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My Kinda Kwanzaa: Virtual Learning and Art Workshop

  • About This Program

    As we prepare for the Kwanzaa celebration to start on December 26, the Gantt Center invites you and your children to learn more about the ceremony and its rich traditions. Kwanzaa, meaning "first" in Swahili, is an African-American annual tradition created by Dr. Maulana Karenga that celebrates heritage, community, and collective achievement. Kwanzaa connects African-American and African culture through its symbols and customs for community festivities that last 7 days.

    For this special workshop, Visual Vanguard featured artist Aniqua Wilkerson (owner and designer of My Kinda Thing) will share details about Kwanzaa's 7 principles, and how these principles are important both for the Kwanzaa celebration, and during our daily lives. Following the lesson on Kwanzaa, participants will use a coloring sheet created by Aniqua, adding African-inspired patterns and colors in a collage style. Participants can expect to have a deeper understanding of Kwanzaa, and an introductory practice of collaging.

    Although all ages and experience levels are welcome to participate in this free virtual experience, the workshop will be targeted toward 4 to 8 year-olds.

    Supplies needed for this workshop:

    • At least (1) printout of My Kinda Thing coloring sheet (will be emailed upon registration)
    • At least (1) printout of the African-inspired pattern coloring sheet (will be emailed upon registration)
    • Colored pencils, crayons, and/or markers
    • Scissors
    • Glue

    How To Participate

    To join the workshop, visit the Gantt Center's official YouTube channel here on Thursday, December 23 at 6 pm.

  • About The Teaching Artist

    My name is Aniqua Wilkerson and I am the artist/design behind the My Kinda Thing University and My Kinda Thing, a handmade company that specializes in creating one of a kind handmade dolls. The mission of My Kinda Thing is to promote pride and confidence in children of color, particularly girls and even more specifically Black/African American girls, in efforts to combat self hate.

    As a crochet doll maker I want to share my perspective through creating designs that reflect the beauty of our Black girls. I choose their skin tones in every shade of brown I can find, and I crochet their hair to mimic the thick kinky textures often associated with African/Black hair. I chose bright and vibrant colors for my creations because I want to move away from the pastels and neutrals often used in crochet doll designing. It is important that I design dolls that reconnect me with my African roots.

    Each doll is created with love and purpose. They are teaching tools, used to show, not just the crochet world but the wider world that beauty comes in every shade, from the lightest to the darkest shades of brown. They are created with combinations of simple crochet techniques used to convey a simple understanding. Beauty is diverse! There are immeasurable ways to be beautiful and I'd like to think that each design is a reminder of the many ways beauty is expressed!

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