On the 7th of September 2018 Pintar en Bolivia organised a community event called Art Break Day in Parque Lincoln Cochabamba. Art Break Days is an international event that takes place once a year in the first week of September in over 203 communities worldwide. The concept of this 7 hours long activity is to give everyone interested the possibility to make art together as a joint activity for free. It has been brought into life by the organisation Art Is Moving, believing that art is an optimal tool for making people from all different backgrounds communicate, share, transform and connect beyond their differences.
Art Break Day has not existed in South America before, therefore Pintar en Bolivia is proud to say that we have organised the first Art Break Day ever in Cochabamba, Bolivia. We were seven volunteers, coming from four different countries of the world ourselves (Bolivia, Germany, the Netherlands and England) and thus providing a diverse and open-minded frame for the event. At 10a.m. we met in the park in order to set up the whole art materials which have kindly been sponsored by milcar srl, a Bolivian office and arts supplies company who already supports Pintar en Bolivia since 2016. From acrylix, water colours and crayons over to all kinds of papers and cartons to natural materials and plastic bottles there were diverse materials we offered the participants to use and get creative with.
Two volunteers of Pintar en Bolivia cut out a big Pachamama beforehand which has been decorated by several children together, symbolising the Godess of Nature. Some people also decorated stones and paper rolls furnished with wishes and phrases of gratitude which served as an adornment of the figure of Pachamama. Besides that, mandalas have been painted on big cartons or decorated with natural materials, some people painted pictures on paper, made dog bowls out of old plastic bottles or cut out shapes from the coloured paper we provided.
During the day there were several moments that reflected well the original intention of the event. We are thinking of a young man, passing by hectically, excusing himself that he had no more than 5 minutes to spend on the event, ending up staying for more than an hour, inviting his friend he was about to meet to come over too and painting a mandala with us and the kids together. Or the big group of students, spending their lunch break at the event together with their teacher (they even had difficulties to get them going back to school afterwards, some even came back again).
Especially nice was to see what kind of conversations evolved from a simple question about the artwork the people were doing, some of them being really deep and interesting. There were people from all ages and backgrounds, from grandmas to small kids, from passer-bys to mums who planned to come with their children intentionally… In the end, even a street musician came to play some traditional Bolivian music with us, which rounded up the event well.
Moments like the ones described above were reason enough for us to think of the event being a great success. We connected, were creative, had fun, made a break, relaxed and enjoyed. That’s what Art Break Day is about – and we will definitely participate in the next one again!