Through the Art with the Stars Project, Shooting Stars uses arts-based research methods to evaluate the program. This form of research was chosen as art making is a fundamental part of Indigenous ways of being, knowing, and doing. Local Aboriginal artists are invited, and paid, to work with participants, teaching them skills and developing an artwork or performance together. Participants and the artist work together on the subject, but it will speak to the topic of understanding the participant’s cultural, Aboriginal and local identities. By providing Shooting Stars participants access to Aboriginal artists, we not only teach them a skill, but rather provide them with a space and a means to connect with themselves, their communities, and their country. Once completed, the artwork or performance will be exhibited at a local level. From there, possibilities for the work(s) to be exhibited at regional, state and interstate contexts will be explored. Artworks and performances will be used alongside yarning circles as data to explore participant attitudes toward their Aboriginality and cultural/local identities.
Storytelling and art production a. Aboriginal artists (local where possible) will be engaged across three Shooting Stars sites based in Derby, Kununurra and Halls Creek to produce artworks with Shooting Stars participants that explores their cultural identity. b. Aboriginal artists (local where possible) will be engaged to produce graphics for educational resources developed in response to the project. These resources will showcase stories of cultural strength and resilience, relate to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cross Curriculum Priorities, and will be made publicly available via the Shooting Stars website and virtual exhibition.
This, along with the participants’ artwork will then be exhibited locally and digitally across a range of platforms, inclusive of social media and websites as connection and sharing resources via digital platforms has been found to have positive mental health outcomes for ATSI youth (Walker et al. 2021).
Participants will engage in yarning circles both before and following the completion and/or exhibition of their work where they discuss the art-making process and how their piece explores their cultural, Aboriginal, and local identities. Embedded within the Yarning with the Stars project methodology (Whitau and Ockerby 2019), which has been operating successfully since 2016, the evaluation component of the Art with the Stars project will provide a case study for how organisations and governments can measure cultural indicators of wellbeing.