youthLEADarts Artist Educators: Creating for healing and resilience in uncertain times

“At a time when challenges related to climate, peace, education and the future of our societies are converging, our need for the power of art – and for it to be made accessible to all through arts education – is stronger than ever.” Audrey Azouley, Director General of UNESCO

In celebration of International Arts Education Week, this week, we are highlighting some of the creative projects our youth are involved in as well as some of the ones our artist educators have collaborated on. 

During the pandemic, art did not stop. Creation did not cease. Learning did not come to a stand still though it did change. We found ways to pivot and reach out to one another. All of us shifted, adapted and reconstructed.  

youthLEADarts Inc artist educators Shelley MacDonald and Lori Sherritt-Fleming collaborated with Dr. Kari-Lynn Winters of Brock University in Ontario on Kaleidoscopes. Working with the theme of artfully re-imagining equitable education and the arts during and after the pandemic, a group of diverse participants and their families from across the country met to build a play from scratch. The challenging part was, we met and recorded everything on line. We had to bring a group of seemingly unconnected scenes into a play that made sense; that had a kind of plot arc; that made heartfelt and humorous connections between people. What were we feeling? How could we work through it? How could we bring a little shine to a time that for many was isolating? How did these thoughts relate to our kids and how were they dealing with it? 

The result is a fabulous play and workshop that is touring teacher conventions along with interactive workshops. The result models and celebrates how art reaches out and can be a bridge to equitable education, resilience and healing. 

Below is a link to a short documentary about the process that highlights some of the scenes in the play. The power of art is stronger than ever.