Smart About Art

“Sm’Artrepreneurs believe in molding a generation of striving artists, not starving artists.”

Meet the team behind Sm’Artrepreneurs, an ALA Student Enterprise that offers a platform for artists to develop their skills while giving them practical experiences and opportunities that will pave their path towards a successful career in Art Industry.

Sm’Artrepreneurs began about four years ago, and has been active in supporting artists on our campus since inception: organizing shows, and providing merchandise to promote art at ALA.

We run a Scholars Program, which consists of a series of activities and opportunities, tailored to improve the skills and exposure of our Scholars.

Geared to meeting goals

Scholars are selected through a competitive application process, after which they sign contracts tailored to their art. This is to compensate the program for the resources provided to artists; for example visual artists may need more tools for their trade than, say, a theatrical performer.

We kickstart the program with meetings to set goals and expectations for the year, as well as to introduce the scholars to their mentors’ profiles. These mentors are volunteers to the program and comprise teachers, students and professional artists. As the year progresses, the scholars get to meet and learn from their mentors. We provide Scholars with platforms to showcase and sell their art, and with their experience under professional artists who are volunteer mentors, they become assets to the Scholars Program by mentoring the next generation of scholars.

In this term alone, we have accomplished our short-term goals of:

1 Partnering with Anzisha

We provided various entertainment for the Gala at the Anzisha Prizegiving ceremony in November, with Sm’Artpreneur Jonathan Kibe was the MC. Vocalists Chrystal Adam and Etelvina Benjamin performed the Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston hit When You Believe; artwork was exhibited on the night; three pieces were sold on and we recruited mentors.

2 Selecting the fourth generation of Scholars

We will soon kickstart our Scholar-Mentor program, which includes providing at least one off-campus experience for each of our scholars by end March next year. Nine scholars have been selected to join the program and we also recruited one new partner.

3 Drafting plans for the Decennial Celebrations week

This will include a major concert – watch this space for details!

Passion and dedication is a strong requirement for anyone wanting to join Sm’Artrepreneurs, as quite a bit of out-of-class time is needed to achieve our mission. We believe it will pay off though: the benefits come from not just having the confidence to display our artworks and sell ourselves as artists, but also in knowing how to run a viable business in the competitive art world.

Meet the Team

“Our vision is to make art a viable career option on the African continent,” says the team behind this imaginative initiative. Six members make up the team. They are, from left:

Gradi Bamfonga, the DRC: Marketing & Customer Relations

Jonathan Kibe, Kenya: Internal Communication & Associate Event Coordinator

Sophia Chima, Nigeria: Chief Financial Officer & Associate Marketing Manager

Oluwademilade Ayeye, Nigeria: Curriculum Development & Talent Manager

Kezia Adesanya, Nigeria: Logistics & Events Coordinator

Frank Ki, Burkina Faso: External Communication & Secretary