A group of young people (many of which are care experienced) were offered the opportunity to produce designs which were personally significant to themselves, and take those designs to artwork which would be digitised and displayed in public spaces.
Given that the subjects which they chose were an expression of themselves and their feelings / concerns, I was impressed by the openness and honesty which they were prepared to express in a community setting.
With themes ranging from isolation, loss, anxiety, gender and LGBTQ rights, to other subjects which were simply a celebration of nature or love, it’s a testament also to the Children and Young People support team that the participants felt comfortable and enabled to share their own views and feelings.
The project was run to a fairly tight schedule, and my own role was to work with the young people in order to digitise their original artwork, consult with them on colour or design choices, and ultimately reach what was in effect, a publishing deadline.
They achieved this over the course of a handful of sessions, and it was also encouraging to see that many of the participants had been engaged enough to carry on with their work outside of project time.
Investing in Children
Art Stops has provided IiC with the ability to establish and learn about how community arts and culture projects can be favourable to children and young people, particularly learning how such projects can promote their rights to participate in decisions on issues that are important to them.
Aligned to IiC ethos of creating a stronger focus and understanding of the importance of Article 31 of the UNCRC in it’s future work. Article 31 sets out children’s right to rest, leisure and play, participating in cultural life and the arts, which is widely acknowledged as important to children’s health and wellbeing and was proven by the enjoyment and participation of the young people involved in this project.
IiC became more self-assured in applying for further funding in the art’s arena to expand children and young people’s ability to change things for the better in County Durham through the Arts Stop Initiative as join collaboration. With ambition to grow nationally.
Investing in Children