Art Saves Lives makes presentation at United Nations NGO Conference | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG–Art Saves Lives Foundation (ASLF) made a presentation and participated in a panel discussion during the United Nations (UN) Department of Public Information (DPI) NGO Conference held in New York, August 22-23.

The UN DPI/NGO Conference is the premier event in the UN’s calendar for non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It typically attracts some 2,000 representatives from more than 300 NGOs representing more than 100 countries. Each conference focuses on a different UN topic of interest related to the work of civil society and NGOs.

Discussions during the 67th UN DPI/NGO Conference focused on the value of multilateralism, on opportunities the newly repositioned UN development system will offer for closer partnership with civil society, and innovative approaches in advocacy for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Art Saves Lives Foundation was invited by Dr. Judy Kuriansky of International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) to present and to be a respondent for panel discussion on youth using technology and the arts to tackle global problems through civil society and government partnerships towards resilient and safe societies.

The event was co-organised by IAAP, UN Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY), Urban Catalyst Lab, World Council for Psychotherapy (WCP), Jed Foundation and Swedish Psychological Association.

During the conference, ASLF expressed the organisation’s mission, objective and vision. “We spoke of the Art Saves Lives Hurricane Relief Efforts using our social-media campaign in order to assist by distributing 1,000 eco-friendly bags with food and essential items for those in need. This specific example served as an example of the use of technology and social media as a great tool to create awareness,” said ASLF founder Nicole de Weever.
ASLF also spoke about its collaborative Healing Arts programme with National Institute of Arts (NIA) which extended into the “We Are Resilient People” summer programme.

“We highlighted the fact that as organisations we provided the programmes completely free for young people as a part of using art as therapy. In conclusion, our presentation ended by announcing the great news about the collaborative project with Dr. Kuriansky, NIA and ASLF,” De Weever said.

ASLF was invited to the conference’s opening and closing ceremonies. “The main focus for our organisation was the panel mediated by Dr. Kuriansky on youth using technology and the arts to tackle global problems,” De Weever stated.

Art Saves Lives was not only represented by De Weever. Allison Deher also attended, assisted with the PowerPoint presentation and did extensive research and study in preparation for the panel together with De Weever.

Leslie Samuel and Adam Deher were not in attendance, but helped “a great deal” with the presentation material and “insightful guidance” in regard to art and technology, said De Weever.

“Deher works as a designer for Google and Samuel has his company How to Become a Blogger. We actually used his class as an example. The year Leslie Samuel taught at ASLF’s summer intensive a class called ‘The Art of Social Media; Blogging and Vlogging’ this class served as a perfect case or example of art and technology.

“We also spoke of a class we offered called ‘The Art of Business’ taught by Dale Allsopp. Both classes mentioned were adopted by the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce teaching young people the importance of entrepreneurship and financial literacy,” she said.

De Weever said she was “extremely excited and felt honoured” to be invited to attend the UN DPI/NGO Conference. “We were able to bring awareness to the work that ASLF is doing in St. Maarten, as well as network and make very special connections with people and organisations like ourselves that are using art as a way to make social positive change in our various communities using art as a bridge to education.”

Art Saves Lives is also very excited about the upcoming collaborative project with NIA and Dr. Kuriansky and her team in addressing trauma young people are facing after Hurricane Irma.

Kuriansky will be specifically teaching a series of workshops to train social workers and teachers how to train their colleagues in addressing the psychological wellbeing of young people, using art as a form of therapy.

ASLF received some funding through the Ministry of Culture, Education and Youth Affairs to host the workshops, but is still fundraising to meet the budget.

ASLF is also raising funds for a Student Award Trip to New York City in October. “There will be many fundraisers in September. We are hosting a Sip and Paint event with only 60 tickets sold. I truly hope that we can make this happen for our well-deserving students selected for their exceptional work,” said De Weever.

Source: The Daily Herald