During BOAA Art 21 Sep – 6 Nov 2018 we will be launching pilot programs for ongoing engagement in our community and we are particularly driven to develop our homelessness program, BOAA Harbour, which has been inspired by several organizations such as Open Canvas and particularly by the USA based organisation Art From The Street.
As we make plans to use the St Andrews church, halls and grounds for the 6 week of BOAA we are confronted with homelessness first hand. At BOAA we have no intention of moving them on, instead we are developing ways to engage them and provide them with support and opportunities to earn money.
BOAA Harbour will start our journey of engagement with the homelessness in Ballarat. One of our 17 venue/locations is St Andrew Church in Sturt St, which has been rarely occupied for over 5 years and hence has become a safe harbour for the homeless to sleep rough. Although the Uniting Care and other services have often arranged places for people to sleep they seem to always to return to the Church grounds and more recently to our Civic Hall which is a construction site. Homelessness is everyone’s problem and I think we all know it is not as simple of arranging a place to sleep each night.
BOAA Harbour will be a safe place for people to come and go, a place to be during the day and place where they can have some fun and feel welcomed. The pilot program aims to engage the Ballarat homeless in making art, in a supportive non-judgemental space where they can just have a go. An artist will be contracted to be with the homeless during the open house sessions, providing materials, tips, support and an open mind.
Food coffee, water and soft drink will be provided for the harbour artists, giving us an opportunity to provide more practical support. As with the Men’s Shed concept, the harbour could be a place where our emerging artists get connected to other services and support, one step closer to getting our homeless community back on track.
If all goes to plan we will hold an exhibition of the Harbour artists work on the Melbourne Cup weekend, which is that last weekend of BOAA. All works will be for sale and all proceeds will go directly to the Harbour Artists.
BOAA is seeking a supporter who would like to fund this 6 week pilot program. We need to hire the right artists; ones who have an art therapy background and are experienced in working with the homeless. We need to provide materials such as canvas, paint, easels, pens, paper, clay, access ceramic firing services etc. The pilot will be held within the St Andrew Hall in a private space yet still connected to the BOAA exhibition space, which will inspire and provide inclusion.
BOAA Harbour’s Mission
A harbour that provides a safe haven for homeless people.
A harbour that allows all to explore art, develop skills, exhibit and sell art.
A harbour that provide nourishment and support.
A harbour that is non-judgemental.
A harbour which new lives are launched from.