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Tandara Pa Rainbow Art by Chenai Mupotsa-Russell
Tandara Pa Rainbow Art by Chenai Mupotsa-Russell

Tandara Pa Rainbow is a community-focused space for creativity, connection, culture and collective care.

Tandara Pa Rainbow Art by Chenai Mupotsa-Russell

Welcome

Tandara Pa Rainbow is a not-for-profit born from Rainbow Muse. Our goal is to co-create safe spaces for people who want to express themselves, engage with community, feel supported and enjoy the magic of other humans.

Tandara Pa Rainbow is here for intersectional identities. We value all cultures, all identities, all abilities and all bodies. Our focus is on dismantling the ideologies that leave us feeling “othered.” We centre the needs of First Nations people, Black people, and People of Colour, and are a committed to accessibity and amplification of LGBTQIA+, neurodivergent and disabled communities.

 

We welcome all true allies. If you’re happy to be in spaces that focus on underrepresented groups and their needs, and in that space be willing to unlearn, be kind, brave, supportive, an affirming human, and part of the solution – we embrace you.

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Tandara Pa Rainbow Art by Chenai Mupotsa-Russell
ABOUT

How did we get here ?

Hi, I'm Chenai and I founded Rainbow Muse in 2019. After working in mental health settings for over a decade, I wanted to find another way to do therapy – a way that was creative and fit for people who don’t like boxes. This dream exploded and a little team grew out of it. In 2022 I joined forces with my best friend Sammy and we opened Rainbow Muse Clinic.

After a few months, our clinic and all its therapists were full and our waitlist was overflowing to the point we had to close our books. I was sitting in our clinic, looking at the “by appointment only” sign outside, knowing our website said no new clients. My heart ached realizing how inaccessible this setting is for a lot of communities.

Tandara Pa Rainbow Art by Chenai Mupotsa-Russell

My brain got to wondering how I could work with community and find other ways to be part of humans creating together and making meaning. Years in community development showed me the power of community, togetherness, creating, moving, playing and sharing. We need spaces of radical kindness and acceptance where people can be supported in coming together to be creative, express themselves and co-construct meaning within the context of their experiences and identities – from a place of equality and openness.

 

The answer was Tandara Pa Rainbow, an expression of radical love and imagination. A space for celebrating culture, art-making, social justice, creative expression, wellness and community care, with a multi-systems advocacy approach that acknowledges systems and prioritises community building and the collective.

My mother Eunice taught me what it means to Tandara, to belong, to create, to be held and to spread love. She passed in February and my heart broke. I picked up the pieces to create Tandara Pa Rainbow. I was surrounded by the love and support that has formed the Tandara Team. This Includes Co-Directors Ramya Krishna and Sammy Elliott, along with an amazing Board. I can't wait for you to see them expressed here too.

Tandara Pa Rainbow Art by Chenai Mupotsa-Russell
Tandara Pa Rainbow Art by Chenai Mupotsa-Russell Rainbow Muse
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Tandara
Tandara Pa Rainbow Art by Chenai Mupotsa-Russell

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What does Tandara Mean?

Ta-nda-ra /taⁿɗara/ is a verb in the Shona language of Zimbabwe, found in Karanga, Korekore, Manyika and Zezuru dialects. Though Google translates “tandara” to mean “hang out” in English, my understanding of its meaning goes much deeper. KuTandara (to tandara) means visiting, being with, being a part of and spending time together in community.

When I was little growing up in Zimbabwe, my mumma would take me to the house of friends or family. As we arrived, they’d ask “Muruku tandara?” (“Are you going to tandara?”) If the answer was yes, I was probably going home past my bedtime, asleep in the car. I’d take off my shoes and get lost in whatever that house had to offer. To show up and know you are welcome – and can immerse yourself in a space where you're wanted and held – that’s my experience of being with others.

 

“Pa” means “on”. So we are going to tandara on the rainbow. The same rainbow that inspired Rainbow Muse wants to create something for people who need other structures. Rather than therapists treating clients, we’ll come together to co-create spaces within a community development setting.

Important note: I am a settler on this land. I used the word of my people but in sharing my language I do so emphasising that the word is a visitor on Wurundjeri Land, just as I am. We offer our vision of community connection with a commitment to honouring the owners of this land.

 

With this respect as our foundation and starting point, centring the Owners of this land, the invitation is also there for other cultures to share their own word, gesture or expression for Tandara. When we come together as our whole selves – with diverse histories, acknowledging the past – we create new futures.

What do we do?

Our focus is on co-creating creative programs, projects and initiatives led by the diverse people who find their way to us. They are community-led, creative arts programs with a focus on social inclusion and community care.

 

Rainbow Muse Clinic focuses on mental health and therapy, however Tandara is all about community, creating and connection. Of course, all our work is also informed by culturally-responsible, trauma-informed and evidence-based practices, guided by curiosity and adaptability. This ensures the spaces are safe.

 

Offerings include facilitated programs, trainings, workshops and more relaxed gatherings. This can involve creative arts, therapeutic arts, mindfulness, movement, music, food, nature, cross-cultural sharing, activism, peer-led offerings and safe community support spaces.

 

We’re excited to go on this journey with you.

Tandara Pa Rainbow Art by Chenai Mupotsa-Russell
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Contact Us

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CONTACT
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Tandara Pa Rainbow acknowledges the Bunurong/Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Peoples of the Kulin Nation, on whose lands we tandara. We are committed to allyship and are guided by the leadership and self-determination of First Nations Peoples. We honour connection to land, culture and community of the traditional custodians of this land, and offer respect to Elders past, present and emerging. Sovereignty has never been ceded and this always was and always will be Aboriginal Land. We are committed to ongoing practices of decolonisation that centre the experiences of the people of this land.

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Tandara Pa Rainbow is an anti-racist, anti-discrimination, anti-ableism, anti-stigma and anti-oppression space. We make no assumptions about people based on what we see at face value, we don’t label others, but we happily embrace and respect the labels people choose, see value in and find important.

 

We welcome you with our whole hearts.

Tandara Pa Rainbow Art by Chenai Mupotsa-Russell
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