olympic Mills Commerce Center is located at Southeast Washington and 2nd streets.
Operating from a private home for the past eight years, the move to an expanded office and display space will increase ZAP's capacity for continued collaborations with local churches and other organizations in Oregon and Washington. The Zimbabwe Artists Project sells about 1100 pieces of art a year. The sale of the art provides income for Zimbabwean artists. Working with the developers of the Olympic Mills Commerce Center has provided this opportunity to ZAP to have a better and more publicly accessible space.
Executive Director Dick Adams often says, "We exhibit and sell where we are invited." In addition to providing income for the artists, the response from local individuals and organizations through collaborations, sales and donations have allowed ZAP to provide school textbooks and uniforms for children in Weya, offer emergency health care for the artists, fund AIDS education in the rural area, and, with a grant from The Seattle Rotary Club, dig and repair old wells that supply water to villagers.
The Zimbabwe Artists Project believes in establishing self-sufficiency as a means for development. The nonprofit encourages a working relationship between ZAP and the artists involved with the project rather than relying on the traditional donor-recipient approach.
For information visit the Web site at www.zimbabweartistsproject.org.