Arts OutWest’s Virtual Art Snacks is an interactive creative arts program delivered using remote technologies into Multi-Purpose Services (MPS) across the Western NSW Local Health District.
Arts OutWest’s major multi-year project Art Snacks began in August in the first six of the 25 MPS (small rural hospitals): in Dunedoo, Oberon, Warren, Barradine, Nyngan and Blayney.
Timing of the current Covid lockdown has coincided with the first round of Art Snacks, but the remote delivery has meant the program can continue largely unchanged.
Trained up artists, Cath, Ro and Rob have been leading visual arts, movement and music sessions with the residents who call their MPS home. Each Round has seven workshops. Residents have tuned in, three mornings a week, on video conference. The six groups can also see each other, and family members can log in too.
The program will remove the barriers or geographic distance in providing regional communities with access to high-quality arts experiences and the documentation of the project’s successes aims to garner other financial support so that the model becomes self-sustaining without grant monies.
Residents have said “we are interested in seeing people in other MPS groups” and “Arts Snacks is like having Arts Sports teams, connected and playing together.”
One of the Activities Officers reported: “There’s been a subtle domino effect here. Where the male residents have been getting up and getting active without any prompting and I feel a big part of it has to do with the few residents that I’ve had attend the movement workshop on the Mondays taking what they’ve been doing back to the other residents and talking about it.”
“I’d like to personally thank you … for your hard work and for being a catalyst in helping me get my residents out and about but more importantly regaining confidence in moving their bodies.”
The Round Two of Art Snacks starts in mid-October.
This project is supported by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund Renewal in partnership with Western NSW Local Health District.
Image: Ro Burns presenting Arts Snacks Visual Arts workshop: Photo Ro Burns