The go-to place in Wellington, for so many people as Vincents Art Workshop is a place of learning and creativity, which contributes to healthy communities.
Vincents Art Workshop is the oldest Creative Space in New Zealand. It was established in in 1985 when the mental health institutions were closing down and people were moving into their local communities.
Some of the people moving into the Wellington community had been involved with art activities in Porirua Hospital in the early 1980’s.
They wanted to continue to be creatively self-expressive when they left the hospital but they didn’t want to sign up for the established art schools. Two social workers from the Inner City Ministry noticed this need and set up Vincents as an Incorporated Society.
Vincents was opened as a place for creativity for people who experienced, or had experienced, mental illness. Very soon after Vincents was established, nobody was turned away and Vincents welcomed street kids, homeless people, people with disabilities and, amazingly, any people from the community who wanted to attend.
The philosophy of inclusion was born then, many years before community inclusion was thought of as something to aim for.
All art materials and facilities were free and art tutors were employed for advice and for producing an accessible and empowering facility.
As well as providing a functioning art making facility, Vincents has a long record of having an active presence in the wider community.
Over the last 32 years there have been many community involvements. Some of these have been; The Fringe Festivals, City Council Summer City events, Cuba Street Carnivals, Newtown Festivals and many more.
Vincents believes that all people have something to offer their community and that when all people in the community have a part to play, then the community is a healthier and more creative environment.
- Vincents has a policy of open access and community integration. All people are welcome.
- Vincents believes in the creativity in everyone.
All people who work at Vincents or serve on the governing committee believe in basic human justice and we work towards a place where all people in the community are valued and included.
In an ideal world there would be no need for Vincents Art Workshop.
Until we reach that place, we’ll keep going!