Art helps supporting the life skills of young adults

​Art-based activities strengthening the life skills of young adults is the theme of the Tenho project seminar organised at Laurea University of Applied Sciences next week. The Nuori kohteesta toimijaksi ('Young person from an object into an agent') is organised on the Tikkurila campus on 27 - 28 October.

Workshops allow experiencing what art-based activities are like

The aim of the seminar intended for professionals and students in the field of social services and health care is to familiarise the participants with the utilisation of art in strengthening the life skills of young adults. The presentations of the seminar involve examining different forms of art-based activities, how art activities support young people and what demands it sets for the work and collaboration of operators.

- Workshops are an important part of the seminar, allowing the participants to familiarise themselves with different forms of art-based activity, explains Senior Lecturer Ira Stiller of Laurea.
- They include drama, music and visual expression as well as the new interesting features of circus and film, which are topics not usually dealt with as a part of Laurea's Bachelor of Social Services degree programme.

The Finnish Children and Youth Foundation is the main coordinator of the Tenho project. In addition to Laurea, the project is implemented by the Finnish Youth Research Society and five arts organisations from different parts of Finland: Oulun tähtisirkus, the Pirkanmaa Film Centre, Sirkus Magenta, the Vaara collective and Varkaus theatre. The project includes collaboration with the municipalities of Helsinki, Kajaani, Oulu, Tampere, Vantaa and Varkaus as well as Kainuu Social and Health Services, and the Kainuu Regional Council.

- The aim of Tenho is not only to find new means for strengthening the life skills of young people, but also to create networks between those creating art and social services professionals, says Ira Stiller, who is the contact person for the project in Laurea.
- During the project, training will be provided to artists who work with young people as well as social services professionals, who get to familiarise themselves with these activities.

Art has many functions

The Tenho project particularly pays attention to the young adults without a job or a place of education, who may struggle to find employment, for instance, due to mental health issues. Art may provide new kinds of tools for these young people to express themselves and strengthen their self-esteem. At the same time, the art workshops allow the young people to learn to work with other people, set goals for themselves and commit to achieving them.

- Art can support young people to accomplish something visible - perhaps for the first time in their lives - and help them to perceive personal strengths that they have been otherwise unable to discover, Stiller explains.

Supervisors and other young people play a significant role in utilising art-based approaches. The young adult might not have any friends or social networks.

- The art activities help young people to share their ideas with other people in the same situation, Stiller continues.

Modified 10/31/2016 5:47 PM
Student mixing colors on  painting tray pot