Arts and Mental Calmness NAC

This project is funded by the South African National Arts Council. ARROWSA leads the project in partnership with ARROWSA management and ARROWSA Bechet participants, Bechet High School,  artists from South Roots Int. in the Western Cape and a lecturer and postgraduate students from the Department of Performing Arts, UKZN.


Art and Mental Calmness ARROWSA Bechet youth and artists from ARROWSA, SRI, and Dept. of Perf Arts, UKZN 2022

Project description

1. The project is a response to a request by community leaders and youth to ARROWSA for a project that promotes mental health that has been aggravated by COVID_19 and the unrest in KZN by addressing social issues through the arts and sharing arts practices that promote mental calmness.
2. The project also addresses a request by organisations within the African continent e.g., in Sierra Leone for ARROWSA to assist with videos that share arts for social change methods promoted by ARROWSA.
3. Lastly the project also provides a space for partnerships to be reinforced and ARROWSA capacity to be built by skills transference, of good arts practices for social change which promote mental calmness, with ARROWSA youth and UKZN drama students.

image theatre

Miranda Young-Jahangeer, of Dept of Perf. Arts, UKZN leads an image theatre workshop at the Arts and Mental Calmness project 2022

4. The three objectives will be achieved through a four day long community outreach of multi-discipline arts activities that: focus on social issues that aggravate mental health such as bullying, GBV, hearing impairment and identity issues and diversity divisions, share arts practices that promote mental calmness, for youth between the ages of 13 to 18 year that culminates in a community performance that takes note of COVID-19 restrictions that might be in place at the time. See a video of the community performance of Arts and Mental Calmness filmed and edited by Shanette Martin.


ARROWSA Bechet youth perform their devised drama performance at the community performance of Arts and Mental Calmness 2022

5. We will include art experts to facilitate the art activities that also serves to provide practical experience for arts students who will shadow and assist the art experts.
6. Identify applied art facilitators from partners, drama students and community youth participants.
7. Create agreements and sign between all partners and participants including informed consent forms.
8. Devise two days of multi-discipline arts workshops led by the art experts shadowed by the students.


UKZN, Dept. of Perf. Arts, UKZN postgraduate students lead a workshop at the Arts for Mental Calmness project 2022

9. Devise a multi-discipline performance on the third day from items that were part of the two days.
10. Create and disseminate marketing material to the community about the devised performance.
11. On the fourth day share the performance with the broader community.


'Cherry' the large puppet created by ARROWSA Bechet youth for the community performance in the Arts and Mental Calmness workshops 2022 led by ARROWSA alumni and management

12. Film the workshops throughout the workshops and performance when in progress and edit into digital material that promotes the methodologies used for arts for social change particularly linked to mental health issues and calmness.
13. Disseminate the workshops and performance on social media and website.
14. Disseminate the videos on websites.
15. Complete narrative and financial report requirements as per contract with funders.
16. Evaluate the success of the project and the 'where to now?' within ARROWSA and with partners to promote sustainability of the work.