Kids Thrive piloted KiCArts (Kids as Catalysts, Arts) in West Heidelberg and Altona North, Victoria in 2018 / 2019.
Kids, teachers, artists and community participants developed unique creative partnerships – co-designing and developing projects to influence their communities to embrace social change. Alongside lasting creative experiences, teacher reports and program evaluation revealed KiCArts had a strong impact on the participating children and their community partners.
KiCArts is an arts-based learning program, starting in the classroom and extending into the community – focusing on child-led community partnerships and community arts projects.
In 2017/2018 KiCArts partnered Grade 5/6 students at St Pius X in West Heidelberg and Altona North Primary with Kids Thrive artists and local community members to:
- identify and embrace their personal values
- explore community issues that concern them
- forge partnerships with local community groups that shared their concerns or interests
- co-design, create and present meaningful arts projects, expressing their shared concerns and influencing their community to change
The students partnered with local organisations including:
3081 Angels, SALT Foundation, the Friends of Darebin Creek and Darebin Water Management Committee, and Banyule City Council, Arts and Culture; Hobsons Bay Council Ranger, Hobsons Bay Vietnamese Association, Newport Community Hub, and the Walker Close Community Centre.
The child-led Community Arts projects focused on:
Cultural respect and sharing; forging connections between young people and elderly members of the community; carving out safe spaces to ensure women and girls can feel good about looking after themselves and their bodies; raising awareness of the environmental impact of plastics; protecting migratory shore birds; recycling, reusing and re-homing waste, and raising awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion.
The children’s community art partnership projects were showcased at community events at Banyule Community Health and Altona North Primary.