I have been privileged to do my uni internship with Big hART, an amazing arts and social change organisation, based throughout many towns and cities across Australia.
The company brings together communities and artists on projects that aim to empower positive social and individual change through the arts. The company places the greatest importance on both the process and trajectory with the community, as well as on the quality of the art. Big hART projects tackle a wide range of issues, engaging with the complex challenges of life for many of Australia’s most marginalised and disengaged communities. The company believes that complex problems require multi-layered solutions. Often, they find issues within communities are shown as narratives of despair with no way out. Big hART helps communities change the story.
The Big hART model works using a multi-layered approach and generally work with a number of communities across a number of projects.
The model includes:
1. A non-welfare arts-based community cultural development project, providing a range of workshops and mentoring for participants, creating the opportunity to reconsider questions of around identity and social trajectory
2. A high-quality art outcome based on the stories of the participants and the community
3. Ongoing social policy engagement, through the art, and that relates to stories from the community in focus
4. Engagement with the ‘national narrative’ on social issues – looking to shift narratives by reaching diverse audiences and high profile media using the power of story
It has been a fantastic experience to watch the Big hART process unfold and see the many layers of the companies process.