Participation in the arts at an early age is essential for our children’s creative and cognitive development, says Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Steve Chadwick.
“Too many children are at a loss after school finishes. Many families can’t afford expensive hobbies, and idle kids are more likely to end up in trouble,” Steve Chadwick said
This week Labour reiterated support at the Youth Art Shed in Opotiki for a network of Children’s Art Houses.
“An art house is a safe space for kids, outside of school, to create and express themselves using any medium available, such as paint or ceramics, under supervision of a teacher. The initiative is the brainchild of Shona Hammond Boys a visionary art teacher who has opened creative spaces for troubled kids and those with a passion for art.
“Labour believes in the value of developing artistic talent at an early age, but more importantly supports initiatives which immerse children and youth in constructive activity after school.
“While Art Houses have been funded by individual councils, Labour sees merit in funding the initiative nationally and will seek to develop a broader network when re-elected.
“Art houses can be in an old house, shed, warehouse or unused hall. They operate in partnership with local communities who work with partners to run the House.
“All that is needed is leadership and collaboration from across the sectors involved. Labour will establish a sustainable funding path for this to happen through Creative Communities funding support as the lead agency working with other shared funders.
“Labour has continued to develop and resource the arts, music and creative curriculum in New Zealand schools so that young people have the opportunity to participate in the arts and establish creative skills at an early stage.”