We trust that your 2020 has started off well; we wish every one of you all the best. Here at Butterfly Art Project we are celebrating entering our 10th year of working with traumatised children through art. Our 2020 looks exciting and so far, it is busy! We are working full steam ahead having spent time in January re-connecting and planning together, even starting our adult training and children's classes before February arrived. During the first quarter of the year, we launched “Project Cocoon”, an innovation in our Art Partner Support Programme. [Continue Reading]
In May 2019 we launched an on-line handbook called How to Start a Community Art Centre. This resource gives Community Art Facilitators (or anyone else in the world) needed theoretical and practical information for starting a formal community-based art initiative in South Africa (this link takes you directly there https://www.butterflyartproject.org/art-centre-handbook). During 2019 we strategised how we can expand our documented work with children beyond our Art Centre in Vrygrond, through our Community Art Facilitator (CAF) network. We wanted to find a way to coach and mentor a selection of CAFs in establishing their community-based initiatives (using the concepts covered in the on-line handbook) while measuring and monitoring some of our second level impact. A concept paper for this was developed and presented to BAP’s management board and “Project Cocoon” was born.
During the 4th school term of 2019, we tested the Project Cocoon model with a committed CAF who serves 58 troubled youth in Bishop Lavis. We coached her in using BAP tools and methods for monitoring and evaluation and monitored her results and impacts together; we soon knew that our expectations and criteria were reasonable and the implementation achievable. In November 2019 an advert was sent out into BAP’s CAF network inviting them to motivate becoming one of three beneficiary partners of the project in 2020.
In January this year, we called our first group Project Cocoon meeting with selected CAFs. We presented our expectations and facilitated a participatory process that enabled all to understand each participating CAF’s current initiatives, plans and needs. They were challenged with intensive organisational development and reflection exercises in preparation for BAP drawing up memorandums of understanding to formalise the individual partnerships. The outcome of various consultations is that we have four community-based Project Cocoon initiatives in partnership with us in 2020. These community-based classes serve a total of 214 children in Belhar, Steenberg, Westlake, Retreat, Bishop Lavis and Vrygrond. We are so excited about this initiative and look forward to sharing our learnings with you in the future. Here are some images of Project Cocoon community classes with children.