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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, encouraged all Baguio-based artists and residents to engage in street arts under the supervision of the Baguio Arts and Craft Collective, Inc. (BACCI) to help in beautifying the community and promote mental health wellness.
In a resolution, city legislators believe such endeavor serves various purposes such as showcasing the talents of local artists, let residents express their artist side and help beautify the city befitting its title as a creative city, and provide an outlet for citizens in advancing their mental health wellness, thus, it is vital for the city government to fully support the move and provide the guidelines in the program’s implementation.
The council recognized that the BACCI is a platform for cooperation, coordination and sharing between and among the artists, artisans and creatives of the city and its environs, thus, enabling and nurturing an environment where creativity and innovation are developed that can help the city supervise the project.
Earlier, the city adopted a policy that full government support will be extended to its partners in the arts, culture, creative and heritage conservation sectors, befitting the city’s being declared by the United Nations (UN) a member of the UN Creative Cities Network, thus, the city will constantly engage and active involve such sectors to encourage appropriate activities meant to enliven the cultural scene and strengthen harmonizing efforts of varied indigenous and traditional cultural practices.
However, the body admitted that the prevailing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused anxiety and uncertainty in people and researches show that getting involved with the arts can have powerful and lasting effects on health helping to protect individuals against a range of mental health conditions, help manage the mentally ill, help and support recovery.
Further, the council noted that the same can help boost confidence and make people feel more engaged and resilient in confronting the prevailing difficult times.
Aside from such benefits, the council stipulated that art engagement also alleviates anxiety, depression and stress thus will be beneficial in addressing the increasing mental health problems of individuals confined in their homes for so long.
According to the council, residents of Itogon have engaged in a beautification activity turning blank walls into murals and turning abandoned cars into art pieces providing a good scenery.
The council asserted that Baguio, being a Creative City, can also adopt such practice provided that only man-made structures shall be made into pieces of street art and natural elements such as stonewall, trees and wood shall be left untouched to showcase their unique natural beauty.
By Dexter A. See