The Magic Turtles

The Magic Turtles is a Mentoring Programme run by Art to Heart with the aim of training a group of emerging artists to become facilitators in delivering art workshops to many more children and adults.
The Mentoring Programme will assist and support these artists.
We need funders and partners to assist and support our programme. Can you help?

TheMagicTurtleWhen I was a child I wished that I would grow up to be an artist. I still remember the sheer joy and excitement brought about by painting and drawing, singing and dancing, writing stories and acting them out. Craft was also a big part in my upbringing. I can still hear the reassuring, heart-like rhythmic thumping of the loom in the early morning when, asleep in my bed, I would be woken by that sound as my grandmother weaved rugs in the next room. She taught me the rhythms, skills and beauty of craft making.

As I grew up both art making and the careful crafting of everyday activities has been instrumental in maintaining an ever present capacity for wonder and has provided me with the skills for problem solving, for intuitive and rational thinking.

I believe that every child has a right to develop these capacities through the magic that creativity brings to their lives.

When I grew up I did become an artist.

About six years ago a young teenage boy I was working with drew a beautiful imaginary flower with a piece of charcoal. It was his first drawing and when he showed it to me he said: “Where did it come from?” So I set out to discover the secret of how we connect with that pure, pulsating energy that keeps us alive.

Because the need for creative expression, exploration and experience doesn’t die out as we grow up. Sometimes it gets buried beneath other things but it is always there just waiting to be rekindled.

In my work I witness every day the small life-giving miracles that creative expression brings to people. I never cease to marvel at how magical this process is, how it unfolds breaking barriers and blocks.

It enriches lives, bringing about new learning, sharing and the possibility of healing. That’s why Art to Heart was born.

We need more art facilitators

I believe that Art to Heart is ready to expand and reach out. Up to now I have been focused on learning my craft but more and more I’ve started looking for others to join with me and I have been open to exploring new ways of working and having greater impact.

For some reasons it was not possible to get these ‘others’ engaged before now. But maybe in uncertain times more people turn to creative activities wishing to reconnect with some lost source of nourishment. At the start of 2012 I initiated a series of meetings with some terrific emerging artists who wanted to work as arts facilitators and were looking for direction and mentorship. So we took the initiative, came together and formed a group called The Magic Turtles.

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The Magic Turtles and Art to Heart’s Mentorship Programme

For the past four years I have been mentoring this group. Each one has had the opportunity to work with me on a programme of workshops designed to train them in all aspects of the work. Now I believe that, at the end of their mentorship programme, each artist will be able to facilitate workshops or have found a personal and sometime unique way to bring the gift of art making to more children and adults. In 2017 a new group of artists will be ready to start a new mentoring programme.

As Art to Heart does not receive funding and has no spare funds we need to raise financial and other support to make this programme happen. We are in regular contact with other organisations asking them to support our programme by providing a venue, technical support or training opportunities.

If you or your organisation are keen in supporting this programme and in collaborating with us please get in touch by emailing jole@arttoheart.ie.

Many thanks. Jole Bortoli

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