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Creative ID: 227

Art form(s): Music, Visual Arts.

Based in: Blenheim/Marlborough.

When I'm available: We will take the school's preference into account and advise availability dependent on the arts practitioner's schedule. Workshops can run from eight weeks in one term, or twenty weeks (2 terms) dependent on the programme and identified need of the children. In the case of one school following the Kaikoura Earthquake we operated workshops for two years across all students who needed help.

Where I'm available: We are able to provide art workshops in the school if they can provide an adequate room, or we can accommodate groups in our hub based in Blenheim.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

Our Trust uses music, movement and art to connect with people; strengthen our community, and provide a safe place for vulnerable children to grow and flourish. We offer group and individual therapeutic creative sessions for children (from babies to late teens) with a view to effecting change and facilitating growth, ultimately to develop a healthy sense of self. The programmes are created around the participants who are referred to us for a variety of reasons – physical, developmental, psychological, intellectual, social and behavioural. The sessions are shaped around the children’s needs. For instance in response to the recent Kaikoura Earthquake we have supported children with emotional needs with music therapy, and we have obtained equipment specifically to support profoundly disabled children who use wheelchairs. Alongside our foundation programmes we offer another option - art or music therapy workshops/programmes to all schools in Marlborough. These cater to groups of six to eight students with needs. We have been working with local schools for five years and all of our arts practitioners have been police vetted.

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

This year we will have helped 50+ creative kids. We currently have eleven schools with creative kids in our music therapy foundation programmes for students with developmental needs, from the very young to college seniors. Alongside our foundation programme we have operated other programmes at multiple schools. The sessions are facilitated by a NZ registered music therapist, art therapist or an experienced artist.

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

Our Programmes are facilitated by arts therapists and artists supporting reflection, growth and insight, processing of experiences, resolving inner conflicts and change within an individual’s inner world in a safe trusting space. During each session the arts facilitator and individuals work together to make meaning and understanding from the creative process or product, discovering how it relates to the individual's life and what messages it holds for them. Individuals can become more comfortable to open up to new possibilities in their lives, establish new practices for ongoing self-support, generate new models of living and contribute to the development of a more integrated sense of self. Our other workshops are conducted in a group setting giving opportunities to counter loneliness and isolation, practise social skills and relationship building and facilitate a sense of participation, belonging and community. Our main programmes can be absolute or a stepping stone to further exploration.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

Our vision is to support vulnerable children to grow through the arts. We are passionate about the arts and their ability to change lives and help children shine. Whilst we have many schools feeding into our charitable foundation programmes (which the Trust raises the primary funding for) we have noticed a recurring theme when we talk to the schools - the dawning realisation that our workshops would be beneficial to so many children in their school. Hence we now offer another programme. We hope the 'Creatives in Schools' programme may support the funding needed to introduce our workshops into schools that would find them beneficial.

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