On her recent Australia trip, Make a Change Director Karen Corr and her family were pleasantly surprised when they found themselves partaking in a community arts project in Alice Springs. Here Karen reflects on the experience:
Whilst visiting a community owned aboriginal health service The Purple House in Alice Springs my boys Aidan and Jeremy got to participate in a kids activity being run as part of NAIDOC celebrations.
It was wonderful. Kids were handed paint brushes and had access to many bright coloured paints. They were able to contribute to the painting of a mural in the alleyway next to The Purple House. The kids were so excited. They were free to contribute how they wanted, with guidance from a very fun and friendly artist who was coordinating the activity.
It turns out this artist’s name is Max Levi Frieder. He is the founder of an organisation called Artolution; a network set up to facilitate opportunities for communities to empower themselves through creative, participatory and collaborative public-art making.
We had a lovely conversation with Max after the kids finished their painting. It was fascinating to hear where he had travelled, the projects he had worked on and the difference these projects had made. Artolution has composed over 200 collaborative canvas and wall murals painted in 12 nations around the world.
One project that moved me was The Peace Square Mural, created by Israeli and Palestinian bereaved families. This was presented at the United Nations Building. A speech by Jan Eliason, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations at this presentation sums up beautifully how art can make a change:
“Art can reach the heart. It can alter perception, it can change attitudes. And as we all know, change is sorely needed in todays world.”
Max, is an inspiring changemaker who is empowering communities through art. He made me realise that the possibilities for change through art are endless.
If you are in Central Victoria tune into the inspiring creativity at the next Outside the Square event on Creative Communities.
December 14th 6.30pm – 9pm, at The Schaller Studio.