The Creative Recovery Network is a not-for-profit Australian organisation that secures and promotes the critical role of the arts in disaster preparedness and recovery efforts.

Typically an afterthought when planning community recovery, the Creative Recovery Network aims to get arts and culture sector a ‘seat at the table’ when the responses are being planned. We demonstrate the value and importance of integrating arts and culture into disaster recovery from the ground up. We are the arts-ambulance ready to respond.

The Creative Recovery Network is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Creative Recovery Network acknowledges the country, culture and traditional custodians of the land upon which we walk, work and live. We pay our respects to the Elders past, present and future of Indigenous nations in Australia and abroad. We acknowledge that Australian Aboriginal sovereignty was never ceded.
+61 423 987 207

PO Box 101, Annerley QLD 4103

Making Time: Artist Self Care

Managing experiences of burn out, exhaustion, mental health, fatigue and post-traumatic stress symptoms are the focus of the Making Time: Arts and Self-care program. It is clear that artists and arts workers who are working in regional and remote, complex community settings, are often at risk of stress, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and burn out. This is especially so for artists and arts workers who work in relative isolation and are engaged in projects in remote and regional indigenous communities, asylum seekers and refugee communities who have experienced war and torture and communities affected by the impacts of natural disasters. This is an issue not only for artists and arts workers but also for organisations that are contracting workers to deliver socially engaged and community projects and outcomes, often under short time frames, limited resources and within contexts where the communities are experiencing high levels of complex trauma.

In other professional sectors most notably within the Social Services, Medical and Mental health sectors, transference and counter transference of traumatic experience as well as exposure to direct traumatic events has been recognized as having real and complicated impacts on the practitioner (J Herriman Trauma and Recovery, 2001). Practice methods, professional training and professional peer debriefing/mentoring networks have been developed within these sectors to support and sustain the well-being of the practitioners and subsequently the quality of their practice and most importantly the therapeutic relationship with the people and communities they serve.

We will explore the relevant opportunities within an approach for the arts and cultural sectors, specially CACD. The experiences and best practice models developed in the primary mental health sector strongly validates the need to build capacity within the CACD sector through professional peer networks, self-care strategies, Mental Health First Aid training and strategies for preparedness for working within complex community contexts through a more informed understanding of the impacts of trauma.

Creative Recovery Network will:

  • Grow a national conversation regarding effective self-care for artists and artsworkers
  • Present a one/two-day forum in relation to understanding complex community contexts, trauma, support and self-care for artists and arts workers. This forum consists of conversations, reflections and learning about the development of self-care strategies. Together we will build a tool kit of relevant resources, collegial connections and plans for ongoing peer support.
  • Contribute to an online platform / knowledge bank of resources, tools and strategies for artists, arts workers, communities and organisations in Australia
  • Build capacity amongst artists, arts workers and organisations to ensure sustainable and safe community arts and cultural development practice.
  • Build a network of cross-sector and interdisciplinary partners and mentors to support artists and organisations develop best practice methodologies.

“The most useful part of the workshop was understanding the need for elders/mentors and cultivating a strong support network, uncovering and exploring deeper levels of my self.”

“I am taking away a great deal of thoughts, ideas, connections, insight, exercises, awareness – and things that have yet to settle”

Interested in hosting or participating in a Making Time program?

We’d love to hear from you, get in touch

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