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Putting the Heart into Arts

March 4, 2019

In May Emerge will celebrate the tenth anniversary of its arts therapy programs which have changed the lives of women and children. Emerge has one of the longest running arts therapy programs in Victoria, and its results have inspired many family violence services around the world to investigate establishing similar programs.

emerging heARTs will see Emerge supporters, and past and current clients gather at a very special party to celebrate the last decade of giving voice to women and children.

Paula Westhead, Emerge’s Executive Officer, said being able to celebrate a decade of arts therapy was a major milestone for the organisation.

“Every drawing, every piece of sand play, every painting that a child or mother has made with one of our art therapists has been a step towards a more hopeful future,” she said.

“We hope that emerging heARTs will help everyone learn more about how it is possible to give women and children a voice to help them survive and thrive after experiencing family violence.

emerging heARTs will take guests on a journey through arts therapy to learn more about what it involves, its benefits and how Emerge uses it in its daily work. The evening will be emceed by Jo Stanley.

Emma Hodges, Children’s Program Coordinator, said: “Our approach is governed by the philosophy that the needs of the child are equal to the needs of the mother. We are one of two family violence services in Victoria which has an emphasis on children’s mental health. Our work is focused on giving children of all ages the opportunity to benefit from therapeutic play and interventions in a safe and respectful environment.”

All attending the party will be able to put their touch to a major art work which, Emma says, is Emerge’s gift to the women and children who have shared their stories and experiences with the organisation.

Guests will also have the chance to admire a mural which community artist Kirsty Budge has been working on with children supported through Emerge.

Readers interested in attending emerging heARTs are invited to email mail@emergesupport.org.au to reserve a space. We will be sending out official invitations later.  

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