Authors: Toi Ora Live Art Trust
Event: 2009 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NZ
Award level: Winner
Award category: Consumer Provided Services
Abstract: Toi Ora Live Art Trust is a creative (NGO) arts centre for people with experience of mental ill health. Toi Ora provides studio space, resources and materials free to all members. The programme of classes, facilitated by professional tutors, includes creative writing, visual arts, mosaic and print making, music (both playing and recording) drama and multimedia/computer graphic studies. Open studio time is also available for students to work on personal projects. Non-judgemental peer support and socialisation is also important at Toi Ora. Events such as the end of term soiree, with entertainment provided by drama, music and creative writing students, are well attended. Toi Ora has a history of regular exhibitions and events that help to promote positive messages about mental health and reduce issues of stigma and discrimination. Many have acknowledged the importance of art and self expression at Toi Ora in their recovery and “ongoing” well being. Description of Facility/Organisation: Toi Ora Live Art Trust was established in 1995, through the impetus of Mary O’Hagan and Sara McCookweir and a core group of mental health consumers, to provide creative learning opportunities and space for people living with mental illness. Membership grows constantly (320 are registered, 120 enrolling per term, increasing 14% in the last18 months). Our contract with the Auckland Area Health Board, funds a manager and studio/arts coordinator, a part-time (15 hours) administrator and 20 tutor hours per week. Consumer, Board members, tertiary students on placement and community volunteers provides regular support. The ADHB contract provides 70% of core business funding, Toi Ora applies to an extensive range of philanthropic trusts and government grants to fund raise the shortfall. This endeavour facilitates our annual exhibitions, events and publications. Two major grants have also been received from the ASB Community Trust which has facilitated our current service Relocation Project.