The Active Arts workshops are a pedagogical program based on the principles of Cultural Heritage Education. The objective of this practice is to allow participants to feel acknowledged and accomplished by their creative practices and discoveries feeling a sense of belonging through their inclusion in and contribution to the local community in whatever place, space and culture participants are immersed in.
In this program, facilitators play an important role to guide participants through a journey of cultural and individual awareness and exploration of identity. The process of investigation of culture and identity in an inclusive and dynamic atmosphere, allows participants from diverse backgrounds to discover, share and acknowledge cultural nuances – creating positive memory and exchanging learning together.
The Active Arts program combines a unique set of skills and technical modalities from outdoor recreation, environmental learning and nature play, leadership and team building activities such as sports and creative problem solving tasks, story-telling and discussions, drama games, music, dance, arts, crafts and design, to mindfulness based practices such as yoga and meditation which brings an interdisciplinary approach to engagement and learning that activates participants in dynamic and transformative ways.
The diversity in pedagogical disciplines allows the program to be versatile and suitable to any community around the globe including different age groups and socio-cultural-economic backgrounds from early childhood and primary aged settings, youth, teens and young adults such as schools and school holiday programs to adults professional development programs for educators, to international students, aged care, disabled people, indigenous and CALD communities and ‘at risk’ demographics such as disengaged youth, homeless people and people affected by drug and alcohol abuse. This program has been delivered successfully in Brazil, Colombia and Australia by the MARACCAS group. The activities are normally held in schools, libraries, community halls and public spaces such as parks, open areas, natural settings and cultural heritage sites.
The thematic of this program is focused on wellbeing, empowerment, identity rescue and community development through creative exploration and play prioritizing individual and local needs. Providing resources and opportunities to communities and individuals that are suffering economic hardship or any other social disadvantage. The application of this program is broad and beneficial outcomes can be seen in a wide variety of contexts.
Jonas Teixeira and Lillian Shewring
MARACCAS Co-Founders & Directors