Art Making for Change: All people are valuable and inspiring, learners and creative individuals

Rod Wills (right), Education Studies (Disability), School of Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education, with Yung Chen and Tim Danko, Māpura Studios.

The work of art making, through community art and disability arts practice resets boundaries based on difference that until a decade ago could lead to institutionalisation. One in five New Zealanders identify as being disabled. Inclusion and lifelong learning offer a paradigm shift away from schooling calibrated by competition and disability. The art making practice of Yung Chen and his self-advocacy provide a compass to follow; his narrative and voice provide direction. Yung’s art practice is supported by Tim Danko from Māpura Studios, and Hank Snell from Interacting Disability Theatre makes our community films. As a team we generate momentum for change through these creative outputs. As resources they provide powerful tools for teaching and rich data for research. Our work resonates with the Sustainable Development Goals of quality education, good health and wellbeing, reduced inequality and partnerships.