The School News report published in October on the vital role of the arts in schools, explored the myriad benefits of having writers- and artists-in-residence in schools in Victoria. School News was contacted soon after about a new initiative just opened in Western Australia, an ambitious program delivering large-scale, targeted partnerships between arts organisations and schools.
The Creativity for Schools and Creative Learning Partnerships Program offers grants up to $250,000 per annum to deliver creative learning programs over two years. The Program will enhance students’ creative learning, as well as build educators’ pedagogical capacities and increase access to and participation in the arts, cultural and creative activities.
Shelagh Magadza, Executive Director Culture and the Arts, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries explains further:
“Arts and cultural activities are so important for everyone. All forms of art practices stimulate learning and connect people and communities. Having these practices happening in schools will benefit children and young people, but also the adults – teachers and staff – involved. It is widely known that creative engagement has a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, and social engagement and connection. Engaging children and young people in arts and culture early on encourages lifelong participation while also helping to develop creatives of the future. It is also a lot of fun.”
While the Department considered similar programs in other states such as Creative Victoria and consulted widely with other agencies, the program is unique in Australia in the size of the partnerships being offered.
In addition to the Creative Learning Partnerships Program ($60,000-$250,000 grants, now closed), the initiative also includes the Creativity for Schools Program, supporting creative artists and organisations to engage with schools (K to 12) via collaborations (up to $60,000 in funding) and in school residencies (up to $20,000 in funding).
What sort of programs will be funded?
“We expect a wide range of programs to be funded through these grants spanning multiple artforms, everything from song writing programs with musicians to storytelling workshops in classrooms,” says Ms Magadza. “It has been interesting to see the broad range of activities being undertaken throughout Western Australia in this area, and this funding will contribute to even more creative opportunities for young people.”
Creative Learning programs will be an opportunity for schools and teachers to bring creative practitioners and artists directly into their classrooms to explore learning across the curriculum and build relationships between teachers and artists.
A key concern addressed through the program is to ensure access for students who are disadvantaged and who would normally be least likely to be exposed to such opportunities.
Who can apply for funding?
Applications are open to Western Australian based:
- Community organisations
- Local governments
- Not-for-profit organisations
- Primary schools
- Secondary schools
The first Creativity for Schools funding round is open from 1 December and closes
2 February. Schools can apply for both the collaboration ($60,000) and Residency ($20,000) categories, and schools are encouraged to get in touch with a Creative Learning Project Officer to discuss potential projects so advice on how to apply can be provided.
Outcomes for educators as well as students
“Young people will be involved in enriching arts experiences that will build curiosity, creativity, imagination and empathy. [Another] of the key elements of the program is to support projects that involve capacity building within schools and arts and cultural organisations,” says Ms Magadza. “This will involve a mix of approaches including professional development sessions and workshops for educators, ensuring creative learning programs are co-designed between artist and teacher, and providing opportunities to share successes and learnings with school leadership, colleagues and the wider community.”
For more information, guidelines and to submit an application please visit: Creativity for Schools (dlgsc.wa.gov.au)