Workshop | Million Stars


For the 2015 U.R{BNE} Festival, the festival organisers were looking for artists and producers to facilitate events that aimed to activate urban spaces through public participation and community engagement.

Engage Arts proposed a workshop based on the community-engagement project 1 Million Stars to End Violence, established by Samoan-Australian artist and weaver Maryann Talia Pau in 2012. Maryann vision is to collect 1 million woven stars from people around the globe by 2018. Her project aims to spread a message of love and hope for victims of violence. Engage Arts’ concept for this workshop was to invite festival participants to contribute to this ongoing work and display the woven stars at Wickham Park.

Engage Arts approached Maryann who was happy to extend her project to the U.R{BNE} festival. To locate the workshop we contacted the BrisStyle team, who kindly donated a stall at their Twilight Markets. By co-locating with BrisStyle we were able to bring this vision of 1 Million Stars to the festival and create a link to the craft community.

On April 17, people of all ages were invited to weave their own stars with Maryann and workshop host Alice Gittins. Alice was the perfect partner for this workshop as an art practitioner and student of art therapy. Participants had fun learning the traditional Samoan weaving techniques and the event received fantastic participation with people weaving throughout the evening. Pre-event engagement via social media meant we even had some of the community bring in stars made at home.

We thoroughly enjoyed putting this workshop together and our services included:

  • Community engagement strategy
  • Event proposal
  • Liaising with the artist and BrisStyle
  • Event management and insurance
  • Event marketing
  • Engaging volunteers and participants
  • Workshop materials preparation and workshop set-up
  • Installing and demounting star installation at Wickham Park

This was a very busy workshop with many participants dropping in throughout the night. This event successfully contributed to the range of activities available at the U.R{BNE} Festival and Twilight Markets. Stars made on the night will be sent to Maryann for her final display in 2018. Engage Arts is very excited that we could contribute to such a heart-felt project that continues to inspire people across the globe.

A big thank you to Maryann Talia Pau, Alice Gittins, the BrisStyle team, and U.R{BNE} for getting your weave on!

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