Wednesday, August 31, 2016

NDIS: How can I be involved with art?

Art is a whole brunch of things to different people. Even academics in arts fields debate over the question of what is art?  Artists vs crafts and the growth of Artisan Markets. For us it doesn't matter, whether its art; whether is craft; whether your producing for a art gallery, markets or online sales.

Your NDIS plan is about you and where you want art to fit into your lifestyle and how you wish to achieve your goals. Not everyone wants to be a professional artists.  The simple answer to my question is:  The NDIS will support you to do ART - YOUR WAY!

Some of the reasons people include art in their lives are:-

  • Professionalism - A professional artist is someone who sells art.
  • Enjoyment - As a hobby or interest, something they enjoy doing either alone or with others as a social activity.  Like belonging to a craft group.
  • As part of a day service or support service group.  Art and craft many be one of the regular activities your service provider offers.
  • My current service provider offers art and craft retreats as social activities and respite for careers.
  • A learning experience -  This could be formal through University or TAFE or an informal community art class. Or a community art workshop program such as ArtISability.
  • The process of creating art can boost self-esteem and self-confidence. (NB this is very different to art therapy), to me all art is therapeutic!
  • Art Therapy is offered by professional physiologist and offer linked to cognitive therapy and physiologists. 
  • There are another group of people who appreciate art and love visiting galleries and sometimes become art collectors.
  • Employment - Arts workers and people working in the arts industry - this is a different field to being a professional artist.
  • Supported or open studios -  Support Studios are currently funded by the Department of Communities and will become a specialised type of support services operating under the NDIS. Currently in Southeast Queensland their is a visual arts studio run by Access Arts Queensland and Arts From the Margins run by the Wesley Mission.
  • ALARA Queensland are in the progress of restoring Dignle Dell in North Ipswich which will become home to artists using their support services.
  • CPL in Queensland also offer center based 'arts' programs. When we talk about the 'arts' we are usually referring to all arts including performance, dance, music, comedy, writing, acting, film, small stage, circus and the visual arts, (which involves the product of artworks such as painting, sculpture, pottery, textiles, photography and much, much more . . . . CPL at Springfield run a multi-disciplinary  arts program which includes; music, film, computer design and graphics, visual arts and dance.
  • Community Access Transitional Services Inc. offers CATS players a drama/ dance group which recently produce a short film.
  • An open studio such as the Jam Factory . . . in Adelaide is a studio space used by all community artists and also runs a number of workshops and community classes.

This is by no means a exhaustive list of choices. As you start to scribble your draft NDIS goals or family goals, you make like to briefly categorized your life.  Work, Accommodation, Study & training, Social Activity, hobbies & interests, and Health & Well being.  I feel this is important as you need to ensure you have the correct "supports", to enable you achieve you goals.

If you are a professional artists working 50 plus hours a week, 2 hours support for and an art lesson isn't going to work for you.  You might be the art teacher. At the 'My Art, My Way', conference there was to hopes for artists.  The possibility of a freelance arts worker like myself being able to employ a personal assistance or an artists/support worker as a mentor.

Some "choices" we will be able to make under the NDIS remain unclear, as are services fees for supported art studio, we know art supplies will not be covered by the NDIA. It is important to note the NDIS will only pay of items and services that are directly related to your disabilities.

In terms of supplementing you income as a student you could apply for a study allowance, or their are a number of professional development grants including the Regional Arts Development Fund through the Ipswich City Council, Arts Queensland and the Australia Arts Council.

When writing your goals you want to be as specific as you can so the NDIA understands the resources to are asking for to allow you to achieve your goals. 

  1. State your goal
  2. Outline the steps (how you want to achieve you goal)
  3. Resource (supports)
Under the NDIS "supports" are used in a slightly different way. The NDIA refers to "supports" as being both 'formal' and 'informal' supports, equipment, technology and some therapies.  So if your child has Autism art therapy may be listed as a 'resource' rather than a goal.  

The term 'goal' implies the will be a tangible outcome. Like a painting which you can sell or the set-up of an Etsy Store online.

  • A goal must be tangible or measurable. Their must be a 'finish-line' so the NDIA knows when you have achieved your goal and your progress can be measure.
Example goals

  • Create a body of artwork for exhibition
  • Produce enough artwork for a market stall
  • Set-up an online point of sale
  • Paint a picture
  • Do an oil painting
  • Complete my Degree in Fine Arts
  • Sell my artwork
  • Learn ceramics
  • Attend community art classes
  • Attend Art Camp
While goals have a clear finish line the steps (method) you take many not be so visually clear.

For example:

Goal: Do a community art class

Step 1: Research community art classes in your area
Step 2: Enrol in drawing classes
Step 3: Attend all art classes

Note not all art classes will result in finish artwork

Goal: To attend an community art group for social interaction; self-satification and to build self-confidence in community interactions.

Goal area is; Hobbies & interests
Outcomes: Social interaction in the community and self-confidence
Measurement: Number of times attendant
Physical evidence: art work in progress or completed

This goal many not have steps, if you have already identified the group you or a family member will be attending.

Resources:  Participant to pay fees and for art supplies. 3 hours a week one-on-one support to attend the group plus some time to buy art supplies.

Goals can be long-term, short-term or immediate goals, a sound NDIS should contain a combination of goals.

  • Long term goals 3 to 5 years
  • Short term goals less than 3 years
  • Immediate goal - can be actioned now


Goal Area:     Professionalism/Work
Long term      To sell my artwork through my solo art exhibition
Short Term:   To complete a body of artwork to exhibit and sell
Immediate:     Research potential art galleries to exhibit in

Step 1:            Prepare proposal for gallery
Step 2:            Acceptance; make booking & pay deposit
Step 3:            Start making artwork
Step 4:

Note: Many gallery proposal require sample artwork and a detailed outline of what to expect from your exhibition and description of work. So you might need to make artwork before you write  your proposal. Many galleries are booked 2 to 3 years in advance so you steps may need to be changed around a little.

Resources:     Support to communicate with art galleries
                      Support with online research and writing proposal
                      Support to budget and by art supplies
                      Support to make artwork

Type of support will vary from person to person.

So how about you get started on your goal to write you NDIS plan.



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