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Creativity and inclusivity go hand in hand at Lutheran Services

January 2021 | , , ,

Inclusivity and access are key words in the disability and aged care space.

While access can be ensured with the right built environment, being truly inclusive can be more challenging.

Our Creative Programs Advisor Clare Apelt is a dance facilitator and has learnt that being curious and playful with aged care residents or disability clients can kick start their creative journeys.

Clare recently told Ausdance Qld magazine IN/FORM she believes ‘in the power of creativity and dance to transform and connect.’

“To achieve real participation by a person with a disability of some sort … (as a facilitator) I need to be curious and consult with them about what they want from the activity and any specific needs they might have,” she says.

When aged care residents or disability clients begin work on a project, Clare starts with the premise of curiosity and playfulness to build trust and collaboration.

“My work is process driven and often I don’t know what the end product will look like,” she says.

“I can work with the ideas, interests and strengths of my participants.

“This can be scary at times, but I have learned to trust myself and the process, allowing the work to emerge.’’

The Lutheran Services’ Creative Programs team conduct on-site activities every day with our 1200 aged care and disability clients. But the team has also enabled clients to stage dance performances at theatres in Brisbane and Logan in the past few years.

During 2019 and 2020 there were several successful performances.

If Only I Could was staged at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts with professional dancers working with residents from our Zion and Tabeel aged care services.

Uncomfortable issues such as dementia and aged care were explored in creative ways with Alice in Trinderland, at Trinder Park in conjunction with students from the local state high school.

Collaboration with other disability groups has proved a powerful combination when clients from Keystone Centre at Logan hosted and performed with multi-ability dancers from Mo-Ya-Co in Nagoya, Japan.

Our Keystone clients were then lucky enough to perform in Japan with them as well, before the pandemic saw restrictions on travel. This collaboration is continuing to be fruitful with our clients now performing with their Japanese colleagues via Zoom.