Tuesday 28th January

Out and About with the CSO

With more than 100 activities spanning six different areas, the CSO’s 2020 Community Engagement Programme will reach more than 35,000 people in Christchurch and around the South Island.

In February, our Platform programme in partnership with Pathway Reintegration and the Department of Corrections starts up again in Christchurch Men’s Prison. A group of CSO musicians will be working with a number of men on a series of music-based projects that they will develop and adapt together over the course of eight weeks. While music is the basis, the aim of the programme is to help develop the men’s self-confidence, communication, teamwork and concentration skills, and instil a sense of achievement. Pathway Reintegration Manager Carey Ewing said it was important for the men to find something they are good at and enjoy doing. “Being able to show yourself you can gain mastery of something and being recognised for being able to do that is important for anybody to be complete. This programme gives [them] the opportunity to experience that.”

At the end of the eight-week programme, the participants and musicians come together for a performance to celebrate the completion of the course. This is shared with their whānau and other special guests.

Throughout 2020 we’ll be taking up residence in some primary schools both in Christchurch and further afield with our Karawhiua! Let’s Play! Residency Programme and, in March, we’re looking forward to joining the students and teachers in Sacred Heart in Addington and St Patrick’s in Greymouth. Students participating in these residencies will have a group of CSO musicians based in their school for a week working  with them on music based projects designed to suit their school’s needs, focusing on topics such as climate change and New Zealand’s bicultural heritage, bringing interactive live music experiences to the whole school.  

Performances at lifestyle and retirement villages will also continue this year as well as several other exciting projects and new initiatives, including a new programme called Tukutuku at Mt Aspiring College in Wanaka, where CSO and Jolt tutors will bring together students from the learning support unit with dance and drama students for a three day collaborative residency programme. The students will work with each other on dance, music and drama projects that celebrate difference and diversity and will strengthen the school community.

For more information about what’s happening in our Community Engagement Programme this year, please see our website here or contact: Cathy Irons, Head of Community Engagement, cathy.irons@cso.co.nz.