Programmes 2016


Kuona Trust contributes towards the strengthening of artistic practice and cultural development in Kenya through its various programmes, running throughout the year.

The programmes include – residencies, conceptual exhibitions, community outreach and public art projects.

We are now receiving submissions from artists for the 5 sets of programmes to be implemented in the year 2016.

Submissions are competitive and therefore not all projects may be selected.


To be eligible, applicants must be independent artists, incorporated non-profit arts organizations or unincorporated artist collectives.                                                               Projects will be reviewed and awarded on the basis of three evaluation criteria:  artistic merit, organizational effectiveness, and impact on the community

The Projects and proposals should be a focus on any of the following social themes  :

  1. Human rights and Gender issues
  2. Citizen participation and Governance
  3. Peace building and security
  4. Environment and conservation


The programmes include:-

  1. COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMMES (3 programmes running up to 3 months each)

Objective: Art practiced at a community level creates a powerful sense of inclusion, individual awareness and  ability of self-expression among participants. A community-based arts project is where an artist works with a community to facilitate a creative process that enables participants to express their needs, aspirations, inspirations, identity or sense of place. Many in Kenya lack even the most basic access to arts information, training and opportunities. With our outreach programme we aim to reach those who have not had this basic human right, and give some support to under-resourced communities. Kuona Trust offers practicing artists the opportunity to take their talents to these communities and enthuse their participants through a process of ‘learning-by-exchange’.

The project proposal would have to be based on one of the thematic areas previously stated and should specify the following:

  1. The target group – Specific demographic , age and gender
  2. Duration of the project and the proposed project plan
  • Desired objectives, indicators and output.
  1. The impact of the project and how it will be sustained after completion of the programme.
  2. Budget (Maximum of Ksh 100,000)

The project must be engaging and all-inclusive of the target community. The outreach can be in any part of the country and not limited to Nairobi County.


  1. CONCEPT BASED EXHIBITIONS (2 Exhibitions running up to 6weeks each)

Objectives:  To demonstrate how art can be used to educate, inform and make powerful statements.  These exhibitions attempt to encourage artists to look at conceptual practice and to address issues affecting the community. The Exhibitions are aimed to create an ideal and excellent tool to educate and create awareness. The exhibitions also provoke the audience into dialogue discussing issues that are often not openly addressed.

Concept based exhibitions should be based on one of the stated thematic areas and focus on issues that are relevant and resonate with the current social, cultural, political and economic issues in the country and the region.

The project proposal should specify the following:

  1. Exhibition concept
  2. Artist biography
  3. The target group – Specific demographic , age and gender
  4. Proposed work plan and time frame including research period, acquiring materials, developing and setting up the exhibition
  5. Objectives, indicators and output of the project
  6. Budget (Maximum of Ksh 100,000 each) This includes materials, set up costs, transport, curatorial and artist fee




Objective: This programme is aimed at supporting artists interested in working in the public space to articulate issues that relate to the current social and political situation in the country, in a manner that is relevant, challenging and interesting to the public.

Kuona is committed to raising awareness of art amongst the Kenyan public and increasing their interaction with the arts.  We welcome proposals for art projects with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the public domain. Through the programme, Kuona aims to generate interest in public art projects, and mutually engage and initiate an open dialogue among artists and local communities on any of the 4 thematic areas stated above. Artists are encouraged to consider an aspect of collaboration in their projects. Making art with people requires an honest exchange and a safe space where people can challenge ideas, fearlessly experiment, learn new skills, speak their minds and be respected.

The project proposal would have to be based on one of the thematic areas stated above and should specify the following:

  1. The concept of the public art project
  2. Location of the public space
  3. The artist(s) biography
  4. The target group – Specific demographic , age and gender
  5. Proposed work plan and time frame including research, acquiring materials, developing and setting up the installation
  6. Desired objectives, indicators and output.
  7. Budget (Maximum of Ksh 200,000) This includes materials, set up costs, licences, transport and artist fee.


  1. AIR (Self-Funded Artists In Residence)

Kuona Trust is now offering a new Artist In Residency programme (AIR). Artists from all over the world have come to Kuona to work with our mix of talented artists and to meet, work, and grow within the bustling and exciting city of Nairobi. Kuona’s acclaimed residency programme has already proved itself after over 100 artists and 20 years of successful events.

Kuona Trust offers artists an amazing opportunity to experience the vibrant, rapidly growing visual arts scene of Nairobi.   With the recent opening of 3 new art galleries, the city is filled with the bustle and momentum that infects artists and audiences alike.  Nairobi’s art scene is quickly growing to one of the busiest visual-art hubs in the region.  Working alongside 36 other artists, Kuona Trust’s art centre offers artists an amazing opportunity to experience the vibrant visual arts scene in Kenya.

This opportunity offers preferential space for professional artists who are able to finance their own  residency at the Kuona Trust centre for a period of two or months. Kuona will arrange accommodation and studio space for the artists and facilitate their stay in the city.

The price for an AIR residency starts at USD 250 per a week and USD 1000 per month.

The above amount includes the following:

- Self-catering accommodation, 20 minutes walk from the centre

- Studio rental at Kuona Trust

– Use of the Resource Centre and facilities eg. Wifi connection, gallery and ammenities

– Support from Kuona Trust staff and artists


This programme is self-sponsored and hence the artist will have to cater for his/her own materials, transport, and living expenses.


Interested applicants can send  the following to the stated email address:

  1. a representative portfolio of work produced in the past three years of at least 10 works and no more than 20. Please keep images no larger than 300kb and each email no larger than 2MB.
  2. an artist biography with full names, references, addresses and contact numbers
  3. a brief letter of motivation, not more than one A4 page long, outlining reasons for wishing to join the programme
  4. details of sources of funding
  5. Preferred period of residency (date and year)



This AIR Residency programme is housed at the Tafaria Castle and Country Lodge on the Nyeri-Nyahururu highway, Laikipia Plains.

The Tafaria cHub (creative hub) artists-in-residence programme is a reflective community based residency.The programme acts as a creative incubator that identifies local talent in the community and provides mentorship through a paired residency programme with established visual and performance artists, crafters, designers and writers.

The artists are encouraged to create community-based arts projects and work with the targeted local community to facilitate a creative process that enables participants to express their needs, aspirations, inspirations, identity or sense of place. The residency programme is aimed at introducing art and creativity as alternative means of livelihood in this rural community.

Each residency lasts for a period of 4 to 8 weeks with a materials budget of Ksh 10,000 per month.


The Artists-in-Residence are housed in the cHub residency quarters with access to the staff cafeteria.

Some basic tools are available but any specialist materials or equipment will need to be brought in by the artists who will also be responsible for their safety and upkeep.

AiRs have access to Wifi, a shared studio studio space, library, amphitheatre, on-site recreational and fitness facilities and the substantial grounds.

How to apply

Applicants should provide the following information:

  1. A one page statement describing your current artistic practice (visual or performance art)
  2. Five- ten images of recent work (JPEG format)
  3. An application letter stating the reasons for your interest in the residency, the particular project you will be developing during the residency and how this project will addresses current economic, social and environmental concerns in the area
  4. A current artist biography containing your email and telephone contacts and the names, email and telephone contacts of two professional referees (we will only contact your referees if your application is shortlisted for interview)


Where to send the application

Programmes Officer: sheila(at)

Please read the guidelines carefully before applying


Deadline for Application: 31st January 2016

Successful Applicants will be contacted by the 8th February 2016



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