Milk Crate Theatre in its 23 years has demonstrated the power of the arts in improving wellbeing of individuals and amplifying under-represented voices. In 2021, we explored how we could further enhance and prove our unique and important impact on collaborative artists (participants), audiences and The Australian arts sector.
At a person level, we provide opportunities for people with lived experience to engage in creative practice to build individual capacity. Initially, increasing confidence, skills and connections and through longer engagement supporting an increased sense of self agency, improved wellbeing and an improved outlook on life - with the belief that equipped with these tools, people will be able to pursue their aspirations.
The arts also offers a powerful tool to break stigma and challenge perceptions or bias and through the sharing our work, we look to break down barriers, encourage inclusion and increase opportunities for people with lived experiences to thrive, thus tackling the issue of diadvantage from both sides.
In 2022, an Impact Framework was piloted which is used to measure and evaluate Milk Crate Theatre's impact regularly and consistently. It identifies our metrics across three areas: for individuals (Collaborative Artists), for Audiences (Societal Change) and for our Artistic Impact.
Milk Crate Theatre programming harnesses the power of the arts to drive social impact at both a person and societal level.
How We Do It
We bring communities together and work in a strengths-based approach for a positive impact on wellbeing. We work within the Social Model of Disability, believe in the dignity of risk and facilitate programs that are not based on respite or therapy but have a firm focus on the arts to enable and build capacity. Our programs are facilitated by Sydney's most exciting contemporary practitioners, who possess the insight and competency to challenge and inspire our community to work in expansive new ways. They are supported by Social Workers. They can provide personal support and connect people with other services in the community where needed.
Professional and Collaborative Artists work together to explore social themes from an art base we do not ask people to go into typecasting or to tell their personal stories of trauma to inform the depth of the work we produce. We are diligent about the avoidance of rehashing, retelling or re-traumatisation. All Milk Crate Theatre programs are designed in line with our Theory of Change. We utilise a Social Impact Measurement Framework, based on our Theory of Change to measure our programs' impact across a number of domains of overall wellbeing.