The Drawn Together project brings young people from Geelong’s Karen and Karenni communities together with Barwon Heads artist, Liz McGrath. Through after-school art classes and workshops held weekly at The fOrT Youth Centre in Norlane, the young artists explore a wide range of artistic styles, techniques and art materials. With the support of the Bluebird Foundation Liz provides support, materials and expert art tuition to the group, who live in the northern suburbs of Geelong.

This year the group have created striking self-portraits to acknowledge Refugee Week 2017, as each of these young artists have experienced life as a refugee. These portraits, and their stories, will be exhibited as HERE & THERE: reflecting on young lives begun elsewhere. The exhibition runs at the Courthouse Youth Arts during June 19 – 23, with an opening event at 5 – 6.30pm on the afternoon of Sunday June 18.

In 2015, the group produced, illustrated and published The Drawn Alphabet, an picture book for Karen children arriving in Australia. With the support of Geelong Connected Communities copies were printed and distributed to local schools, libraries and community centres.

In 2106 the group painted a weather-proof Alphabet Mural, where individual letters can be arranged and re-arranged to spell out messages (you may have spotted it on the bridge at the Festival of the Sea).

Bluebird Foundation is a local community arts organisation creating and delivering quality arts programs that make a difference. They recognise the power of the arts to effect cultural change within communities resulting in improved social, emotional and health outcomes.