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The Full Story

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ASAO is an innovative initiative dedicated to propelling urban art, sustainable development, and conflict prevention to the forefront. At its core is a mission to nurture lasting prosperity and cultivate peace through art, addressing socio-economic challenges for Ayitian artists. Rigorous research and data analysis have led ASAO to identify the need for a dedicated Ayitian art platform.

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ASAO's overarching vision is illuminated by the prospect of creating both prosperity and harmony through the medium of art. As evidenced by the challenges faced by celebrated artist Franck Etienne, whose story is featured in Le Point Radio Metropole, the socio-economic obstacles confronting Ayitian artists underscore the urgency of ASAO's mission. This mission extends beyond immediate alleviation, aspiring to propel artists towards a future of success analogous to that achieved by the iconic Ayitian artist prodigy Michel Basquiat. The narrative of Basquiat's journey – his humble beginnings as a street artist culminating in his art commanding record prices and international acclaim and epitomizes the transformative power of artistic endeavor.

Responding to this call, ASAO unveils a platform, nurturing prosperity

and peace in artist communities.  

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     Our Founder

Valeska is a true Ayitian at heart, who has integrated the knowledge gained from her research and work experiences in Asia, Africa, and, of course, her homeland, Ayiti. With a strong desire to provide opportunities for Ayitian youth to thrive in an inclusive environment and a society prioritizing harmony and well-being for all its members, she pursued her education with determination.

 

Valeska is currently enrolled in a postgraduate diploma in social innovation at the U.N-mandated University for Peace (UPeace) under a full scholarship provided by the UPeace and the Central Bank of Ayiti (BRH). Before that, she received a full scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education and completed her Master's in International Studies, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, International Relations, and Cooperation at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. She also earned her Bachelor's in International Liberal Studies, specializing in Global Governance and sustainable development, at Waseda University in Tokyo, with the generous support of a full scholarship of Ashinaga Foundation. 

 

As a Manbo (Vodou priestess), she is deeply connected to Ayitian culture and honors one of Ayiti's greatest heroines by adopting the name Agbara Yâ Toya. Valeska has a profound understanding of various world cultures and is fluent in her native language Ayitian, French, and English. She also speaks Japanese, has intermediate proficiency in Spanish, and conversational knowledge of Wolof.

 

Volunteering has also played a significant role in Valeska's life and she is an engaged and accomplished individual with a profound commitment to diverse international matters. Her remarkable achievements showcase her commitment to making a positive impact on global affairs. 

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Valeska M. Agabara Yâ Toya

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After spending 9 years living abroad, particularly in Japan, our founder, Ms. Valeska, returned to her hometown in Ayiti with a newfound appreciation for art and its impact on communities. However, she was disheartened to find a lack of artists and art vendors showcasing their works on our streets. Determined to understand the root cause, she began investigating and talking to local artists and vendors. They revealed how the challenging socio-political climate and security concerns had significantly impacted the once vibrant tourist sector, upon which they heavily relied for sustainable sales. This reality was confirmed by official data, showing a staggering 71% drop in the tourism sector with no signs of improvement, and non-street artists expressing the same concerns.

 Ayitian face severe social, economic, and political challenges that perpetuate their impoverishment. They are particularly vulnerable and are oftentimes directly affected by conflicts between armed gangs seeking territorial control. This conflict has led to the unprecedented decline in Ayiti`s tourism, negatively impacting their sales and exacerbating their vulnerability. State support and assistance from local companies and organizations are currently absent.

 

With this knowledge and unwavering passion, ASAO was born—a visionary initiative dedicated to bridging the gap between Ayitian artists and art enthusiasts worldwide. It became clear to Ms. Valeska that she held a win-win solution in her hands, benefitting both artists and art lovers in this vibrant market.

Inspired by the potential for positive change, she wholeheartedly embarked on the journey of creating ASAO, where creativity and connection come together to empower artists and enrich the global art landscape.  

How it started.

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Vision

            Mission

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Creating prosperity and peace through art.

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ASAO aims to globally promote and sell exceptional Ayitian artists' artwork through an online platform while addressing their socio-economic challenges by increasing their income and enhancing their living conditions.

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The Story Behind our Brand 

When I embarked on this journey, it was the street artists who served as my initial inspiration. That's why ASAO's acronym was initially defined as Ayiti Street Art Offers. However, as I delved deeper into our mission, I realized that placing the individual artist before the artwork itself would humanize the creative process and provide a direct link to the creators. This led to the evolution of ASAO into Ayiti Street Artist Offers.

 

As I further explored the challenges faced by artist communities, a striking revelation emerged: even accomplished Ayitian artists, recognized on a global scale, faced with security and socio-economic issues similar to those faced by street artists, with zero support from both the state and the private sector. Recognizing the importance of inclusivity and fairness, I decided that cutting them out of our vision and mission would be unjust.

Therefore,

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Value Proposition

At ASAO, we empower artists by providing a powerful global online platform for promoting and selling carefully curated artworks. But we offer more than just a marketplace. We invest in our artists' growth with creative development, financial literacy, and conflict resolution courses / trainings.

By doing so, we don't just enhance their income; we transform lives, improving families' living conditions.Together, we're not only fostering thriving artists but also driving Ayiti's sustainable development and contributing to lasting peace.

Join us in this artistic journey towards prosperity and harmony.

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Strategies

ASAO's strategy involves creating an online platform for Ayitian artists to sell art globally, actively promoting their artwork to attract international buyers. We provide support and empowerment programs to address social, economic, and political challenges faced by artists.

Through a multi-faceted approach that encompasses not only education, collaboration, and promotion, but also curation, art appraisals, ASAO envisions a future where Ayitian art shines resplendently on the global stage, celebrated for its quality, innovation, diversity, and transformative impact.

ASAO aims to build partnerships with local and international organizations, companies, and the government to create a supportive ecosystem. Finally, we offer comprehensive training to enable artists to produce sustainable artwork and embrace eco-friendly practices.

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Intented outcomes

By providing increased income and economic empowerment, ASAO seeks to uplift  artists and improve their social and economic conditions, ultimately reducing poverty and fostering prosperity and peace.  Through comprehensive training and support, ASAO enhances artistic vision, the resilience and capacity of Aytitian artists, enabling them to overcome challenges and gain recognition in the global art market.

By carefully curating artworks, ASAO ensures that only the highest quality and most compelling pieces are showcased on its platform. The curation process demonstrates ASAO's commitment to quality and its dedication to promoting exceptional artwork. Additionally, ASAO focuses on enhancing financial, technological and innovative skills, contributing to the overall prosperity and peace within street artist communities. Emphasizing eco-conscious practices, ASAO not only promotes sustainability but also helps prevent resource-based conflicts, fostering stability in vulnerable communities.

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