Big Hart

About Big hART

Big hART is Australia’s leading arts and social change company; producing critically and publicly acclaimed performance, visual, and media art while being a powerful driver of solutions to complex social problems.

Big hART works with communities to foster social inclusion and participation. These values underpin all of the company’s work.

Big hART facilitates innovative and long-term change using three concurrent approaches:

  1. A non-welfare, arts-based, community development project over a minimum of 150 weeks; providing a range of activities and mentoring for participants; creating opportunities to reconsider questions of identity and social trajectory
  2. High-quality art outcomes (including theatre, film and digital works) based on participants’ stories and those of the community to which they belong
  3. Ongoing policy development drawing on the stories from the community in which the project is based.

Artistic outcomes of Big hART projects are widely recognized by numerous industry awards and showcased in leading arts festivals around the world. Policy and impact outcomes have been evaluated by a range of institutions and the Big hART model is a regular topic of academic research.

When first established, Big hART saw its mandate as working with rural, regional, remote and isolated communities. As a result the first groups Big hART worked with were:

  • Rural young offenders
  • Those outside the education system
  • Isolated families experiencing family violence
  • Addictions and mental illness
  • Drought and depression

However, it soon became clear that communities experience isolation in many different settings – in the heart of a city, in the desert, on the ocean, or in the workplace.

Also over the last 20 years, the issues faced by many groups in our communities have become more global. In response, Big hART’s projects now also try to focus globally, exploring diverse themes such as:

  • the predicament faced by seafarers;
  • the relationship between Global Companies and first world nations;
  • the health of the ocean’s kelp forests, bees and atmosphere;
  • incarceration of indigenous young people, and many others.