Rogue Foundation is socially conscious organization founded by Rogue Space | Chelsea gallery owner and documentary filmmaker Kevin O'Hanlon. Rogue Foundation's goal is to empower children in conflict zones and challenged environments around the world through creativity and creative solution finding.
Current project – I Am Congo
Continuing its mission working with children in conflict zones, Rogue Foundation will be in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo in October to support CAMME, a local organization specifically helping children who have not found help in more traditional rehabilitation centers.
The project will bring art supplies for the children to paint and express, and is planned to be a week of creativity away from their daily struggles and concerns.
Children coming to CAMME have often been the victims of traumatic events that are too horrible for most of us to imagine - forced conscription as child soldiers, sexual assault, starvation, begging on the street, and more.
The project follows the same format as Rogue Foundation's previous in Haiti, Afghanistan, Syria and New York with an exhibition of the children's work planned at Rogue Space | Chelsea in December. All proceeds being returned to the children to further support their educational and lifeskill programs.
Not only is Goma located in the midst of a Congo's red zone, where civilians are routinely slaughtered or raped by soldiers and rebels, but it is also the most volcano-threatened city on earth and commonly regarded as the most dangerous city in the world. The conflict in Congo has claimed in excess of 5 million casualties, more than any war since WWII.
At CAMME, the children are offered a variety of vocational training opportunities, psychosocial assistance, and nutritional support.
Upcoming RF projects are planned for Burma, Bangladesh and Cambodia.
I Am Syria
Continuing its mission working with children in conflict zones, Rogue Foundation completed an art project with boys and girls at refugee camps on the Syrian-Lebanese border at the end of November, collaborating with NGO Relief and Reconciliation for Syria.
Expanding on I Am Haiti and I Am Afghanistan, the I Am Syria project specifically assisted R&R Syria's program of trauma support for children who have been affected by the conflict. A benefit exhibition took place at Rogue Space | Chelsea in March.
Each Rogue Foundation project's intent is to provide children with the materials, venue and encouragement to paint, and an outlet to express at a critical time in their lives and to support their further education.
Rogue Foundation traveled to Afghanistan to Le Pelican School in Kabul, a bastion to Hazarra children. The Hazarra are the the most persecuted ethnic group in that region and simply attending school can be a threatening experience, especially for girls.
The paintings the children created for the show depict the lands and homes they were forced to leave behind. Other paintings conjure new homes they wish they could inhabit someday.
For Hazara children, an education, especially for women, is considered an impossible dream. The proceeds from the I Am Afghanistan exhibition helped fund Le Pelican's mission of helping Afghan children in need.
I Am Haiti
Our initial project focused on Haiti, following the devastating earthquake in 2010. There, children of the Maranatha School and Orphanage were invited by the filmmaker to paint their hopes for the future. The 200+ images inspired the “I Am Haiti” exhibition.
Sales from the exhibition funded the rebuilding of their school, destroyed in the disaster. The children’s artwork was then commissioned to be made into luxury cashmere scarves as the annual corporate gift presented by Conde Naste to their executives and clients.
I Am Home, New York
RF collaborated with Art Start in working with children living in homeless shelters in New York. Artists from around the world were invited to donate works created around the theme of Home. We supplied art supplies for the Art Start family of children to paint their vision of home. The ensuing exhibition at Rogue Space | Chelsea benefited a series of workshops for the children with established Chelsea artists.
Documentary Series – Drawing Hope
Reporting back from the frontiers of creativity
Drawing Hope is a new documentary series focusing on creativity as a positive response in some of the world’s most challenging environments. Directed by filmmaker Kevin O’Hanlon, the series introduces us to political climates around the world through the daily personal experience of a selected creative. Each episode reveals their creative inclinations and processes and how they are shaped by the conflict they witness. Creative resilience is constantly reinforced as a message that hope endures.
The series intends to illuminate the politics of conflict from a grassroots, personal perspective and cultivate an awareness that in the midst of great upheaval and challenge there is also a constant stream of creative innovation which empowers us and future generations.
Upcoming projects take place in Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma and Bangladesh.