WEDNESDAY JANUARY 20, 2021: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- Art and gardening are creative vehicles that can be used for healing, personal development and self-expression. Through an EPIC grant of TT$35,000, the Art and Wellness non-profit; Chosen Hands, recently completed a creative intervention at the St Jude’s Home for Girls. The outdoor project consisted of a flower/vegetable garden and a mural that both the staff and girls helped to develop.
The Therapeutic/Creative Hub programme, which is the brainchild of Anika Plowden-Corentin, artist and Creative Director of Chosen Hands, was meant to encourage the girls at St. Jude’s Home to creatively express themselves through art and creating green spaces. The non-profit was determined not to let challenges arising out of the ongoing Covid pandemic hamper their progress and vision for the space. The grant funding was invested to pilot this aspect of the initiative, which is an extension of an existing art and wellness programme within the Home.
Anika Plowden-Corentin proudly expressed, “There is such importance in having a beautiful space. It can definitely contribute towards healing of the heart.” Chosen Hands is a network of mobile artists and professionals who actively choose to use their time, talents and treasures to create a safe space and positive shift in the minds of young participants through art.
Patricia Alexander, Juvenile Supervisor, speaking on behalf of the staff at the St. Jude’s Home for Girls said, “Creating this space was definitely a plus for both students and teachers.” She added, “The girls are from different backgrounds and the added restriction brought on by COVID leaves little room for them to express their feelings.”
Chosen Hands is one of 23 new EPIC partners this year. The project forms one of the 100 Digicel Foundation community projects implemented through the five-year small grants programme.