Big hART is an arts and social organization which has been working in Australia for over twenty years. Established by Creative Director Scott Rankin, the company is sustained by the producers and artists who assist to evolve its vision and practice.
The motivating ideas behind Big hART are simple: “Nations are essentially narrations”, and “It’s much harder to hurt people if you know their story.” By placing story at the core of the work, participants begin from a position of strength. Everyone has the unique gift of their life experience to share. Big hART works to tell the stories of vulnerable people in the community, who often find themselves hurt, isolated, disadvantaged or damaged because their stories are hidden from the rest of society. Big hART works to bring about sustained change with and in disadvantaged communities. The company specializes in taking the issues faced by these communities and making them visible in the public sphere. Projects tackle a wide range of serious issues including domestic violence in isolated communities and early childhood education, indigenous language loss and racial tension. Too often, Big hART encounters these issues framed as narratives of despair with no way out. Big hART assists communities to change their story through art. The projects are designed to influence social policy, create high-quality cultural activity, provide opportunities for personal, community, and regional development, and produce critically acclaimed, high-quality art for local, national and international audiences.
Big hART is made up of many artists, community builders, field workers, researchers, arts-workers, filmmakers, designers and producers who are committed to experimentation and innovation in both the way they make art and the structure of the company. As such, the style, shape, size and work of Big hART is always changing in response to the communities it works with and the social policy environment it is operating in. Creative producers are crucial figures at the very heart of Big hART’s work from beginning to end.