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Nourishing the Roots of Empathy: Towards a Non-Violent Aotearoa / New Zealand

The Art for Change artists collective has teamed up with Roots of Empathy to create an exhibition that’ll raise funds to help reduce bullying and aggression in New Zealand.

Words: Makayla Wallace-Tidd

Art for Change began with five visual artists: Fiona Barrett, Belinda King, Brenda Liddiard, Mary Ann Manchego and Gaël Rowntree. They recognised there were issues surrounding the international refugee crisis and decided to team up to make change happen.

Roots of Empathy is an educational organisation that has a programme they share with schools to teach children how to respond to other’s needs in kind and loving ways, especially when it involves conflict. Their aim is to reduce the levels of violence in society, especially in children, so they have the correct information to resolve conflicts safely from a young age.

Art for Change’s choice to pair up with Roots of Empathy stems from the artist collective’s goal to introduce more empathy and compassion into the community.

The exhibition includes art donated from approximately 50 artists in order to raise crucial funds to achieve their goal. The funds raised will be used by Roots of Empathy to train more facilitators for their school programme, as well as provide equipment and resources.

The exhibition will be held at the Depot Artspace, Devonport, Auckland and will be open 21 September – 9 October 2019, 2-3.30pm.

A special event on Wednesday 2 October will be held at the exhibition space that will celebrate the United Nations International Day of Non-Violence, with speakers, music and poetry.

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