Connection and belonging are widely recognised as being key to wellbeing. These elements underpin our flagship programme, Breathing Space, which offers rangatahi meaningful and genuine connections through high quality creative experiences. Breathing Space was established in the UK by Creative Collaborative’s co-founder, Asha Munn. Since Asha’s return to Aotearoa nine years ago, she has refined Breathing Space to fit the needs of local rangatahi.
The overwhelming message that we have received through 17-years of Breathing Space iterations is that art making connects youth to themselves, to their peers, and to their communities. Furthermore, bringing youth together with artists and creatives who want to 'share' is a magical potion for authentic relationship building, not to mention amazing creative outcomes! Additionally, it helps youth to feel better about their place in this often shaky world. Art allows us to access a special ‘in-between’ space for open-ended play (creativity and art making). Where words fail, creativity really can find a voice. Feedback from our youth and other partners is that Breathing Space can be life changing for both artists and rangatahi alike.
When the pandemic hit, the youth mental health crisis intensified overnight. We worked with rangatahi to explore innovative creative intervention models. Consequently, a bridge from Breathing Space directly to our new exciting mahi, Whats In The Bag, was formed.
Breathing Space is in partnership with Creative New Zealand, Creative Communities, Activate Tamaki Makaurau, WDHB, Kaipatiki Youth Development Trust, Auckland Council (Youth Empowerment Team and Community Social Innovation), The Ministry of Youth Development | Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi, Oranga Tamariki (Youth Justice, Care and Protection, Engaging Challenging Youth), WDHB (ICAMS), Kaipatiki Local Board, and Kaipatiki Facilities Trust.