The McGowan Government will provide $1.6 million in the latest round of health grants to 15 arts organisations across the State to help promote mental health and wellbeing within annual arts programs.
The funding will help promote and integrate the Act-Belong-Commit health message through the programs to increase awareness for children, young people and families on how to maintain good mental health.
Barking Gecko Theatre Company is one organisation which will receive $270,000 over the next three years to inspire children and young people to live healthy lives through programs such as the Gecko Ensembles.
The Gecko Ensembles program – theatre skills workshops in metropolitan and regional WA – helps to build participants’ confidence, their ability to work in a team and connect with their creativity beyond school and amongst friends.
Over the coming three years, the program will be expanding to outer metropolitan areas such as Thornlie, and regional locations such as Kalgoorlie and Albany, employing local artists to reach more children and young people.
The McGowan Government, through Healthway, works with funded organisations to create healthy activities and events, and promote healthy lifestyles.
As stated by Health and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Community-based arts programs play a significant role in engaging vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities.
“The McGowan Government is committed to supporting these programs to help build the right foundations for mental health and wellbeing so our children, young people and families can flourish.
“The programs help people feel valued, develop a sense of identity and belonging, and keep people connected to their community.
“We can also help reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues, and empower people to make positive changes towards their mental health.”
As stated by Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
“The support provided for these arts programs reflects the critical role of the arts in ensuring the health and wellbeing of our communities.
“The health benefits from engagement in the arts is well researched and documented, contributing to positive health and wellbeing outcomes for individuals and communities.
“The arts provide a valuable opportunity for regional young people and young people from diverse backgrounds with a pathway to engage with others in the community in a way that reflects their hopes and aspirations.
“The arts also play a critical role in the social and economic lives of regional communities, and these programs will support the employment of professional artists working in these community settings.”
Arts organisations receiving funding to promote Act-Belong-Commit health message:
- $225,000 – Southern Edge Arts, Annual Program 2020-2022
- $240,000 – The Contemporary Dance Company, CONNECT Program 2020-2022
- $249,000 – ART ON THE MOVE, Engagement Program 2020-2022
- $45,000 – Musica Viva, Annual School Program 2020
- $270,000 – Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Gecko Ensembles Program 2020-2022
- $120,000 – Theatre Kimberley Inc., Youth Program 2020-2022
- $150,000 – Ballet Workshop Incorporated, Annual Program 2020-2022
- $50,000 – Western Australia Youth Orchestra, Community Outreach Program 2020
- $40,000 – WA Youth Jazz Orchestra Association, Education Program 2020
- $68,000 – Australian Dance Council – Ausdance (WA Branch), Lifelong Dance Program 2020
- $25,000 – Undalup Association, Undalup Bunuru Festival 2020
- $25,000 – Silver Threads Band Inc., Making Music is Fun 2020
- $32,000 – WA Circus School Incorporated, Circus Performance and Outreach Program 2020
- $25,000 – West Australian Ballet, Performances for Schools Program 2020
- $75,000 – Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, 2020 Community & Education Program Partner