youthLEADarts is a network of Canadian young people who work together, through the arts, to encourage and support one another as they emerge as the LEADers of tomorrow. These diverse individuals are brought together and mentored by Artist Educators who facilitate the participant’s journey of self-realization and learning.
LEAD stands for four strong values of good leaders: Good leaders: Listen, Empathize, Act and Drive.The arts based program uses these four words as pillars for the work it does with youth in communities across. Canada. youthLEADarts creates change on two levels, within the individual participant and in their community. This set of values empowers young people, giving them the skillcs to become LEADers and effect meaningful and positive change which will impact their lives and their futures.
Normally, we deliver in class programming and the programming is immersive. It takes place full time over the course of a week and ends in a youth driven showcase celebration for friends and family.
This year, no artists were allowed to visit classes in person. We pivoted to an on-line program and worked with our long time teacher partner to make things work under the stressful circumstances that he was encountering. Numbers were down for him. Kids were not showing up or if they did so they did so sporadically. A week long arts immersion leadership program on-line would not work for him or the learning styles of his diverse, inner city students. With him, we created a two week on-line program that took place for 1.5 hours a day.
Where one door closes, another opens. youthLEADarts was able to bring in an even wider array of artists and art forms from across the entire country to the class this year. We had artists from BC, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia join us. The students were eager to explore, learn, create and collaborate with them. When things go back to normal, this is a part of the program we will keep. It was hugely successful and opened minds and hearts in ways we did not expect.
Our theme this year was racism, what connects us and what divides or separates us. We explored this through drama, spoken word, creative writing, photography, Indigenous, media and visual arts. To find out what we experienced each day as artists, artist educators and as participants visit our website at: https://youthleadarts.com/programs-and-workshops/britannia-community-school/
View one of the amazing videos that grade 6/7 students made here. They wrote, performed, produced, filmed and edited the video themselves
youthLEADarts also ran on-line workshops in the summer with our National Doodle Challenge with artist Deirdre Potash and ran a leadership program with BL Education in Vancouver on-line in the winter.