Entire worlds are at your disposal -- at least on paper.

Aratoi's upcoming school holiday programme is all about cartography, conventional and fantastical.

The World Creation workshop, on April 20-21, will involve children working with pen, ink and dye to create new worlds or define the surrounds they live in.

The concept was inspired when the two new art tutors, Janie Nott and Kathy Barlett, visited Aratoi and saw the floor-to-ceiling topographical map of Featherston and the surrounding countryside in the foyer.

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Ms Nott, who runs the Village Art Shop in Greytown, said the "amazing map" made them think what a different thing it would be for children to work with.

The pair will theme the workshop on the style seen with ancient maps.

"When you look at ancient maps, a lot of them are in circles, with a varying amount of illustration.

"There's little inserts of lands, people, it brings in graphics and illustrations."

The children will work with a template for a circle style, as well as other styles, and will have to create keys for all the symbols involved.

"It helps them work with symbols. They will be able to create their own worlds, whether it's this world, or another."

The pair have been running art programmes in Greytown and Ms Nott is an art therapist.

Aratoi's front of house coordinator Anthea Birch said the workshop was a "great idea" because it linked in Aratoi's Featherston Camp exhibition.

"Everyone loves maps," she said.

Aratoi's school holiday programmes have been boosted by a subsidy from the Masterton District Creative Communities, who will fund 15 children who might otherwise struggle to afford the fee, typically around $75 per programme.

Friends of Aratoi member Megan Slight said their education committee will ask Masterton schools to identify children who would benefit.

"Over the school holidays, there will be a number of places available, designated for children who might not get the opportunity. We are very excited, very grateful that the Communities chose the Aratoi programmes for this."

The education committee is about increasing the ability of children to get to Aratoi, she said.

"This is the first initiative we have pulled off."

Cartography class

Bookings essential.

April 20-21, 10am to 2pm.

Cost $65 for two days, materials included.

The Village Art Shop is also running a self-portrait holiday programme as a competition in the second week of the school holidays, April 28/29. To enter, visit the Village Art Shop in Greytown.