ABC (Art by Children) Outreach powered by Merck, is the Kochi Biennale Foundation’s most dynamic education programme. This pioneering creative learning initiative evolves the current paradigms of arts education in India, in an effort to transform public, professional and political understandings, so families, schools, workplaces and other learning institutions can prioritise creative capacities.
ABC’s popular on-ground projects at the Kochi Muziris Biennale engage visiting school groups and families, creating an immersive experience of contemporary art. The ABC Canopy at Aspinwall House is an inviting space under a crop of mango trees which hosts daily programmes for kids like art camps, drawing marathons and storytelling performances.
The Canopy is overlooked by the ABC Gallery where the country’s first biennial art exhibition dedicated to work by kids is on display. The rolling exhibition of artworks created during school workshops across Kerala, changes every couple of weeks.
Through the delivery of high quality arts programmes in schools across Kerala, the project nurtures the potential and inherent capacity for creativity in the youngest members of society. Developing an understanding of culture and enabling kids to generate original ideas is at the core of this creative initiative.
The 2016/17 programme has given precedence to building creative partnerships between artists, pedagogues, and Indian schools by designing and conducting learning programmes which foster long-term relationships and dialogue.
In the past three months over 25 innovative workshops run by visual and performing artists have engaged children in an exciting new model of learning and expression. Special performances along with exercises in storytelling, toy making and craft have been conducted by theatre and art professionals who specialise in children’s programming.
The project is steadily making its way to reach out to 100 schools across the state of Kerala, working with over 5,000 children and faculty.