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Our face is our most social self; it tells who we are in relation to our community, culture, time and place in history. Masks have long been powerful symbols of transformation of both the spirit and the physical form. The Kiboko Projects’ programs are international exchanges that use the creation of masks as a way for teens and adults to express their creativity and explore their identities. Along with the mask making, participants from Africa, Russia, and the United States have created photodiaries with film, video, and bookmaking that speak of their hardships and dreams.  The participants, by articulating their stories, whether they be of struggles with child labor and AIDS, or pride in their culture, learn to develop confidence in their voice. As the projects are exchanged from culture to culture, they also learn to listen. By exhibiting their art projects across the globe, project members are able to overcome their own senses of isolation. When they see projects from other countries, they learn about other cultures and develop new ways of seeing the world that helps to overcome prejudice. These masks transform not only the people who make them, but all who see them as well.

Since 1999, the organization has sponsored workshops, exhibitions, and cultural exchange programs for both youth and adults on three continents. Participants come from diverse backgrounds and many are creating art for the first time in their lives. First-time Kiboko Projects artists have included youth, adults, and entire families who frequently come from segments of society rarely exposed to art workshops of this type.  Participants have included immigrants, ex-soldiers, physically- and mentally-challenged people, grandmothers raising their grandchildren, and people with HIV/AIDS, as well as students and artists.  Kiboko Projects workshops typically take place outside of normal “art-world” venues in everyday locations such as schools, community centers, and homes. During Kiboko workshops, participants are given access to state of the art technology and creative media. They also learn a range of creative skills, ranging from literacy-related to technical.  Participants at workshops are encouraged to organize, document and speak about their lives, and integrate their new expressive skills, using the technologies available at the workshop.

Photographer Mark Scheflen founded Kiboko Projects as an artistic exchange between at-risk school children in New York City and students in the Machakos and Makueni areas of Kenya.  Scheflen taught the art of autobiography through photography, video, painting and drawing. The work was exhibited widely throughout Kenya and the United States, including a UNICEF sponsored show at the United Nations and an ongoing exhibition at St. Mark's in-the-Bowery. Due to the overwhelmingly positive responses, in 2001, he expanded the program to South Africa, where children discussed post-apartheid life, the ravages of AIDS in their community, and pride in tribal customs through visual mediums. Subsequently, he brought together a diverse community of recent immigrants to New York to begin a multi-media project titled "my country".   They wore their masks in a dance ceremony, captured on film and video to show how they are straddling two worlds, one of tradition, and their desire for education and access to technology.

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logos Kiboko Projects has received funding for numerous projects to mention a few: Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Daniele Agostino Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Manhattan Cultural Council, and National Endowment for the Arts, Material for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs