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Heart of art for Braveheart

Liz Caughey is the founder of the Braveheart Youth Trust. Braveheart is an Auckland-based charitable trust that aims to divert from the justice system young people who are at risk of offending.

Caughey is an art advisor, collector, author and has curated five successful fundraising art exhibitions since 2003.

Caughey combines her skills and talents in curating an art exhibition at the ASB Showgrounds in October.

Discussing the preparation for the event, she says: “It’s frantically busy and there is a huge amount of detail. I am rigorous in my selection of artists and have sifted our final number from a total of 600 or so.”

Showcasing 160 contemporary New Zealand artists, the exhibition will benefit the young people Braveheart exists to support. Caughey says “all the funds we will raise benefit the young people they are destined for”.

In 2010 and 2012, more than $140,000 was raised from an art exhibition and golf tournament, and donated to support The Right Track (TRT) – a driving offence related programme in central Auckland. Caughey says that through this programme, the young people learn to face their responsibilities and look at the consequences of their actions.

“Much to the judges’ delight, our funding will have funded The Right Track for about five years. It’s a significant project and one we are very proud to have re-established in central Auckland,” adds Caughey.

“Something that’s very important to us is finding the edges of other organisations to make sure we don’t re-invent the wheel. We have a really good network and liaise with lots of organisations.”

Braveheart is also proud to be supporting the In Zone Education Foundation’s hostel in Epsom. The hostel is ‘home’ to 55 Maori and Pacific Island boys from under-privileged circumstances around the country who, now living ‘in zone’, attend Auckland Grammar School. Braveheart runs a team of 30 volunteer homework tutors at the hostel, supporting the boys in their learning.

“The In Zone project is hugely successful – the boys benefit in many ways, but so does the school, as the boys enrich the school life,” says Caughey.

The In Zone foundation is opening a second hostel in 2015 for girls who will attend Epsom Girls Grammar, and Braveheart will be making a donation to this from the proceeds of its 2014 art exhibition.

“Statistically there are more men in prison,” notes Caughey. “There are 8000 men and 500 women so there is a predominance of men throughout the justice system.”

The Braveheart Art Exhibition will be held at Pavilion 6, ASB Showgrounds, Green Lane, between 17 – 19 October. The gala preview evening opens at 6.30pm on Thursday, 16 October.

This year, two performance poets from the South Auckland Poets Collective will open the exhibition. “They are very good, fantastic in their delivery,” says Caughey.

Planning for this exhibition began 18 months ago. “In 2010 we had 150 volunteers. We couldn’t do it without them and we couldn’t do it without the community support we get,” adds Caughey.

For more information about Braveheart visit www.braveheart.org.nz.

Listen to the full interview below:

Keren Cookhttp://www.kerencook.co.nz
Keren is currently working as a casual presenter at NZME and freelancing as a journalist and Director and voice over-artist. She recently project-managed New Zealand's Jewish Online Museum, and co-hosts a regular show at Planet FM.
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