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Engaging with the Arts: Community Cultural Development

Community Development Evening Presentation held on 12 May 2014.

Cultivating Creativity and Community Development

Tiffany Lee-Shoy

Fairfield City Council is recognised as a leader in community arts and cultural development (CACD), with several winning industry awards and acclaim as best practice models. This presentation will explore: Why does Council do arts and cultural development?; How does it encourage and support CACD, both in the community and in advocating arts-based approaches across Council?; What messages have opened up skeptical colleagues to trying an arts-based approach (beyond it being a last ditch effort)?; and What are the rewards and the challenges of taking an arts-based approach to community development?
To illustrate these issues, Tiffany will draw on a number of case studies involving migrant and refugee communities. These include a community arts project with the Immigrant Women’s Health Service which grew into a public art program, an intergenerational theatre project with the Vietnamese community, and a learning circle for community workers to develop CACD skills.

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Dancing in Harmony: Arts and Refugee Communities

Stephanie Adam

This presentation will discuss the Dancing in Harmony Project; a community cultural development initiative at STARTTS that builds on the capacity of individuals who have arrived in NSW from Africa as refugees. Over the past 15 years, 125,000 Africans have settled in Australia, and more than half are aged 24 years or less. The majority have experienced trauma, persecution and organised volence representing gross violations of their human rights. This presentation will look broadly at the Dancing in Harmony project including the issues experienced by the communities involved, and the challenges in delivering the project alongside the beneficial outcomes for those individuals, groups and communities involved. It will also examine in more detail both the Afro Contemporary Youth Dance association project and the South Sudanese Women’s Performance Group project, to highlight how community arts has the capacity to facilitate recovery and restoration from trauma for individuals and communities from refugee backgrounds.

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