The Inspiring Impact of the Arts Aweh! Programme on Children

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The City’s Arts and Culture Branch initiated the Arts Aweh! programme to provide an after-school initiative that has left an indelible impression on the lives of children. The programme was held for two months, from May to June, and had over 400 young participants each day, totaling approximately 19,800 attendees from 10 different locations across the metropole. The programme offered a variety of creative disciplines, such as drawing, painting, photography, hip hop, dance, poetry, clay, and beading, to young artists.

Diverse Communities and Creative Coaches

The children who participated in the programme hailed from diverse communities, such as Dunoon, Delft, Pella, Langa, Bridgetown, Silvertown, Heideveld, Bonteheuwel, Woodlands, and Eastridge. The Arts Aweh! programme had a team of 40 multi-disciplinary creative coaches who guided these young artists to explore their creative potential. The programme fostered a supportive environment, enabling children to engage with their peers in a spirited and stimulating manner.

Safe Spaces and Arts Education

The Arts Aweh! programme not only promoted learning and growth but also paved the way for the creation of safe spaces where children could collaborate and appreciate one another’s distinctive cultures and perspectives. Councillor Patricia Van der Ross, the Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, expressed her happiness in seeing so many learners participating in the arts programme within a safe environment. She hoped for Arts Aweh! to become an annual event on the Arts and Culture calendar.

The importance of arts education in opening up the heart-space and creatively beautifying communities from the inside out was highlighted by programme mentor Irma Titus, who mentored in both Heideveld and Bonteheuwel.

Spectacular Culmination of the Pilot Project

June witnessed a spectacular culmination of the pilot project, with a series of exhibitions showcasing the newly acquired skills of the young participants. Coaches and participants alike were ecstatic about their experiences during the programme. Zach Esau, a coach from Heideveld, shared how the healing power of art brought numerous smiles to his face throughout the project.

Positive Experiences and Lasting Impact

The Arts Aweh! programme provided a structured and safe environment for children to learn, grow, and have fun. Participants also shared their positive experiences. Laylah Sasman, a 12-year-old from Heideveld, expressed how the programme made her feel safe and happy while teaching her a great deal. Donna Summers, a 13-year-old from Woodlands, appreciated how the programme kept her off the streets.

Kaede-Jade Daniels, a 15-year-old participant from Bonteheuwel, poignantly described the impact of art on her life: “Arts makes me express my feelings that I keep deep inside. The art I create represents the way I feel. Creating art makes me feel better after….I love art.”

The Arts Aweh! programme has undeniably left a lasting impact on these young lives – not only teaching them valuable skills but also fostering a sense of belonging, self-expression, and a deeper appreciation for the world around them.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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