21 Apr 2022

This content is tagged as Multi-Artform .


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Creative New Zealand has today launched an 8-week long storytelling series, focusing on the hauora/wellbeing benefits that the arts, culture and creativity provide.

Latest story: The power of art in exploring Asian identity by Jihee Junn

Working with a range of established and emerging writers, the Creative Wellbeing series provides a range of perspectives that focus on the intrinsic benefits of creative practice.  

The series is a partnership with the Mental Health Foundation’s All Right? campaign and Ensemble Magazine. A smaller collection of stories will also run on Stuff and in Sunday Magazine.

Published each Friday from 22 April to 17 June, the series will explore: 

  • the role of creativity and creative play for our tamariki and their impact on development and learning 

  • artists and art that helped us through the last two years of Covid restrictions and how this changed our relationship with creativity  

  • the place of creativity in Te Ao Māori, through conversations with Nga Toi Māori practitioners 

  • the role art can play in finding community and identity, from the perspectives of Asian, Pasifika and disabled people  

  • the positive impacts creativity can have on our mental health, particularly during times of high stress and uncertainty – and New Zealanders who have found it helpful 

  • ways to bring more creativity into our everyday lives, regardless of skill level or experience.

The writers contributing to the series are (in publishing order) Hayden Donnell, Kate Prior, Michelle Rahurahu Scott, Shilo Kino, Lana Lopesi, Jihee Junn, Michelle Langstone and Sherry Zhang. Illustrator Huriana Kopeke Te Aho is creating original illustrations to accompany the series.

“We know that engagement with creativity is a driver for individual and collective wellbeing – through the Creative Wellbeing series we’re sharing some of the knowledge of the artists and arts practitioners who do this crucial mahi,” says Stephen Wainwright, Creative New Zealand’s Chief Executive.

“This is also an opportunity to show the strength and value of artists and creative communities, as innovators and leaders within society, particularly as we navigate our way through ongoing COVID-19 disruptions.”

Ciaran Fox, Mental Health Foundation’s All Right? campaign strategist, says, “Creativity, art and culture can be powerful drivers of wellbeing. At an individual level, whether it’s the poetry we read at weddings and funerals to find the words we need or the music we turn to for comfort or celebration, or at a cultural level, the way we look at ourselves as a nation critically or how we express ourselves to the world. Whether we are the makers, putting our hearts into it, reaching out, or the audience seeing, listening, feeling, the arts and creativity can generate wellbeing through inspiration, curiosity, ingenuity, delight, critique, and asking questions. All Right? is the question that starts a conversation about wellbeing and we're proud to collaborate on this mahi”.

This project is part of Creative New Zealand’s advocacy work, which aims to promote the value of the arts and raise the profile and reach of the contribution that the arts, culture and creativity make to our lives.

Stories will first be published at Ensemble Magazine. We’ll also post a link to each story on this page as they land.

Why creativity is vital to our tamariki in a post-pandemic climate by Hayden Donnell

Feeling Good: Covid-19, creativity and wellbeing by Kate Prior

How the arts can unlock identity & wellbeing for the disabled community by Michelle Rahurahu

‘Our practice is connected to wellbeing’: Creativity in Te Ao Māori by Shilo Kino

How does creativity help strengthen Pacific wellbeing and identities? by Lana Lopesi

The power of art in exploring Asian identity by Jihee Junn

Arts and Minds: The case for art as a prescription medicine by Michelle Langstone

How to incorporate more ‘creative play’ into everyday life by Sherry Zhang