August 2 Declared as Kunle Adewale Day in Ohio, USA

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Kunle Adewale

Yinka Olatunbosun

On August 2, 2019, Mayor John Cranley, the Mayor of Cincinnati declared August 2, 2019 “Kunle Adewale Day” in Cincinnati, Ohio- USA in honour of the Nigerian artist, Kunle Adewale whose trailblazing career of arts in medicine has been impactful.

This recognition came on the heels his numerous Arts in Medicine advocacy and fellowship programmes, which brings together care-givers, health-care professionals and multi-disciplinary artists in Nigeria and the US. In a press statement, the honoured artist expressed his gratitude for the recognition.

“Kunle Adewale Day is a testament of my passion for development work, servant leadership, continuous intercontinental partnership with diplomatic missions, global art institutions, Professional arts in health organisations and my civic engagements through the arts. Kunle Adewale Day is dedicated to serve to humanity through creative engagements in communities across Cincinnati, Ohio and Nigeria,” he stated.

Adewale considered the honour as humbling, an experience that caps his years of unwavering commitment to therapeutic community art engagements across the world.

‘Kunle Adewale Day’ is dedicated to serve to humanity through creative engagements in communities across Cincinnati, Ohio and Nigeria.

“A day like this is a reminder of being part of greater good and opportunity to make the world a better place,” he continued. “I’m grateful to the people of Cincinnati, Eyes of the Artists Foundation, Cincinnati Arts Association and Arts in Healing for providing me this privilege and prestige.”

Adewale is an award-winning international artist and a Young African Leader from Nigeria who actively engaged with the community for 11 days in Cincinnati, Ohio- USA. He is the founder, Tender Arts Nigeria, a social enterprise and non-profit making organization that positively impacts children, youth and adults with focus on therapeutic art programs, art education, talent development and community development.

He is also the Pioneer of Arts in Medicine projects, a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, World Bank Social Inclusion Hero 2019 from Nigeria, 2019 Atlantic Fellow of Global Brain Health Institute, University of California, San Francisco and 2016 Commonwealth Youth Award Winner from West Africa region. Kunle has extensive expertise in the Arts in Healing area and has continued to expand his Arts in Medicine projects from Nigeria to the rest of the world.

Undoubtedly, Adewale is an innovative agent of change and creativity, making great strides in expanding the impact and value of arts around the world. His arts outreach has extended to those suffering from debilitating illness and developmental challenges. Adewale uses his art for cultural diplomacy, for bringing together individuals and communities divided by trauma.

He was invited to Cincinnati, Ohio to serve as Eye of the Artists Foundation’s first International Artist in Residence. Annie Ruth, who is also an international artist in the United States and the founder and creative director of Eye of the Artists Foundation, hosted Kunle Adewale August 2 through August 12, 2019.

“Our city was extremely blessed by Kunle Adewale’s visit to Cincinnati. We learned so much from his interaction with the community and exposing our youth to a dynamic artist was transformative for them. We are looking forward to more cultural and arts in medicine exchanges in the future”, says Annie Ruth.

During his time in Cincinnati, he shared artist talks with students and professionals provided art sessions with patients, caregivers, healthcare workers and other teaching artists in the community. Many of the community partners involved in this global exchange included Cincinnati Arts Association’s Arts in Healing, Centre for Closing the Health Gap, New American Art Gallery II, New Prospect Summit Centre and numerous others.

As a first-time visitor to Cincinnati, Adewale also met with Cincinnati’s Health Commissioner, experienced site visits to some of Cincinnati’s leading galleries, historical museums and cultural centres; connected with local business and entrepreneurship partners through site visits, collaborative projects, and shadowing experiences. Members of the community were able to meet Kunle Adewale at numerous networking events throughout Cincinnati.