WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Inter-generational project nets major arts award

Year 6 Young Vinnies at St Francis Xavier School in Tawa with Enliven Longview Rest Home have received one of four national Arts Access Aotearoa Big A Awards.

Aug10TawaSFX.jpg The Young Vinnies were paired with residents from the rest home who help them develop confidence and life skills. Projects have included craft-making, musical and dance performances, conversations, storytelling and oral histories.
In one project, the residents and children worked together to produce book journals and art wall posters for the residents and their families.

Another project encouraged rest home residents, some of them affected by memory loss, to share their stories.
The judges commented on a ‘well-presented nomination, describing a partnership and project that inspired intergenerational connections. There was ownership and strong involvement from all parties and the mutual benefits were made clear.’

This national award recognises the contribution that the partnership between school and rest home has made to the community. It symbolises collaboration and serving others.

The awards were presented by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Chris Finlayson, in the Grand Hall in Parliament on July 21. The school’s Young Vinnies youth coordinator Angela Reiher and  principal Bernadette Murfitt were proud to accept the award on behalf of the school community.

The annual Big A Awards are the only awards in New Zealand celebrating the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations working to enhance the artistic lives of people who have been marginalised by the mainstream. They also recognise talented young artists who face barriers in pursuing their artistic career.

The judges applauded the work of all nominees.
‘There are amazing projects, people and organisations across the country achieving great things in the arts. The calibre of the work being produced stood out, along with the nominees’ care and consistency of delivery. The four recipients epitomise best practice and outstanding achievement.’

Image: St Francis Xavier school Young Vinnies coordinator Angela Reiher and principal Bernadette Murfitt, third and fourth from left, accepting the national award at Parliament on behalf of the school community. With them are Alwyn Cunningham, Longview, Susan D’Souza (chair, Arts Access Aotearoa), Marianne Taylor (former director of Arts Access Aotearoa) and Marlene Bowles, Longview.