Small Shift was engaged by Hume Community Housing Association to provide community art facilitation services for its residents. Based on the community directions, we designed an interactive painting through which the residents can communicate via messages and drawings; and co-created a mural with the community through a workshop.
Often communities’ challenges, values and aspirations come out when they are working on a project together, not through formal surveys. The participants, who didn’t think of themselves as creatives in the beginning, inspired each other with techniques, ideas and stories, and created something that represents them. After we finished, we lined up the boards and stared at them in silence as if we had agreed to do so. It was an amazing moment.
What we now call the Small Shift Model was first piloted in Darlinghurst in 2015-2016, when Julia Suh (Urban Toolbox) partnered with Rough Edges, a community café for people experiencing homelessness. The project had over 30+ participants including members of the street community and local residents who contributed to mural painting, street library set-up and gardening. The positive impact of the project was measured through before-and-after surveys, interviews, behavioural studies and social media responses. The learnings from this pilot project and Julia’s Westpac Social Change Fellowship informed the operational and strategic plans for Small Shift.
Julia Suh was selected by City of Parramatta to pitch her idea to the Parramatta and the wider community in the Pitch for Good Parramatta program. She raised over $14,000 from the 30-day crowdfunding campaign to take the Small Shift model to Sydney’s west and implement a DIO project in Telopea. Small Shift is now working with the Telopea community, well supported by local organisations, to come up with great DIO ideas for the area.
> Are you part of the Telopea community and want to get involved? Sign up here.
This project received support from the community and the City of Parramatta Council through the Parramatta Pitch for Good program.
Small Shift is working with Penrith City Council, supported by Mission Australia and Evolve Housing, to facilitate a positive social change in public spaces in Kingswood, a suburb in Greater Western Sydney. Small Shift is supporting Kingswood community to reimagine and create a welcoming gateway to the suburb with quick and easy placemaking ideas that will improve the perception of safety, social opportunities and the look and feel of the area.
> Are you part of the Kingswood community and want to get involved? Sign up hereor join our DIO KingswoodFacebook group
Seaforth Piazza is a public space located in the heart of Seaforth that connects the beautiful, volunteer-run Balgowlah-Seaforth Library, Seaforth Village Community Centre and a café. It is visually, historically and geographically positioned to be a community hub, but is currently underutilised. Taking advantage of the lower level of the Piazza that is protected from vehicles, Small Shift worked with Seaforth and Balgowlah residents, schools and businesses to activate the area with family-friendly and inclusive DIO ideas. Three community members led a component of the project each: community chalkboard/mural; new plants and planters painted by local children; and giant games.