More than 300 children in Queenstown and Wānaka will have the chance to work with leading professional local artists in a new programme launched this week.
The Three Lakes Cultural Trust has spearheaded the Arts in Schools pilot, designed to provide essential arts opportunities to local primary school students from October 28 to November 11.
Ten professional artists across four mediums will spend 10 hours over five consecutive days with the students, enhancing their skills in mediums they would otherwise not be exposed to.
Arts in Schools kicks off this week in Wānaka, with Holy Family Catholic School pupils working with Arrowtown printmaker Sue Marshall, Queenstown sculptor Tony O’Keefe, Queenstown photographer Glen Howie, Wānaka painters Sierra Roberts and Kym Beaton. The programme then moves to Shotover Country Primary next week, where students will work with Sue Marshall, printmaker Marion Vialade-Worch, sculptors Charlotte Graf and Tony O’Keefe, painters Ann Wyatt, Grant Whitby and Kym Beaton, photographers Dan Childs, Patrick Fallon and Martin Kohn, all from Queenstown.
Three Lakes Cultural Trust general manager Jo Brown says the goal is that the programme will evolve to include additional schools and, in the future, all schools in the district.
“Students will learn that everyone has creative capacity – it simply needs to be developed. Tamariki will get to forge their own path while developing their creative thinking processes. Arts in Schools has been designed specifically to demonstrate this,” she says.
During the programme, students will also learn about the wide range of careers available in cultural industries, teachers get the opportunity to develop teaching skills in their chosen medium, and they will be enabled to develop a local curriculum relevant to their people and place.
“Arts and culture are now more critical than ever – research shows that creativity and the arts are hugely beneficial for people’s wellbeing. In the Trust’s role as advocators and enablers, our goal is to encourage the next generation of innovative thinkers and we believe that the arts should have a prominent place in the New Zealand education curriculum.”
Arts in Schools has been generously funded by Youthtown.