On to the Philippines!

After success in Papua New Guinea, ZERO1 American Arts Incubator continues to Country #2. Kate Spacek brings her spirit of collaborative play to the Philippines' "Capital of Smiles and Sugar" - Bacolod, the largest city on Negros Island. 

With artist Felipe Castelblanco leading the way, Kate encouraged community participants to see their familiar spaces with fresh eyes and objective curiosity. To develop a variety of digital media public art projects addressing environmental health, four groups received grants - with each project taking a unique approach. From custom-designed school kitchens in rural areas to a floating eco-resource library to a youth music video-making education program, these concepts are igniting conversations that won't end any time soon.

Unity clap.

Unity clap.

Rapid prototyping to trigger discussion of an ideal environment

Rapid prototyping to trigger discussion of an ideal environment

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To learn more about each project and follow the progress, visit the Philippines Arts Incubator Facebook page.

Co-Creations in Papua New Guinea

LUDIKA's Creative Director, Kate Spacek, has the privilege of playing another exciting role -- as the Program Manager of the ZERO1 American Arts Incubator. Along with social artist Kendal Henry, Kate spent 4 weeks in Papua New Guinea facilitating youth and other locals to engage in collaborative public art-making that advocates for women's empowerment. In partnership with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, the program set out to address gender inequity, gender-based violence, teen pregnancy, and other big challenges faced by the people of PNG.

Four community groups were awarded grants to develop their proposed public art projects. Using an incubator-style, playful approach to co-creating, participants explored these sensitive topics, able to share dialogue across socioeconomic groups and see new perspectives. Strangers became friends, unified through creativity, movement, and laughter. Although the four groups exhibited their digital and multimedia outcomes separately, they now have found their own synergies and all are working together towards the next public art collaboration!

Plenty more images and stories on the PNG Arts Incubator Facebook page.

A 6-Month Course in the Art of Play

What if ten people in a class speak ten different languages? How do you find a common method of communication? One answer: Play!

For six months, Kate Spacek facilitated weekly "experiments" to explore what Play is and what it is not, what is required for people to enter a playful state of mind and body, and how perceptions of Play differ across cultures. 

Using games as a foundational tool to integrate art, movement, story-telling, sound, non-verbal communication, team challenges, and all sorts of spontaneity, the course content was a surprise to every student, every time. To find each student's own definitions and parameters of Play, occasionally the activities triggered some discomfort, which in itself was a powerful learning experience for all involved. And Kate pushed her own boundaries as well, making it a rule to add at least one newly-designed game or untested activity to the curricula each week.

Most frequently, classmates who entered the studio as strangers were crafting lunch plans together after class. Middle-aged men and women became teary-eyed, confessing they had not felt these sensations since childhood. Students entered as adults busy with the rigors of daily routine and walked out calm, liberated, and wide-eyed to the possibilities of creative potential around them and within them. 

HAPPY Bootcamp - Revisited

How fortunate! LUDIKA was invited again to facilitate an afternoon of Play at HAPPY Bootcamp, the brilliant creation of HAPPY: The Movie's producer, Eiji Han Shimizu. Rooted in practices of mindfulness, HAPPY Bootcamp gently and effectively invites participants to find their "happy" from within.

A genuine state of Play brings people to the present moment, letting go of concerns about their task list at the office or looking bad in front of others. Play and mindfulness go hand-in-hand.

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HAPPY Bootcamp!

With the Grand Jury Prize from the Amsterdam Film Festival and a slew of awards and accolades from international festivals and top film critics, HAPPY: The Movie has gone beyond a compelling documentary; HAPPY: The Movie is a movement. The film's producer invited LUDIKA's founder, Kate Spacek, to add some pizazz to his newest creation - HAPPY Bootcamp.


One small detail... none of the campers speak English. Another opportunity to reveal Play as a common language! This crew of shy yet kind and eager individuals opened slowly but surely to the freedom brought about by collaborative art and games. By the end of the day, our faces hurt from smiling.

Pecha Kucha 20x20 Indonesia: The Power of Play

LUDIKA Founder, Kate Spacek, shares why Play is one of the world's key - yet untapped - resources. 

"Whether you want to make a difference in the world, be filthy rich, raise your children to be incredible human beings, live life to the fullest, or all of the above... Play is your answer, but maybe not how you might think. Play is a primal and biological process, as important as getting enough sleep or exercising. Without play, life becomes mechanical, your mood darkens, you become less productive, less alert, less connected, less healthy, less happy."

In Bali, Indonesia, where the people's smiling eyes and openness to the unexpected exemplify the qualities of Play, the audience embraced the message through this new perspective. Kate invited the eager crowd to see Play as a state of being as opposed to something you do, and that this state of being requires intentional action. Incorporating playfulness into our physical and mental realms will impact every area of life, from family and health to relationships and corporate culture, on both micro and macro scales..