“To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play.” – Albert Einstein
Kickstarter targets teachers and community-based artist facilitators to build capacity in delivering the formal Creative Arts curriculum. It uses an experiential, easily accessible, step-by-step methodology, which has been tried and tested with teachers as the Creative Voices methodology since 2000.
Through 2015-2016, we worked with 57 teachers of Creative Arts in 20 schools in Free-State and Kwazulu Natal, to assist them to deliver on the compulsory Creative arts curriculum, benefitting thousands of children. We also measured the impact of Creative Arts (drama, dance, music and visual arts) on all aspects of learning and teaching. See our report here.
This programme is now being upscaled for further roll-outs.
Surviving as an artist can be difficult, so being able to facilitate within the in-school or after-school environment is a great plus. We run forums, workshops, training and development opportunities for artists and educators who want to work in this space.
Since 2014, we have trained intensively around 110 artist-facilitators from 6 provinces to work in schools.
Currently, our After-School Game Changer training programme in association with the Department of Cultural Affairs, Western Cape, is assisting over 60 Creative Arts coaches to provide excellent afterschool programmes for children and young people across the province. Coaches are developing productions with their children to be showcased at the Zabalaza Festival, in association with Baxter Theatre.
We have taught locally-developed and tested arts education methodologies to artists and educators in South Africa, Swaziland, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, and there is a demand for more.
We have also developed handbooks and texts for use in the classroom.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Theatre can be made even more powerfully transformative if the experience is extended in some way through pre- or post-show workshops. Theatre mediation helps children and young people to fully engage with the material of the play, and to experiment with the theatre languages they have been exposed to.
In 2014 we reached 5000 school children through the innovative, award-winning War Horse Education project, sponsored by RMB, in partnership with Handspring Puppet Company, ensuring in-depth arts workshops in schools, development of educational materials and free attendance of the War Horse production.
Other theatre mediation projects designed especially for theatre companies, the Baxter theatre, the Market theatre and others, include: The Ogreling, Lion Boy, Woza Albert, Mies Julie, Karoo Moose, Mother to Mother, and The Crossing.
From teachers, artists and learners
Nieke Lombard (Independent, Cape Town):
“It was an extremely insightful week. I am grateful to be a small part in changing a teenager’s perception, on an educationally creative level through the arts. I am confident this will happen as that is how I felt afterwards: that I was touched on an emotional and physical level, while learning and it made the experience intellectual as well as visceral. I had read the WAR HORSE book before, which left me quite ‘cold’, but the understanding of the gravity of war and loss came through only through the participation and reflection that took place in the ASSITEJ workshop week. I felt so inspired that I wanted to place everything I learnt in my proposed workshop (which is impossible) however I fully realize the significance to present a new way of learning to students, even if it is through just one artistic medium that links with their subjects. Thank you ASSITEJ”
Mtho Zulu (Edu-Fun, Durban):
“Colour brings life to the shades of life. The WAR HORSE Facilitator Workshop left me having finally found the treasure at the beginning of a rainbow. The experience was that which did not only teach me a lot about the industry I am in and how I can add fun to young people’s education, but it also made me grow as a human being. Not just as an artist, but as Mtho. I will never forget this beautiful experience.”
Toni Morkel (Independent artist, Jo’burg):
“Thank you All for the incredible experience of the WAR HORSE workshops last week. Each day being led by another brilliant facilitator, and being so held throughout the process. And then the really challenging part in the last 2 days creating our own workshops and the terror of presenting to the whole group after such high standards being set! Absolutely terrifying! And learning about myself working in tandem with a new partner under pressure – thank you Lebogang Inno! And learning so much again from watching the other participants delivering their workshops – a wonderful and enriching experience in every way!”
Basil Jones: “Yesterday’s audience completely overwhelmed us. It was surely the most memorable of all War Horse performances we have watched and we’ll ever remember it. The learners were so intensely concentrated in their attention, living every moment, hungrily interpreting and making meaning for themselves. It felt like they were the raison d’être for our whole career. The British cast were in tears and the woman who played Rose said it was the finest moment of her 25-years on stage. Tim Lewis, who plays Captain Nicolls has a South African parent, and says when he was holding a fence pole in the stable scene, he had tears coursing down his cheeks.
What a wonderful introduction to our country for the actors and puppeteers!
I want to thank you all for the vision, the planning, the training, and the follow-through that went into pulling off the attendance of such a huge, well-prepared audience. We feel fortunate that RMB is determined to take their corporate responsibility so seriously and that we have in this country a branch of ASSITEJ that is so muscular, having significant affect in the lives and imaginations of thousands of children. We are proud of our association with ASSITEJ SA.”
“I loved the fact that there were people from different countries and therefore we exchanged our cultures. The organisers did a really good job and I hope for them to continue with the organisation. Not only for Muizenberg, but other schools too.” – Muizenberg High learner
“Seeing the four plays done by theatre professionals. That gave me the opportunity to learn more and do more when I go back to Zambia tomorrow. The Brouhaha groups performance I just watched has greatly inspired me because five of them were Zambian.” – Zambian Youth
“The fact that we got to engage with professionals in the industry as well as people (Human Beings) from other countries and even other (un) familiar societies to me. What I most enjoyed was understanding who & what a playwright is & what is needed (perhaps) expected from us, from both directors & audiences.” – Playwright
“Group work/team work is very important. Our learners lack self-confidence and this way of working, which includes learners is very powerful.”
“I learned new ideas methods which I am going to put in practices”
“I loved the site-specific activity, cause now it would be easier for learners to create their own plays (both Afrikaans and Arts & Culture)”
Syabonga Mthembu, Artist facilitator in Kwa-Zulu Natal:
“I must say I’m very impressed by the way ASSITEJ has impacted the schools in terms of Creative Arts. The principal, educators, surprisingly even the community, parents are looking forward to the great results in their children. They are all supportive and attracted to the program. I was also impressed by the CA Teachers that were in Jo’burg, when they came back they implemented all the skills they learnt from Joburg, especially in Visual Arts. And the kids responded positively as I saw their work. The similar pictures and paints we did in Jo’burg are all over the walls in classrooms. ASSITEJ is indeed changing the lives of the kids positively.”
‘Ms Pina’, teacher at Thusanong Primary School in Odendaalsrus:
‘My knowledge (in Creative Arts) it improved a lot, because before the Kickstarter project, it was difficult for me to plan or create lessons for Creative Arts. Now I know how to start, where to start with Creative Arts. Kickstarter project is an eye opener for our teachers and learners-now we are aware that art is also a good profession for our learners.’
L. M Sefako, HOD English and Lifeskills, Adeline Meje Primary in Viljoenskroon: ‘Since the training learners love Arts and Culture-they are acting, performing and creating. They use the knowledge from class to perform in some school activities eg Heritage day, awards ceremonies. Yes, Creative Arts at my school has improved a lot! It (Kickstarter Creative Arts project) has bought a change and it also interacts with other subjects, eg English (dialogue and writing) and Maths (music)’
Kristy Stone, Core Team Visual Arts:
“Through working with ASSITEJ, I now see the value of all art disciplines and how they contribute to Life Skills. The workshops were exceptionally well run and organized. The workshops offered participants and valuable education opportunity. ASSITEJ teaches supportive, disciplined and respectful learning.”