Arts promote healthy outcomes for the community and future generations

Arts playing positive role in Selwyn

by Mike Isle

A Rolleston woman is using the arts to create a positive impact, both economically and socially, in Selwyn.

The founder of the Selwyn Creative Network Rachael Inch, believes that one of the best things about Selwyn is its close-knit communities, particularly in rural and isolated areas.

“People are always willing to lend a hand to their neighbours and help out when times are tough and come together to celebrate the good things. The Selwyn Creative Network holds that same ethos at the heart of what it does,” she said.

In 2017, Inch had the vision to create a positive impact in the community through the arts by advocating for the sector to be recognised as a valid service for providing socio-economic opportunities.

“The arts are vital in bringing a community together, creating a sense of belonging, purpose and identity,” Inch said.

“This can impact positively on the social, mental and economic wellbeing of the community.”

Inch said her 17-year background in the arts as a volunteer in her previous role with the district council and Selwyn Arts Trust meant her passion and support for the creative sector remained at the fore.

“Working with the team at Rolleston Salvation Army and alongside many community members and groups in Selwyn to establish Generation House Project, I saw the needs of the Selwyn communities at grass roots level.

“Imagine what impact we can have for people now and future generations if we recognise the arts as a valid service to promote healthy outcomes for community.

“Working collaboratively with people who are in the areas of business, technology, science, humanities, creative arts, health and education, we will be focussing our work in the coming months on encouraging the thinkers, problem solvers, doers and makers alike to come together creatively to highlight the things we are all passionate about to benefit the community.”

In 2018, with the support of its governance team and Steven Moe of Parry Field Lawyers and founder of the Seeds podcast, the Selwyn Creative Network was successful in its application to register as a New Zealand charity.

There are many ways to support the Selwyn Creative Network, which are listed on their website or follow them on Facebook@SelwyncreativeNetwork.