Monday 25 May 2020
2:00- 3:00 UTC
After 6 weeks of lockdown, schools in New Zealand reopened with the arts and wellbeing at the centre of their approach to the return. Principals, teachers and academics from the University of Auckland partnered to create a website with arts lesson plans to guide teachers to use the arts to address the collective trauma experienced from the COVID-19 pandemic. This unique resource, Te Rito Toi (www.teritotoi.org) had nearly 200,000 page views in less than three weeks. The work was funded in part by UNESCO NZ.
Professor Peter O’Connor is Director of the Centre for Arts and Social Transformation at the University of Auckland. He has worked extensively in schools post disaster including earthquake zones in Christchurch and Mexico City. He led development of an arts response in schools in Australia following the deadly bushfires and created Te Rito Toi, a website that provides advice and resources to use the arts and wellbeing as the key for schools respond during the epidemic. The site had 100,000 views in the first two weeks and was part funded by UNESCO NZ. Peter was awarded the Presidents Award by Drama New Zealand in 2020 for his lifelong commitment to drama education and social justice.