New year and new inclusive art groups for children needing support
One of the goals of the project New Cultural Horizons is to arrange five inclusive pilot art groups for young people with special needs. During the autumn project workers have been contacting local organizations and teacher students to arrange the pilots. Now we have three organization pilots and two student pilots that are going to be held in spring 2021.
Sirkus Supiainen circus pilot
As their pilot, a local circus Supiainen arranges a new inclusive circus group. The group will launch in the beginning of February and it will meet ten times during the spring 2021. Group size will be 6-8 participants. In arranging the group, collaboration is done with Perpe Centre of Honkalampi Foundation. Perpe offers family-based support for children with neurological disabilities. One of their occupational therapists will join the group in first five meetings.
Main concern in planning this pilot is ensuring needed resources and support for the group. Group is new and we must consider the broad needs the participant might have in advance. We are hoping that 3-4 participants could come from the contacts of Perpe Centre and other 3-4 through circus Supiainen. This should enable that children with variety of backgrounds will participate.
Teatteri Traktori theatre pilot
Teatteri Traktori is a local theatre group that has long roots in arranging culture activities in Joensuu region. Aim of the theatre pilot is to find out solutions for theatre experiences to be more positive for children needing support. We are hoping to find new ways to e.g. support sensory hypersensitivity since theatre environment is filled with crowd, flashing lights and loud noises. In this pilot children and their families are experts by experience.
For participants pilot includes workshops, watching the show and ”aftermath discussion”. Pilot will start in February and show will be held in March. Main concern for this group is covid-19 situation and whether we have local restrictions during the planned pilot date. Covid-19 situation has also affected local support groups and especially peer support groups have reduced their activity.
Music academy of Pielisen-Karjala, band and orchestra group pilot
Main goal of this pilot is to deepen the collaboration between Pielisen-Karjala music academy and local school and to give teachers new ways to support students. Academy’s teachers hoped new ideas for classroom management, and they also need more ways to support the young students with special needs.
More specific program for this pilot will be planned in meetings in the beginning of the year 2021, but the draft of the idea is, that the pilot will start with intensive training with teachers. Project staff has searched also for supporting materials to music academy. After the tutelage the teachers will put new ideas to action. Special education teacher from local schools will visit the groups and give further guidance.
We have also chosen two special education teacher students, who are willing to arrange pilots in spring 2021. Students pilots are part of their teacher training. We are hoping to find out new ways to cope with current covid-19 crisis by planning to hold one of the pilots using remote connections and other outdoors.
Remote art group
Idea of remote art group is to create opportunities for children and youth from countryside to participate at culture hobbies. This pilot focuses on visual arts. We are hoping that remote connections might offer some children support that they need to be able to participate.
During the closedown in spring 2020 we had reports from schools that some children with special needs did benefit from teaching with remote connections. We are hoping that pilot group with remote connections might also encourage children with social anxiety to participate. This pilot is still under planning and will be planned further in January.
Outdoor theatre group
Planning of this pilot is still in the beginning so changes might still occur. Broad idea is that this group will be held in outdoors and it probably focuses on performative arts. More details of this pilot will come in future.
Now that we have all the intended pilots gathered, we are excited what the new year and spring will bring to us. There has been wide interests form the side of students, so who knows, maybe there will be couple more pilots form different fields of culture added to the plan. We are hoping to create new connections and ways for all young people to participate in local art and culture activities.