Arts projects helping vulnerable young people

The Trusts Million Dollar Mission is all about recognising and supporting the amazing work of community and voluntary groups throughout West Auckland. There are thousands of volunteers achieving great things for our communities every day. Sometimes though it’s the Simple things that have the biggest impact. This was certainly the case with the Corban Estate Arts Centre’s Million Dollar Mission project.

The Corban Estate Arts Centre already has a long history of nurturing the creative talents of West Aucklanders both young and old. However, in 2013 they set up a special initiative called the Kākano Youth Arts Collective in response to community concerns around young people and anti-social behaviour in West Auckland.

Changing lives through art

The project is all about engaging with young offenders and at-risk youth, and channels their energies in positive ways rather than through town centre tagging, graffiti or crime. The Kākano Youth Arts Collective provides a structured environment for young people. It reinforces positive role models and enables the youth to explore their talents while contributing to the community through a series of public art projects. As a result important bridges have been built between the wider community and these young people who previously saw themselves as being very much outsiders.

The Arts Collective has been a great success. However, many of the target group lead chaotic lives with often difficult and challenging home circumstances. The Corban Estate Arts Centre recognised a need to make it as easy as possible for these vulnerable kids, and so applied to the Million Dollar Mission for funding to purchase a van that could be used to transport the kids to and from the sessions. They also teamed up with another charitable organisation, Mixit, which in partnership with the Corban Estate Arts Centre operates a creative programme for young migrants and refugees. Mixit faced similar transport challenges and so it was logical for the two groups to work together.

The $33,510 of funding from the Million Dollar Mission was used to leverage in extra money from other sources. The van is now being used to great effect by both Kākano Youth Arts Collective and Mixit to benefit disadvantaged youth across West Auckland.

The Trusts Million Dollar Mission isn’t just about supporting the big projects. This initiative is a great example of community groups working together and achieving simple things for
maximum benefit. It is also a key component of how The Trusts give back to West Auckland.

For more information on the Kākano Youth Arts Collective or Mixit projects check out the Corban Estate Arts Centre website.