herARTS in Action is a 501c3 nonprofit founded in 2011, awarded status in 2014, and currently waiting for NGO status in Burkina Faso. The mission of herARTS in Action is to produce and sell artwork that educates on global topics, creates social change, and in turn funds sustainability projects in Burkina Faso and access to the visual arts in Minnesota for those who are typically marginalized. The vision is that herARTS in Action contributes to the attainment of art skills and experiences in Minnesota and sustainable socioeconomic status, including education, employment, and health, for the women and children of Burkina Faso based on the stated need and desires of the people and in a manner respectful of the culture.
Our founder Sarah Drake took her first trip to the African continent in the summer of 2011. The women and children in the village of Tiebele, Burkina Faso, West Africa inspired Sarah to collaborate with them to fundraise for projects that will lead to health, education, and sustainable economic status. Using her artwork as an education tool and fundraiser, she went on to create herARTS in Action when she returned to the United States because existing organizations were not working in that region. The money raised by selling her art helps fund access to clean water and sanitation in Burkina Faso and the visual arts in Minnesota.
We are raising $15,400 to build 1 well and 6 secure, lit latrines with maintenance and repair training for the women in Tiebele in January 2018. Make a tax deductible donation now to help us reach our goal! This will be our first ever build project-- first of many.
MEET OUR TEAM
Board of Directors
Wend-Kouni Nintiema (Chair), Eric Sauret, and Marco Gonzalez Marin
Celebrity Ambassador, Clean Water Advocate, Champion of Action through the Arts
Kristoffer Polaha, Actor
Why herARTS in Action? Why water?
"I was on Twitter one day last year where herARTS in Action reached out to me and I was impressed with the heart of the organization. Sarah Drake's personal testimony and how simple the solution to the water problem in Africa is made herARTS in Action so compelling that it forced me to action. To me, the most compelling aspect of herARTS in Action is how it seeks to use the power of art to affect change in the world. As an artist, that's a huge idea."
See how Kristoffer put his celebrity into action with our Celebrity Art Auction.
Youth Ambassador, Champion of Action & Empowerment through the Arts
Tabara is a teenager who is interested in writing, photography and music. Since a young age she has been an advocate for social justice. After school she is active in Diggin' Diversity and Speech. Tabara's leadership and volunteerism through school has earned her two WE Day invitations, recognition from the school board and voted as having the "Power to change the world" by her Speech coach. For three years in a row she has won an art/essay award for her writings and creations about Dr MLK Jr. Within only four months of 7th grade, Tabara performed her work at Kwanzaa, MLK Jr Day, staff meetings, mentored at an elementary school, participated in the keynote at the local Youth Social Justice and Civic Engagement conference and created a social justice spoken word contest for middle schoolers in honor of World Water Day. Tabara hopes other youth will be in inspired by the work of herARTS in Action and take action on a social cause important to them. Learn about our youth activities here.
Founder, Artist in Action
Sarah Drake is an artist, activist and advocate. She has exhibited her artwork internationally in New York, Moscow, London, Tokyo and Ouagadougou. Her artworks have earned her multiple awards, including the VSA Minnesota/Jerome Foundation 2017 Emerging Artist with Disability award, CMAB/McKnight Foundation 2015 Emerging Artist award, and a piece in the permanent collection at the Marina Tsvetaeva Museum and Cultural Center in Moscow. In addition to art, Sarah has worked for many years in the nonprofit sector on human rights, diversity and inclusion, immigration and refugees, and project coordination, all of which was enhanced by an Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellowship. Sarah has a Master’s of Science degree in Social Responsibility and an undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies and Geography, both from St. Cloud State University. She is currently the Vice Chair of the St Cloud Regional Human Rights Commission, Chair of the Dr MLK Jr Day art and essay contest and Board Member of the African Coalition Network.