The ArtWorks Sangai Khelaun program was launched in the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. Noticing Srijanalaya’s post-earthquake work with teachers, Shikshya Foundation Nepal (SFN) got in touch with us with the intention of brainstorming ideas for a project that would serve children in remote, marginalized and earthquake-ravaged school communities. It was a sensitive point in time when we started talking; stakeholders were scrambling to provide basic needs to numerous communities. But we all believed that once these basic needs were met, it was important to provide more. Together with SFN members, Srijanalaya drafted an initial objective for the ArtWorks program - to engage traumatized students, teachers and community members in art activities and workshops that could potentially relieve their distress. Along with that, we also planned to provide psychosocial support to adults and young students by holding conversations and entertaining them through the arts. We set aside budget for child-friendly art materials and story books that could be distributed to impoverished schools. Here is a reportage on our first trip to Ghyachhak, Gorkha.
Since the first trip, Srijanalaya has visited numerous school districts in the past five years. Apart from the core team of founding members, various artists and educators have contributed their time and skills to design lesson plans for students and workshops for teachers. We have also experimented with different program structures as a response to the communities’ needs. That’s why, for the second edition of Art Works, we visited Gatlang village in Rasuwa more than once in order to work with different groups of students and also as a way to follow up with the teachers. Srijanalaya also coordinated a one month residency for a few Kathmandu-based artists so that they could learn about the local arts and culture. Please refer to this article for more information.
The Art Works program has travelled to Nawalparasi, Sindhuli and Dang. We also collaborated with Karnali Art Center, a local theater company in Mugu district and worked with a group of high school students.
More recently, Srijanalaya and SFN signed an MOU with the Panchpokhari-Thangpal Rural Municipality in Sindhupalchowk district with the intention of building the capacity of teachers and working with the community for a longer term. Please refer to this reportage for the larger sociopolitical context of our work.
Artworks, 2015 through 2020