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Māpura Studios Goes National With Online Creative Programme - MOA

Following the success of its online classes held during lockdown last year, Māpura Studios is extending its creative programmes throughout New Zealand with MOA, Māpura Online Artists.

When New Zealand went into Alert Level 4 last year, Māpura acted quickly to come up with new ways of reaching its community of disabled artists, and continue to support them and their well-being through online creative arts programmes. No single online platform suited all of the participating artists and Māpura also needed to tailor its online classes to individual artists as much as possible.

The success of its lockdown programme proved that its support workers, volunteers, professional tutors, family and artists could work alongside each other as effectively online as they do in the Auckland studio.

Funding from the Ministry of Social Development, announced in December, has allowed Māpura Studios to further develop its online creative programmes to build a creative community of artists with disabilities across the country, using a combination of Zoom, Facebook Live, YouTube, open forum blogs, private Facebook pages, video, podcasts and chatrooms.

“Māpura’s kaupapa is ‘changing lives through creativity’ and this is what we’ll be able to share with others and build a wider community of disabled artists, thanks to the Ministry’s funding,” said Diana McPherson, Director, Māpura Studios. “One of the things that really stood out for us during lockdown was how important it was for artists who are among New Zealand’s most vulnerable, to be able to stay connected with each other and Māpura staff. Rolling out our online programme to other parts of New Zealand allows us to provide maximum opportunities to artists to connect with others in similar situations.”

The first online programme will be for the deaf community, and it is currently being developed by Māpura tutor Rachel Coppage. This will be launched in early April, the beginning of the second school term. A visual arts programme will be launched in quick succession.

Māpura Studios also runs a comprehensive exhibition and event programme and artists taking part in its programme outside of Auckland will be able to participate in these. The MSD funding will enable Māpura to provide devices and internet access for remote users to access classes.

“We are delighted to be able to extend our programme and help enrich the lives of people with disabilities around New Zealand through the creative arts process,” Diana McPherson said. “We are calling our remote programme MOA, Māpura Online Artists.”

About Māpura Studios

Māpura Studios is a creative space offering inclusive, multi-modal art classes and art therapy programmes to people of all ages, diversity, and need, as well as to the wider community. These include visual art, music, cartooning, dance, performance and therapy programmes.

Māpura currently runs 22 programmes to around 200 people each week, based both in their central St Lukes studio and in satellite locations across the Auckland region. Māpura also works with maximum security mental health inmates at Auckland Men’s Prison.

Māpura Studios is an independent organisation, administered by Panacea Arts Charitable Trust and funded by grants and programme fees.

Mapura Studios is on Facebook and @mapurastudios on Instagram

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