Sylvie Bolstad

Founder / Director, Artmakers Community Artists Trust

I've worked in the arts professionally for over 25 years. I established Artmakers Trust in 1983. My special interest as a community artist is to not only bring people's personal life journey to the centre of their artworks, but to go beyond the work of individuals, ideally to engage whole communities and to capture shared visions and aspirations. Most importantly, to nurture learning partnerships and collaborations within the creative journey. Most of my work has been in teaching art and interpersonal communications, and guiding the creation of collectively designed public artworks. Digital storytelling, although concentrating on a singular person's story, also lends itself to the partnership model. The opportunity to work with Nic and his students fits beautifully with my own community development imperative. In this case we have digitally savvy designers working with storytellers who have little or only entry level knowledge. Step by step they share the creative process and everyone learns.

Nic (Nicholas) Vanderschantz

Lecturer Computer Graphic Design, University of Waikato

I have been a lecturer in Computer Graphic Design at the University of Waikato since 2005. Previous to this I taught at the Wanganui School of Design. In 2006 I was lucky enough to be introduced to Sylvie Bolstad and my interest in socially responsible graphic design was reignited by the concept of digital storytelling and what this could offer to the community as well as my own students. In learning about digital storytelling and its inherent philosphies I have attempted to develop a programme of study for 3rd year, final semester Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design students which incorporates a tangible real world socially responsable graphic design output. The goal of this collaborative project is to meet the required learning outcomes of the BCGD students study, while facilitating a deeper learning through design for social and not-for-profit projects.

Chris Murphy

Youth Coordinator / Tutor, Artmakers Community Artists Trust

I have worked with young people for over 25 years. Firstly I taught Graphics and Technology in High Schools in New Zealand and English as a second language in High Schools in Japan. Recently I have worked in the community firstly as a character animations tutor then with Artmakers for over 3 years as the youth coordinator and one of the Art tutors. I became involved with digital storytelling when the partnership between the University and Artmakers began in 2006. In those days we had a dream of what digital storytelling could do for the community but it wasn’t until we started the partnership that we realized the vastness of the opportunity and responsibility to protect the wishes of the storytellers. Digital storytelling can be use very effectively in many aspects of social and community development. I have seen the development of this medium and worked with the young people as they have put their stories together its not until the end that you see the closure and pride the young people feel as they see the final product on the screen.

Teuila Fatupaito

Art Tutor, Artmakers Community Artists Trust

My journey started as a passion for art and creativity, which lead to a passion of using art to work with people.

I have been an exhibiting artist for the past eight years now with a background in photography, painting and sculpture. I had the experience of using my art practice as a tool to give back to people and communities and have been hooked ever since. For the past two years I have been a part of the Artmakers family working as a tutor with the youth.

Since working at Artmakers I’ve had the pleasure of working on many projects with the youth including the digital storytelling project and every round of stories I have experienced, I have seen how important and beneficial this medium is for young people to express themselves, tell their stories and share little parts of their lives. The growth that comes from this experience is amazing.