welcome to youthLEADarts

Listen. Empathize. Act. Drive.

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.

The focus of youthLEADarts is under-resourced young people. This could mean someone who lives in a community that is inner-city, rural, or remote. It also includes those who feel outside ‘the dominant social norms’ (for example: culture, language, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, able-ness, gender and sexuality).

LEAD is a method to create change on 2 levels- within the individual participant themself, and in their communities. This set of values empowers young people, giving them the skills to become LEADers and effect meaningful and positive impact in their lives and their futures.

Please consider becoming part of our growing initiative …

keep reading to learn how!

Become a LEAD Supporter- Invest in our Future

  • Are you in a position that you can give back? 
  • In your past was there an initiative, a person, or a program that gave you that little extra support when you needed it? 
  • Do you believe in the transformative power of the arts?

If you answered YES to any of the above questions, please consider donating to create programming for unserved youth across Canada. 

Our programs make a significant impact. The investment the students make is evident on their faces. We have much more coming in 2023. 

 All of our programming is currently funded through private donations. We thank all of our sponsors and supporters- past, present and future. 

what does LEAD stand for?

Listen. Empathize. Act. Drive.


Listening is as important as speaking in communication. 

What do you think is important when you listen?


Empathize means imaging how someone else feels.

How does it make you feel when someone does that for you?


Actions speak louder than words. 

What is it that you want say? 



Drive yourself and your idea to completion.

What gives you the power to keep going?


Watch this Space

We often have news and updates. Check back often to find out the latest happenings and announcements.
Lismore LEADers Share Their Halloween ‘Spirit’

Lismore youthLEADarts kicked off local Halloween festivities with a pumpkin carving contest and spooky feast this week.  Our number one volunteer and youth mentor Melanie Mcduff showed true leadership by taking ACTION to design this spooky night of food and...

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Welcome Teachers…From Marilyn

The first month of school has flown by with great momentum. The seasons are shifting. A few weeks away from Thanksgiving and we, at youthLEADarts Inc. are already reflecting on gratitude. So far this year we are welcoming ten classrooms...

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Witnessing History

Dear Friends, No matter how we feel about the monarchy, today we are witnessing history. As a young musician and arts education pioneer in 1973, I had the honour to meet MH Queen Elizabeth II. I was surprised at how tiny...

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Being the Light: Lismore Shadow Puppeteers

Lismore Community Hall, 8:30 am, the youthLEADarts team lays the groundwork for the day’s activities. Paper, scissors, dowling, tape, markers. A screen made from a sheet suspended on photographer’s poles, a light shining behind it. A blank slate upon which...

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Making Summer Memories With youthLEADarts: Camp Lismore!

“They say the happiest place on earth is Disneyland. They’re wrong. It’s camp.” Author Unknown. Shelley MacDonald is spearheading happy in Lismore, Nova Scotia this summer as she partners with the Municipality of Pictou County Summer Recreation and Lismore Hall...

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The Mentoring Team

Our regional Artist/Educators conduct live, virtual artist workshops. These cross-Canada experiences connect the values and themes of LEAD with various artistic disciplines. They create opportunities to engage in activities such as drama, dance, literature/ spoken-word, music, drumming, visual arts, photography/ videography, Indigenous, and media arts. Our goal is to create hybrid online/in-person programs that will serve as a sustainable model for communities of like-minded youth to communicate even after the pandemic has run its course.

LEAD’s Artist Educators are experts in developing curriculum for all students. Whether virtually or in person; for elementary, junior, intermediate or senior students; as a facilitator in your classroom, youth group, extracurricular or community activity, we are specialists at empowering youth with the vocabulary and skills to become LEADers. Our forte is using the arts to increase the skills such as Group Work, Creative Problem Solving, Interpersonal Communication, Personal Responsibility and Self-Regulation. Through these skills the students also increase their Resilience, Self-esteem, and their ability to Self-Advocate. 

Please contact us to schedule a consultation to meet your needs. We have resources across Canada. (info@youthLEADarts.com)

Marilyn Field

Founder/ National Coordinator

Visionary, Mentor, Teacher, Musician

Lori Sherritt-Fleming

West Coast Mentor

Author, Playwright, Performer

Shelley MacDonald

East Coast Mentor

Performer, Educator, Film-maker

Deirdre Potash

Central Canada Mentor

Artist Educator, Entrepreneur

Tina Tucker Bye

Central Canada Mentor

 Artist-Educator, Visual Artist, Actor/ Director

Roy Mulder

East Coast Mentor

Photographer, Videographer

Find out More about Artist Educators and Collaboration Partners

Each youthLEADarts workshop or program is designed to assist the students discover their strengths, address their challenges and develop communication and leadership skills in short, invigorating and fruitful timeframes. With strong roots in communities across Canada youthLEADarts, as it evolves, will continue to empower youth by developing accessible programs that help them to find their voices as LEADers who drive the future.

Our Social Feeds


See yourself and your friends featured on our website by using our hashtag #youthLEADarts in your arts and leadership posts.

Make sure it is OK with your adults first, and check its alright with the people in your pictures and videos too. And please make sure the content is “family friendly”. 😉

A Word from One of our Youth Ambassadors/ Graduates

Elijah, 25, is a recent graduate of Trent University in Math and Spanish. He joined Marilyn Field’s empowering arts education program as a 12-year-old who was living in a marginalized Toronto suburb.  On program days, Marilyn would call him early in the morning to make sure he got on the bus for the daylong workshops in downtown Toronto.

Through the arts education program, he was able to see what was possible regardless of the odds. He pursued that vision without fear. Today, we are so proud of him for finding his inner leader; to stay in school and succeed, to find his passion for writing poetry, swimming, and for mentoring other young people.

Ask Your Questions...

Contact Us

Contact us to find out more.