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Grantee: Nicholas Sironka

Project Title: Batik Art and Maasai Culture workshops for Spokane Schools
Year awarded: 2022, Round 1

Nicholas Sironka is an artist, teacher, and gifted storyteller born and raised in Kenya. He has been a resident of Spokane for over 20 years. In 2001, he was a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Award and began his journey into bringing traditional batik art and his own Maasai culture to countless children, students and teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as in colleges and universities in the United States.

For over thirty years, Sironka has held batik art workshops, and given lecture presentations, consisting of question-and-answer segments, storytelling, and hands-on instruction. Through increasing knowledge and awareness, he has helped to dismiss certain stereotypes, stigmas, and myths about “Africa,” highlighting the vibrancy and diversity of different regions and cultures on the continent.

With SAGA support, Sironka will continue to help create an awareness of batik art, and a greater understanding of the Maasai people by bringing a series of half-day batik art workshops and Maasai lectures to Spokane Schools in 2022, supporting young artists and enhancing multicultural harmony at the same time.