Case study: Inclusion in practice at Vincents Art Workshop
“Think about it as a human rights issue,” says Glen McDonald, Coordinator of Vincents Art Workshop in Wellington. “Why would you want to isolate different groups of people? What are the benefits when you include everyone?"
In this case study, Glen explains why she believes a “philosophy of inclusion” is important, and how to establish and maintain an inclusive creative space.
It’s a philosophy that’s been an integral part of Vincents Art Workshop since it was established in 1985.
“It means that the focus on the people who come to Vincents is a positive one: they come here to express themselves creatively. Within this philosophy, people aren’t labelled or stigmatised. They’re seen in a holistic way.
“Categorising or labelling people excludes them from feeling they're a valued part of the wider community. That’s why our doors are open to everyone, including tourists, arts students, lecturers, mums, dads and retired people.”
Glen says that one of the benefits of an inclusive environment is that it fosters a climate of mutual acceptance and understanding. It reduces the social stigma around mental illness or being an ex-prisoner or having a disability. And it helps people feel less isolated in their community.
Read more about Vincents Art Workshop