Access All Areas (AAA) enables marginalised young people to conceptualise, develop, create and coordinate art works addressing issues important to them, giving voice across the Armidale community.
Like many rural communities, opportunities for meaningful social participation are circumscribed. Many young people are involved in risky alcohol and other drug behaviours, resulting in concerns by the broader community about serious antisocial behaviour in Armidale. Young people need alternative and diversionary activities that build on their strengths and provide them with opportunities to be viewed positively by their peers and the community. AAA turns risk-taking/anti-social activities into safe participatory ones, building community respect rather than mistrust and fear. A lack of creative, youth focused opportunities has been flagged as a reason for the increases in public space and nuisance crime.
We know dance, music, visual, and performance art are activities that compel young people to engage with each other and the community. AAA offers the opportunity of inclusion for marginalised young people, key to the cultural development of the community, while strengthening their artistic involvement and experience. It also offers the opportunity to reach new audiences through community and media events.