Last night our Next Gen team attending the opening night of Aroha Mai Aroha Atu – Giving Back is Giving Forward. The exhibition was organised by Express Yoursel – Toi Ora’s project using creative and innovative ways to support young people to grow their strengths, cope with life challenges, and feel good. We thoroughly enjoyed looking at the art and meeting the artists. If you live in Auckland, pop down to Toi Ora, 6 Putiki St, Grey Lynn from 24 May to June 3 and take a look for yourself.

Here’s what the Express Yourself team had to say about the exhibition….

Our showcase was created by young people in celebration of the national Youth Week theme of giving. It celebrates the support and aroha we give to our friends, family and community, and especially recognises the challenges, contributions and achievements of those whose voices often go unheard. Aroha Mai Aroha Atu celebrates youth, courage, and the power of creativity to share stories, liberate imaginations, connect people, and create change.

Youth Week also marks the launch of Youth HQ, our new creative space at Toi Ora offering a platform for youth-led ventures. Our showcase features work by artists Josh Rainbow and Jess Varalee, alongside a giant mural and photographs sharing stories about life in Henderson West Auckland from our alternative education ‘Humans of Hendo’ project. Our wonderful mass participation box artwork was created by our friends across Auckland at Odyssey House, Kari Centre, Marinoto EPI, Mapura and The Bach. Music and dance performances are presented by

Express Yourself participants, who are also running public workshops throughout the week. Click here for more information.
Our Youth Week programme is a collaboration with our friends at Changing Minds, with financial support from Changing Minds, Foundation North and Ara Taiohi Youth Week.
We’d also like to thank all our lovely Express Yourself funders and supporters who make this work possible (we’ve given them all a spot in the Project Story)… Aroha Mai Aroha Atu…