Kids Thrive and Cha Cha Sam
Kids Thrive is Melbourne’s leading arts and community development organisation committed to child-led community change. Kids Thrive co-designs and delivers programs partnering artists with specialists in children’s health, education, welfare and social justice. It uses the arts to tackle issues that children experience arising from trauma, disadvantage and cultural conflict, and to expand children’s creativity, communication and social skills.
Andrea Rieniets and Ande Lemon as Directors of Kids Thrive bring over 30 years’ experience as respected artists and community cultural development workers. Ande and Andrea’s work takes a long-term, heart-centred view of children as collaborators in, and creators of community.
Andrea Rieniets is a songwriter, composer, musical director, musician and singer performing at venues such as Womadelaide and the Famous Spiegeltent; and directing community choirs such as Adelaide’s Before You Were Blonde contemporary community choir, and Sing It Up Big Australian Indigenous Choir.
Ande Lemon was Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Women’s Circus (2002-2003) for women who identify as survivors of sexual abuse or assault; Coordinator of the Royal Children’s Hospital Wyndham region Arts and Mental Health programme working with primary and special needs schools, community agencies and mental health professionals. She has written and directed over 50 community-based and professional scripts and productions.
Cha Cha Sam is the performance arm of Kids Thrive.