Support Open Heart Studios Flood Relief

Xolani Sivunda of Cape Town, South Africa and Michele Knecht of Atascadero, California met through an international Mosaic group on Facebook. Their mutual passion for art, and desire to be of service in the world has led to the creation of Open HeART Studio, a Community Art Center in Mfuleni Cape Town, South Africa. We are serving a community hit hard by poverty and the pandemic.
Xolani is a multi talented artist working in acrylics, mosaic and beadwork. He is a community activist who had a dream of creating a space where art is a vehicle of empowerment, joy and hope. Through art, he worked to teach skills to enhance economic opportunity, keep youth out of drugs and street crime, showcase up and coming artists and cultivate creative energy in his community.
Michele is a retired Personal Chef, now making mosaic art in her little garden studio. Her work is represented by several California galleries.
In spring of 2020, in the upheaval of the pandemic, these friends who video chat and text, started working together to bring their shared vision into reality. In just a few short months, with faith and a few donations, they have rented studio space, bought tools, a pottery wheel and a kiln and a car to transport our artists and their work to exhibitions. They plan to do much, much more!
Open Heart Studios
35 Noluthando Street
Mfuleni, Cape Town 7100
Phone +27 71 [phone redacted]
A South African Registered NPC
Enterprise Number: 2022/203045/08
Open Heart Studios is seeking donations to fund our programs and studio expenses. 
Your donation is tax deductible, and we are happy to email a receipt for donations. We are a 100 percent volunteer organization, no salaries are paid.
Our Board of Directors consists of:
Xolani Sivunda-Director, SA
Michele Knecht-Assistant Director-USA
Ayakha Babsie-Treasurer SA
Joy Astle-Secretary USA
Karla Duterloo SA-Creative Committee
Lisa Clegg USA-Marketing Committee
100% of your donation will help fund the following;
Art training programs for aspiring artists from the townships
Transportation costs for artists and work to exhibitions
Studio rent
Equipment such as tables, chairs, tools, easels
Art supplies
Pop Up Mobile Soup Kitchen to feed the hungry
We are also looking toward saving to buy 3 shipping containers for secure storage of artwork and equipment.
We have kilns and pottery making supplies, but we need a shipping container and cost of electrical wiring to open our pottery making program in our current location.
As things become more safe from Covid, we will once again add our children’s art programs.


Michele Knecht
Atascadero, CA

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