KiCArts is an arts-based learning program, starting in the classroom and extending into the community, with a focus on child-led community arts projects. In 2017 and 2018, KiCArts partnered Grade 5/6 students from St Pius X in West Heidelberg with Kids Thrive artists and local community members to:
- identify and embrace their personal values
- explore community issues that concern them
- forge community partnerships with local groups that share their concerns or interests;
- and create meaningful arts projects together, expressing their shared concerns.
The students partnered with local organisations doing great things, including the 3081 Angels, SALT Foundation, the Friends of Darebin Creek and Darebin Water Management Committee, and Banyule City Council, Arts and Culture.
The children’s group projects were about cultural respect and sharing; recycling, reusing and re-homing waste; raising awareness of the environmental impact of plastic, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in West Heidelberg.
The children’s efforts were showcased at a community event on 21 September at Banyule Community Health.
How is this child-led social change?
KiCArts begins on the foundations of Kids as Catalyst. Children create catalyst teams to address a local issue that they feel strongly about.
The public work of art created by the children aims to educate and inspire the community to change its attitudes and behaviours to make their local community a more inclusive, healthy and happy place for all.
KiCArts contributes significantly to building children’s resilience and creativity. The program significantly improved children’s creativity, learning skills and community capacities. It built links between families, schools and community groups, and extended children’s safe community networks.