Spoken word poetry, dance, music and film are being used to promote positive messages about staying safe and having fun by the Bega Valley LDAT, through a program called Project 8.
Led by LDAT partner South East Arts, Project 8 culminated in the creation of a music video to be released on social media. The video, Take Care Be Aware, sends a strong but thoughtful message to other young people about looking after your mates and yourself when you are out in a group.
The video was created over a series of workshops that took place on the south coast of NSW. Exploring lyrics, rhymes, music and video technology, dance and movement, young people aged 12 to 20 years worked with local professional creative mentors.
"This project is about supporting young people to create inspirational alcohol and drug harm minimisation message for their peers. Project 8 focusses on increasing resilience and positivity.” - Project 8 Co-ordinator, Gabrielle Powell
Project 8 sessions were held during July in Eden, with participants coming back together in October for workshops in Bournda with mentors, filmmaker Carl Broman and spoken word artist Meaghan Holt.
South East Arts Communications Manager Kate Howarth said it was is a great opportunity for participants to get some hands-on experience of professional mentoring.
She said: "Spoken-word artist Meaghan Holt sends a positive and powerful message through words and has a lot of experience working with young people”.
"All the Project 8 creative mentors have a lot of experience working with young people and have developed really fun workshops that really bring out amazing creativity and ideas," said South East Arts Executive Directory, Andrew Gray.
Professional dancers Warren Foster Jnr, Gabriela Green and Cayce Hill led a workshop exploring dance and music at the Bermagui Surf Club, engaging the young participants and providing them with another mechanism to deliver their important message. This session also covered video technology with Scott Baker, preparing the group to film their Take Care Be Aware music video.
Finally, Project 8 participants and musician Ricky Bloomfield recorded the soundtrack at Merimbula School of Music. They recorded a full version of their song Take Care Be Aware and received a hands-on professional studio experience.
Project 8 wanted to ensure the workshops were accessible to all young people and designed them so that no dance or music experience was required. The mentors taught the participants the skills they needed for the music video during the workshops, and participants were involved in creating the music, choreography and the video concept. It was free to participate, with a communal lunch included every session.
"We are really pleased to see yet another great example of the arts creating health outcomes - especially for young people." - South East Arts Communications Manager, Kate Howarth
Bega Valley LDAT is a partnership between South East Arts, CDAT, Dept Juvenile Justice, Head Space Grand Pacific Health, Bega Valley Shire Council, Far South Coast Family Support Service and Australia Red Cross Narooma.