Artsenta

About Artsenta


What is Artsenta?

Artsenta is a shared art studio for people using mental health services in Dunedin and the Otago region. We provide materials and equipment for a range of creative activites.

Artsenta was founded on the belief that the arts, creativity and self-expression are an essential part of every person's emotional, physical and spiritual well-being, and that those in the mental health community should be given the opportunity to realise their creative potential.
 

Who is Artsenta for and does it cost?

If you are interested in being creative, are 17 years old or over, and are seeing someone for a mental health or addiction issue, you are eligible to access Artsenta. There is no charge to come to Artsenta.
 

Do I need a referral?

No. There is no formal referral process or form. You can just give us a call or come for a visit. You may find out about us from a health service but you can also self-refer. If you self-refer you will still need to be seeing a health professional for your mental health and wellbeing (e.g. mental health team, health service or GP).
 

How do I get started?

Most people begin by making a time to visit Artsenta. This is a chance to find out what we do and how we work with people. We will show you the range of activities provided and discuss what you might be interested in doing. It's best to make a time or if you want to pop in, come between 9am and 11am.

Because Artsenta is a shared community space we have a set of guidelines that help us all maintain a safe and creative atmosphere. Please click here to read guidelines.

Our Creative Sessions are a great way to get started and try something out. See our timetable here. We cater for people who like to work in all sorts of ways and there is plenty of space and time to do your own thing. Once you've had a look around staff will help you develop an Art Plan that will help guide your creative work at Artsenta.
 

Can I bring a support person?

Yes. This can be really helpful when people are coming for the first time or if you need support while you are attending Artsenta. People with high needs may need to have a support person to attend Artsenta. Please let us know who your support person is and we will provide a guide to being a support person at Artsenta.
 

Who runs Artsenta?

Artsenta is a service of the Creative Arts Trust, a non profit organisation and registered charity. A board of trustees provides administrative and governance support to staff. The work of the Trust is primarily funded by the Southern District Health Board with further funding from the Ministry of Social Development and other local organisations.
 

How long has Artsenta been going?

In October 2015 the Creative Arts Trust launched the book ‘Artsenta the first 30 years’. Written by author and board member Kath Beattie, the book charts the development of Artsenta, firstly as a ground breaking Creative Expression Unit within Cherry Farm Mental Hospital, and then as an innovative not-for-profit organisation in the community. This is essential reading for anyone interested in mental health and creative expression in New Zealand. The book is available from Artsenta for a koha or contact your local library.
 
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