MASK: Strengthening creativity and innovation of young Africans to build a better future

MASK strengthens creativity and innovation of young people in Africa to improve their learning, employability, leadership and entrepreneurial skill


Technology in the 21st century advances at a rate equivalent to a millennia of change being compressed within a single lifespan, bringing opportunities as well as great challenges. To adapt and succeed, young people need strong creativity - the source of powerful intellect, resilience and positive work ethic - to imagine new solutions, invent alternatives, and mastermind breakthrough.   


Share creativity

at our

Museum of Contemporary African Art

for Youth

(coming soon)

Creativity is what separates those who are prepared for the work and life

in  21 century and those who are not

Artwork by MASK Prize participant Nicole Riziki, 19, Kenya

"MASK made an entrepreneur and a leader. Since finishing school I developed a couple of businesses and taught creativity at my local school telling the parents about the goodness of art. My village elders asked me for "good ideas" that can improve our community. I feel respected. I make difference. I love this creativity! But before MASK came I did not know I was creative!"

Joel, 20, from a village in Kenya

MASK former students say:

 "MASK developed my habit of innovating. While studying chemistry in college I invented a new drug. At my first job I was promoted to a supervisory position for suggesting innovative solutions and became a supervisor of a all-men team after only four months. I now work at a major global company in Nairobi that had employed me for my "creative attitude”. Creativity empowered me beyond my dreams."

Hellen, 28, from a village in Kenya


Artwork by MASK Prize participant Eddy Ochieng, 23, Kenya

About MASK

Started as a small mobile unit in 2007 moving from school to school in rural Kenya pioneering school creativity clubs, MASK progressed sufficiently to present its work at UNESCO IIEP (France), UNESCO KNC (Korea), SOAS University of London, ROSL, Turner Contemporary, Saatchi Gallery (UK), George Washington University, Woodrow Wilson Center, Library of Congress, White House (USA), Kenyan Embassy (France), Nairobi National Museum, RaMOMA (Kenya), and other institutions. Working closely with the Kenyan government, MASK welcomed the Kenyan education reform of 2017 that made creativity a “core competences” of the basic school curriculum. The work has been acknowledged by Harvard University Education Innovations Initiative and the Center for Education Innovation of the Results for Development Institute, and featured in a number of specialist and national press and media, including Childhood Education magazine (US). MASK has been ‘an absolute game-changer for my occupation’ and ‘the driver of change in their society’, say MASK beneficiaries.

images below are works by MASK participants


The world where all young people can fully realise their creative potential


Children and young people  living in Africa

Teachers and education authorities in Africa

Local communities in Africa and society at large


MASK (Mobile Art School in Kenya) was founded in 2007 by London-based artist Alla Tkachuk who discovered while painting in Kenya that art practices in schools were critically limited.


To champion creativity and assist with creativity teaching and learning


Training young people and teachers

Developing learning and teaching material

Engaging in policy dialogue through exhibitions, conferences, and publications


To empower young people to achieve success and economic self -sustainability through strong creativity


Creativity Clubs

Creativity for Entrepreneurship and Leadership Clubs (CEL)

MASK Prize

Training Teachers

Museum of Contemporary African Art for Youth (MOCAAY)

MASK work has been acknowledged by

Harvard University's Global Education Innovation Initiatives, US

Results for Development Institute's Center for Education Innovations, US

UNESCO InSEA (International Society for Education Through Art)

Barack and Michelle Obama, 2013



Ibrahim El-Salahi, the Pioneer of modern African art 

Jeff Koinange, Africa's leading journalist and broadcaster

Hannah O'Leary, Sotherby's Director and Head of Modern & Contemporary African Art 

Charles Dance OBE, Celebrated and renowned actor


Dr Lyndsay Bird

Tim Dann BA

Professor David Dilks

Professor John Gruzelier


Alla Tkachuk MSc FRSA, Founder of MASK

Curiculum Advisor

Dr Nicholas Addison, Visiting Fellow at UCL Institute of Education, University of London

Exhibitions curators

Raymond Mulinge and Watson Kanui, Nairobi


MASK Creativity Ambassadors, MASK Alumni

MASK Prize Judges

Exhibition venues staff

Artists and schoolteachers

Donors and supporters

"In 2007 MASK has started supporting creativity education which is now recognised as an essential part of

human growth and development." Lyndsay Bird

“MASK's work is ground-breaking and important to the young Africans going forward.” Tim Dann


MASK is a UK registered charity No 1128734

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