May 22-26, 2023 is International Arts Education Week! Designated by UNESCO in 2012, the week celebrates the arts, in their diversity, and arts educators who play a critical role in fostering and transforming humanity.
International Arts Education Week aims at increasing the international community’s awareness on the importance of arts education and at reinforcing its cooperation by promoting cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion.
Below are photos from youthLEADarts Nova Scotia, which operates year round featuring artist educator Shelley MacDonald.
“Art, in all its diversity, is an essential component of a comprehensive education for the full development of the individual. Today, the skills, values and behaviours promoted by arts education are more paramount than ever. These competencies – creativity, collaboration, and imaginative problem solving – develop resiliency, nurture appreciation of cultural diversity and freedom of expressions, and cultivate innovation and critical thinking skills. As a vector of dialogue in the loftiest sense, art speeds up social inclusion and tolerance in our multicultural, connected societies.”
Below are photos of artist educator Candice Halls-Howcroft in British Columbia and one of the whale doodles from workshops with youth there.
“Art brings us closer together. A painting, an artefact, a piece of ancestral music speaks volumes about the history of civilizations and the ties that bind them. It makes us to feel and to understand what unites humanity in the diversity of its cultures and expressions and thus contributing to our bright and sustainable future.”
Below are photos of artist educator Deirdre Potash and youthLEADarts workshops with youth in Quebec.
The aim of youthLEADarts Inc directly parallels those celebrated this week. All year long, we offer programs in communities across Canada that empower youth to find and express their voices through art in the spirit of resiliency, diversity and sustainability. We hope that the photos highlighted here, of youthLEADarts youth, artist educators and the transformative art created in communities across the nation bring us all closer together.