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program overview
About Virtual Art Snacks

Virtual Art Snacks trains rural artists and health workers to deliver a program of short, sequential cross-artform activities to residents and carers in aged care. The project is a piece of action research, trialling and assessing different creative online experiences, plus six face-to-face residencies.

Across the 25 small rural hospitals in this program there are aged-care residents as well as day-care users and temporary hospital patients all wanting activities that keep them occupied and respect their need to stay connected and culturally engaged. Staff are also keen to find effective ways of making their environments positive places to be. The health users of the MPS facilities have partners and carers who want to find common ground to discuss and share. Virtual Arts Snacks provides this engagement to all of these people in each of the 25 regional communities.

This program not only trains and employs local artists, it works with Health’s Activities Officers to ensure that they know how to continue supporting this work. It ensures that carers and partners living in the home can also participate in the program. Using technology opens up these small communities to being part of a cutting-edge arts project that can be a world leader. These factors all contribute to healthier, more confident regional communities able to benefit from arts-led recovery.

Our pilot program in Oberon has shown that community confidence is such that community based groups have taken on the responsibility for fundraising in order to continue and embed an arts-based program in their MPS and have increased their volunteer participation in the program.

Funding source
The Australian Government through a Regional Arts Fund Renewal Grant $119,000 with some top up (for staffing) from the NSW Government’s Restart fund.

Project Delivery:
Arts Out West, rural artists and health workers Trainers: National Gallery of Australia (NGA), Opus Music CIC (online from UK), Arts OutWest (AOW)

Arts Out West and Western NSW Local Health District 25 MPS in a cross-regional art and health collaboration and Charles Sturt University. Delivered across the WNSWLDH with the support of Outback Arts and Orana Arts.

Research partners:
Charles Sturt University , University of Sydney Rural Clinical School

Delivered over three years – 2021-2024

Delivery Mode:
Online and some face-face

Round 1 & 2: Multi-Purpose Services participating: Dunedoo, Oberon, Warren, Barradine, Nyngan, Blayney. Round 2: Oberon, Barradine, Nyngan, Blayney, Coolah, Coonamble, Rylstone.

A series of interactive creative workshops with professional artists for aged-care residents in rural Multi-Purpose Services