Partner – Kūrybinės jungtys
Duration – 2020–2021
Regions – Kaunas, Klaipėda, Vilnius and Visaginas; Šalčininkai, Trakai and Vilnius districts
Child day-care centres in Lithuania are often attended by children from socially excluded or at-risk groups. These centres represent safe spaces for children to access food, homework support and spend recreational time at play. Unfortunately, the day-care staff do not have sufficient resources and knowledge on engaging with children’s creativity and other core skills, as they are too busy maintaining the regular operations of the centre.
The Building Connections project aimed to develop creativity and other core skills in the day-care centre attendees, while promoting positive experiences of collaboration and connection with others through art. The focus of the programme was a partnership between a group of children and young people attending day-care centres, and specifically trained creative professionals such as a film director, artist or musician. The children and creative practitioners collaborated for around nine sessions in order to design and deliver an explorative project (e.g. an art installation), which was later presented at the National Art Gallery in Vilnius.
Through a variety of artistic activities such as street art, photography, filming, visiting a silkscreen-printing workshop or the National Art Gallery, the children transcended the boundaries of their social, cultural and ethnic circles whilst acquiring critical thinking skills. Art became a cohesive medium that contributed to inclusion and created the opportunity for the children to express their creativity.
Over its duration, the project involved 15 day-care centres, 200 children from throughout Lithuania and 20 creative professionals hailing from various cultural fields such as the visual arts, music, film, theatre and performative art.