Herd Community Virtual Herd
(in association with The Global Events Exhibition at The Hold!)
Creative Change Online Art for Wellbeing Workshops:
What & Why: The Creative Change Workshops are a series of 16 online creative workshops aimed at helping ‘local residents’ improve their wellbeing, mental health and self-confidence through the pandemic via artistic and creative activities. The 16 creative workshops will be spread across four different Social Justice topics (provisionally Domestic Violence, Homelessness/Food Banks, The Environment and a Mental Health/wellbeing), empowering participants to use artistic expression as platform for driving social change, whilst also meeting the Emotional Needs Audit criteria (Suffolk Mind).
Who: The workshops are aimed at Mental Health Service users and individuals who have struggled with poor Mental Health as a result of the pandemic (so may not be service users yet). The workshops will be free of charge and accessible to all levels of creative confidence; from complete beginners to confident artists and crafters. The workshops will be delivered by Artist Hannah Aria, previously the Artist in Residence at Quay Place and 2020 Graduate of University of Suffolk. To date, this project is being supported in the form of promotional support by Suffolk Archives, Arts La'Olam, Suffolk VASP, Suffolk Mental Health Friends and financially invested in by Prettys Solicitors. We are submitting a National Lottery Project grant proposal this week to Arts Council England and have worked closely with ACE South East Relationship Managers.
How: The online workshops consist of weekly video tutorials published to YouTube and Facebook and a weekly live-streamed 'Show And Tell' sessions available on YouTube and Facebook in which workshop participants can share their creations with each other and hear from guest speakers in a fun and interactive way.
When: The workshops will be delivered throughout term time across February to June 2021. We are currently applying for Arts Council funding and are aiming to submit our application by 11th November 2020.
The Pilot: Hannah produced a 12-week pilot of the online workshops across June-September 2020 for local arts organisation Art La'Olam. During the 12 week pilot we achieved over 12,000 video views with minimal marketing endeavour. With dedicated resources for marketing, design and video production factored into the 2021 workshops we feel confident in surpassing these figures and producing an even richer experience for participants.
The pilot workshops were fun, light-hearted and engaging and we received an overwhelming positive response to the pilot run. To give you a flavour, here is an example of one of the workshop videos from the pilot https://youtu.be/aTvILtqVuCk and here is an example of one of the weekly live streams https://www.facebook.com/274268509855680/videos/1440767006108857
Feedback quotes from participants
"They have made a real difference to me. I suffer from depression, anxiety and struggle with self-confidence and these workshops have given me back my motivation. I used to sell my work online but hadn't painted anything new for around 2 years - my easel is back up and running now! "
"I have really enjoyed this course and found it has helped a lot with the sense of isolation I get from shielding because the course enabled me to share the enjoyment of art, whilst feeling completely safe."
"A massive thankyou to all involved in running the workshops. They've been great for ‘keeping going’ when times have been tough. Saved me from feeling too isolated and given me a creative outlet, sense of community and great positive energy and feedback from all involved at the strangest of times."
"Hannah is very infectious. The classes are fun, different, easy to understand and something that has become a highlight of my week to do myself and with my family."
"I enjoyed the workshops because they have given me different ideas to work with, which I should not have thought of myself. Some of the tasks were relatively easy which meant that I could get on with them and did not find them overwhelming, on the other hand some were more challenging and gave me a sense of achievement when I completed them. I shall use ideas from the workshops in my own art works and also think of adaptations I could make."
"Doing these workshops have given a big boost to my wellbeing and given a greater sense of purpose to my days during lockdown."
"They have helped my mental well-being."
"It's been something fun to do with my kids and keep them entertained and from getting bored during the lockdown."
"The online experience was surprisingly engaging and connecting"
"I felt a sense of connection through the workshops at a time of isolation and disconnection during the coronavirus lockdown. It was very important to still feel part of a community at this time."
Hannah is a Neuro-divergent, Conceptual, Mixed Media Artist working in both Ipswich & Colchester. She is currently being supported by The Mercury Creatives Development, Programme funded by The European Regional Development Fund and South East Creatives. Hannah has recently benefited from Emergency Covid 19 funding from The National Lottery and Arts Council England to enable her to continue with her Art for Wellbeing Workshops while also undertaking some research and development. Hannah is a keen advocate for ADHD awareness, equality and reasonable adjustments. She will be undertaking a Solo Exhibition at The Carousel Gallery, Framlingham on 22nd July for one week and is pricing in accordance to the #ARTISTSUPPORTPLEDGE. This is a great opportunity to own some fantastic, original Art and support the cultural economy.
'I love to explore complex mediums and textures'.