Virtual Art Snacks – is a series of interactive creative workshops with professional artists for aged-care residents in rural Multi-Purpose Services.
Commencing in 2020 in responses to COVID 19 lockdowns. The three year project delivers weekly workshops online rain hail or shine and invites residents to learn new skills, meet new people and enjoy visual arts, music, movement/dance and storytelling.
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive highlighting that the workshops create social connections, foster wellbeing and are a fun and creative way to connect with residents in other rural settings across the health district.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
- Short video about the in-person residency at Blayney MPS in 2023 facilitated by Cath McNamara (video by Greer Films, created 2023).
- Video of artist and facilitator Ro Burns talking about on her involvement in the program (created in 2021)
- Project news stories
- Photo gallery
- Map of the locations for the program
- Project coordinator contact details
Virtual Art Snacks will be presented at the 11th NSW Aged Health Collaborative Forum on Thursday 16 November 2023, online. You can register to attend.
Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) and Arts Outwest have given residents at Blayney Multipurpose Service (MPS) many reasons to laugh and smile with the Virtual Art Snacks program.
On 24 October Arts OutWest’s arts and health coordinator Cristine McMillan with Arts Snacks facilitators Cath McNamara and Ro Burns presented a workshop at the WHRN2022 Research Symposium at Western Plans Cultural Central Dubbo.
Western NSW Local Health District have shared some pictures of participants from Blayney MPS in our ongoing residential aged care program.
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.
We adapted our work in aged care to bring interactive, remote arts experiences to residents at Oberon and Grenfell MPS.
I feel like this is just the beginning of a beautiful connection. I especially wanted to acknowledge all the AO’s [Activity Officers at the MPSs] for the incredible work you do day in, day out. I can hear in your voices the love and respect you have for the people in your care. I only see the tip of the iceberg effort you make to bring all those willing to the room for Art Snacks. I can only imagine the energy it must take to prepare for the sessions or each day in general, especially now. Thank you for being INCREDIBLE
This program benefits so many and the eventual potential for a national roll out is great and so needed, not just in MPS, but to help those at home with carers (or without a carer but living alone).
Everyone made a work, some were very connected lines, most overlapping. Jim* held his up and coyly said “It’s scribble” AO asked him if he enjoyed making it and he said yes.
One of the greatest elements of the Art Snacks program is its ability to connect communities that are geographically distant, (and initially in lockdown)and bring us all together under one creative roof. As a musician and music educator, it was such a pleasure to be able to share ideas, put the ideas into practice, and share music together. It is a rare program that reflects the need for community and creativity throughout the region.
We are all loving the three sessions a week and the Residents have been saying how much they have benefited from these.Please pass the great news onto our Performers with much appreciations from Oberon MPS. l will continue to fully support our Residents so they have a full experience of these great programs. The Residents have been enjoying meeting new peers and seeing other MPS in our area.
Everyone appeared quite bright and cheerful. The mood was positive. I don’t know if it was because lockdown is ending, or they have had a little break from the program, or they feel more comfortable with us artists. It just felt very familiar and safe and warm…
For the residents, working with an artist in person created a sense of purpose and challenge. Some residents talked about “getting better” after connecting, laughing and engaging in a workshop. One participant said, “…we can go ‘round the wards… maybe we’ll cheer them up so much, they’ll all get better!”
The beauty of combining contemporary dance methods with their personal stories helped participants see and experience value when their ordinary movements were adapted into dance. The method was relatable, and easily adopted as a way to preserve their own stories and the stories of others. “Our brains are really going!”, one resident commented.