Where have the arts in education gone? Over the past several years, we’ve all seen the trend of schools cutting the arts out from their curriculum. Music, art, theater — gone for so many kids. We cannot deny the fact that these extracurricular activities can influence a child in a big way. Workshops are one of the best ways to stimulate your child’s abilities and holidays are the best time for these.
“There’s no doubt that the arts are fun for kids. Diving into those finger paints and making a beautiful picture to hang on the fridge is awesome. Acting in a play is exhilarating. But the arts also help kids develop on many fundamental levels,” says Hima Shankar, an actress who has come up with her new project called Ardha — a venture with a series of workshops for kids and adults.
Ardha is a creative space dealing with different kinds of workshops, performances, interactions, exhibitions and productions of film and theatre.
“Through Ardha, we are helping people find themselves. I believe we all have hidden talents. Whether it be acting, drawing, crafting or even storytelling! Here, with the proper guidance, we help them to identify it,” she adds. Though Ardha has started off with a kids’ workshop series, they have space for people from all age categories. “Here we provide space for discussions. Those who love art can come and interact with others. Your love for the art may be different. But we would like to unite it under Ardha.”
The children’s workshop ‘Finding Pucochi’ is a series that consists of four categories — Crafty, Colour Splash, The Story Elephant’s Ear and The Pumpkin Face. According to Hima, these four categories comprise one idea that is to help children find themselves. Colour Splash is a learning session where the children experience a unique way of dealing with the colors by not just learning the techniques of the colors but by connecting them with a story they have learned and producing an installation performance. Crafty Eyes on the other hand is a development of an artistic attitude, turning everything into something creative from the things that we see every day. This includes origami, mask making and connecting all those things to a story performance. The Story Elephant’s Ear is a seven-day workshop that will help your kid visualise the texts, stories by improving visual and communicative skills, eliminating stage fright and introvert characteristics. The Pumpkin Face, is a theatre programme where a child undergoes grooming for acting in both film and theatre, adapting to the situations from his/her daily life to performance, facing the stage and stage fright, building the connection with others in an empathetic way and also learning to communicate without language,” explains Hima.
The workshop and its sub-categories have started at Ardha the Space’s centre at Mauel Complex, Fathima Square Road, Elamkulam. After the children’s workshop, Ardha is also planning to have a sessions for adults. “The idea behind Ardha is to meet people and share the ideas with each other. One cannot call it a one-way learning process. We share our ideas and people visiting our facility can share their ideas too. There is a space for doodling as well as a discussion room. Basically it is a stress busting programme using theatre.” Hima is not alone in this venture; she has the company of her students and friends. Ardha’s ‘Finding Pucochi’ will conclude on May 25.
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