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Art, music, writing and dance are all powerful tools for sending out a message. We're seeing more and more projects using these artistic tools to promote healthy living. Taking Action is a great example!
The Taking Action! Project: Art and Aboriginal Youth Leadership for HIV Prevention is a national project working with six Aboriginal communities across Canada. They want to figure out how Aboriginal youth understand HIV in relation to their communities and cultures and also to see if using art is an effective tool for working with youth to talk about HIV/AIDS.
Why is this important? There is so much in Aboriginal history and teachings to support healthy sexuality and Aboriginal traditions have always recognized the power behind the youth voice. Yet, there is a lack of culturally relevant information about HIV, which is a concern because HIV affects Aboriginal youth and their communities at higher rates across Canada.
It is time for Aboriginal youth to get involved in creating culturally relevant information that educates to prevent HIV. Unleashing the creative power of youth as health promotion activists is a successful approach, used both in Canada and around the world.
With this in mind, our team has developed the Taking Action! Project. It aims to involve Aboriginal youth as HIV prevention leaders, using both traditional art forms and new media approaches. Aboriginal youth, with the help of artists and community partners, will tackle the higher HIV infection rates among members of their communities by developing and showcasing their own creative art-based responses.
To read more about this project, and to see some of the amazing art produced during Taking Action workshops, check out their website: http://www.takingaction4youth.org/