In Capetown this year, I was very touched by the topic of inclusivity and diversity. I wanted to implement something new in my own country and was delighted to be a successful applicant on an Arts Council Art and Wellbeing proposal. The Minister of Health immediately became a patron and the ministry looked after the marketing and publicity of our events.
We proposed Arbatinukai Seimos Gerovei – “Teapot tales for family wellbeing.”
Arbatinukai was a project developed in 2016 with Acting Up! from Ireland and with mentors Louis Lovett and Sarah Fitzgibbon. The truthful storytelling of the actor speaks to the adults and it is accompanied by the visual antics of the Bildukas which attract the very young babies in the audience. Directed by Karolina Žernyte (“Pojuciu Teatras”), the performance was programmed inside ten regional municipal community centres which never had such cultural experiences before. In some cases, the mothers were under 18 and in others they were vulnerable or at risk members of the community.
We conducted research as we performed and the feedback includes questions such as “How can art help families at risk with very young babies?” In one region, the library offered a space in the future for local mothers to meet – on the suggestion of a member of the audience who created a mother’s group immediately after the performance.
Personally, Teatriukas is delighted to have been able to share experiences and knowledge gained in Bologna at Visioni Festival and in Capetown with Smallsize activities with new communities of audiences in Lithuania. We look forward to more opportunities!
Dalia Mikoliūnaitė, Vilnius, Lithuania
Poster made by Žilvinas Ramanauskas