Spread the Word: Overview
Aboriginal arts and health project
Spread the Word is a 2012-2013 (phase 1) and 2013-2014 (phase 2) project of Arts OutWest that promotes healthy lifestyle and raises awareness of chronic disease to Aboriginal communities in the NSW Central West. This Local Community Campaign was developed with funding from the Australian Government through the Department of Health and Ageing.
Spread the Word is delivered in partnership with the Aboriginal Health Unit and the Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Strategy (AMIHS) and will involve a variety of artforms to help educate people about chronic disease and encourage healthy lifestyles. The health promotions officer position receives support from Verto.
About the program
The program trains Aboriginal artists in graphic design; uses film, animation and hip hop activities; and works with Aboriginal pregnant women and young mothers through belly-casting and other artwork.
For example, a bellycasting session is attended by health workers who discuss health issues with the participants whilst they work. The participants will take home a completed cast that will remind them of their bond with their child but also the health messages learnt whilst making the piece.
Christine McMillan, Arts and Health Coordinator 02 6330 5228 (Wed- Thursday) Christine.McMillan@health.nsw.gov.au
Workshops in phase 2 have included: hip hop film music and film with Desert Pea Media in Lake Cargelligo; a long running weekly belly casting series in Wellington and belly casting/ young parents art workshops in Lake Cargelligo; dance performance as part of the Catapult Festival (Bathurst, with performers from Cowra); an extension of graphic design training with Aboriginal artists.
Photo gallery: workshops
Work made 2012-2013 (phase one) went on show at three public showcases at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (May 21, 2013), at the Ninda Gallery Peak Hill (May 24 and Saturday May 25, 2013) and the Platypus Gallery in Forbes (May 31 and Thursday June 1, 2013).
Photo gallery: Spread the Word public showcases 2013
• Participation and engagement in arts activities
• Access for health workers to traditionally ‘hard to reach’ groups of people
• Exposure to health messages and discussion about dealing with chronic health issues
• Production of materials (whether that be in music, posters, artworks etc) made by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people about chronic health issues
• Employment of Aboriginal artists
Health campaign materials
Some of the video materials made through the Spread the Word program:
Health posters made by Aboriginal artists participating in the graphic design training: