The Doll Project

Kids Making Dolls

One of the highlights of our annual Friendraiser/Fundraiser is the culmination of a collaboration between the children at the orphanage and Kansas City area artists.

When volunteer teams are at the orphanage in December, the children craft dolls from fiber that is stripped from the base of banana trees. The fiber is first soaked in water and then carefully shaped into dolls of varying sizes. No glue is used; pieces of fiber are tied together when necessary. The dolls are set out in the sun to dry. Then they are packed into volunteers’ duffel bags for the trip back to America.

Once they’ve made their journey, the dolls are handed out to ceramicists, textile artists, sculptors and painters (adults and children alike), and the collaboration begins. The artists are encouraged to embellish, adorn or alter the doll any way they see fit. The resulting pieces are stunning. They are exhibited and then sold in silent and live auctions at the Change the Truth annual event.

Below is a selection of work from The Doll Project. You can also watch a film about the project. It was made by Lynne Melcher and shown at our 2010 fundraiser.