Artists and practitioners interested in social justice and working with women in the justice system are invited to apply for a place in the Home Ground artist training hui, to be held in Wellington on 21 and 22 May.
The hui will examine the Home Ground kaupapa and practice, and discuss what it means to be “trauma-informed”. Artists already working with Home Ground will also participate, and others new to the work will be invited.
The Home Ground initiative was set up by Jacqui Moyes with a pilot project in June 2019, followed by four programmes (Tahi, Rua, Toru, Whā) delivered over 2019 and 2020. Over the past year, Home Ground has worked with more than 60 women in the Wellington community or Arohata Women’s Prison.
Each programme runs over seven weeks and uses arts practice such as theatre, photography, creative writing and music as a path to self-empowerment, community connectedness and wellbeing.
In 2021, Home Ground will deliver three projects (Tahi, Rua, Toru). Jacqui, who is the Director of Home Ground, says artists able to work with the participants in a collaborative, non-judgemental way are integral to the success of the programme.
To date, more than 20 artists and writers have worked on the programmes. You can read more about the artists and writers involved in the Home Ground initiative.
“Home Ground wouldn’t be possible without everyone’s willingness to contribute to this creative community,” Jacqui says. “If you work with Home Ground, you will be supporting women to advocate for themselves, have access to the arts and create social change.”
Home Ground's vision
Home Ground's vision is for the women to discover their value and purpose through the power of creativity.
“With a deeper understanding of our stories and therefore ourselves, we are more able to weave back into our community,” Jacqui says. “When society and our communities understand these stories, we are more able to welcome and support women to come home.
“Through our collaborations, we create a dynamic collective of artists to amplify the voices of women affected by the justice system and to start community conversations.”
Home Ground works in partnership with artists, participants and funders to bring about social change through using creativity and artistic expression.
Building effective partnerships means finding ways to align your guiding principles, Jacqui says. Creative New Zealand is the major funder of Home Ground, including the artist training hui.
Home Ground identified three areas in Ara Poutama Aotearoa Department of Corrections’ strategy for women, Wahine e rere ana ki te pae hou: Women’s Strategy 2017–2021: providing interventions and services that meet the women’s needs; and managing them in ways that are trauma-informed, empowering, and reflect the importance of relationships to women.
Some of the topics the workshops will explore are:
- Ask yourself why:Why are you doing this work? Why do you want to work with Home Ground? Self-awareness is important because it has an impact on your wellbeing and what you bring to the project.
- Self-care and sustainability: Personal self-care and how you manage working in a complex environment is vital. This includes maintaining boundaries, organising supervision for yourself and ensuring you don’t burn out.
- You don’t know what you don’t know: You can’t make any assumptions about this work and the community you work with. Every person is different, which means every workshop and project is also different.
- Collaboration: Home Ground always works in partnership. We collaborate 100 per cent with the participants and the artists, and honour everyone’s contribution.
- Trust the process: Home Ground focuses on the creative process and celebrates the great artistic product at the end of each project. There will always be challenges but if you can trust the way we all work, there’s magic in both the process and the product.
Above all, Jacqui says, Home Ground always puts the needs and experiences of the women at the heart of everything it does.
Feedback illustrates value
Feedback from programme participants, included on the Home Ground website, illustrates the value of this initiative. Here are just three comments:
- “I feel so solidly heard and supported and appreciated and also proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone, and writing and presenting it I felt confident and connected.”
- “Home Ground made me more expressful and gave me hope for a better life!”
- “As the queen I am, I would like to thank all the artists for helping me express my true life and powerful story. He tino purotu o mahi e ngā wa katoa.”
The Home Ground artist training hui is on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 May at its new home at the Pasifika Hub in Lower Hutt. Please get in touch to register your interest by 30 April 2021. There are limited places available. Contact Home Ground for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org
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