Skatepark Mosaic with HRM’s Community Arts Facilitator Kate MacLennan and local youth.
(Photo collage by Tim Simony)
Status: Not-for-profit, Halifax Regional School Board
Community served: Youth age 5 – 21 from the greater Spryfield area of Halifax, which includes youth at risk, Gay-Straight Alliance, Youth Health Centre, student in leadership programs, gifted youth, aboriginal youth, students with special needs, youth who recently graduated from High School, homeless youth.
Location/Region served: Spryfield, Halifax Regional Municipality
Language used: English
Arts focus: visual arts (all media), film, dance, music, theatre, spoken word art, multimedia
Summary of Main Art Activities:
- Some of our recent highlights public art projects include the following:
- Installation of mosaic mural at a Captain Spry Community Centre Skate Park, in partnership with HRM’s Community Arts Facilitator Kate MacLennan.
- ‘Nautilus Mural of Truth’ for the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, which was created by youth in Spryfield and ‘Team Possibles’ (young adults with Down Syndrome) under the guidance of artists Miro Davis and Renee Forrestall in 2011.
- Performance of the opera “Trial by Jury” at the Courthouse during Nocturne 2011, in partnership with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Nova Scotia.
- ‘Youth on the Radar’ music, dance, spoken word and film projects with Ryan Veltmeyer from Heartwood.
- Spoken word Performances during the visit of Michaelle Jean, the former Governor General, as a launch of the new Youth Arts Foundation.
- Performances and art display at Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on December 6th, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, in partnership with the Nova Scotia Status of Women Council.
- Film projects in partnership with Viewfinders, the education division of the Atlantic Film Festival, includeding two documentaries for “Building Legends” about Mi’kmaq culture: The Mi’kmaq Canoe Project and the Mawio’mi Project.
- Partnership with Cultural Opportunities for Youth funded artists JBru for the urban music recording project “What’s the 411” and Ann Denny’s “Project Sing” bringing voice instructions to students of Spryfield.
“The Four Elements”, Science art Project of J.L.Ilsley High in partnership with ArtsSmarts Nova Scotia and artist Renee Forrestall , here shown at the AGNS but currently on display at the new youth gallery at the Department of Education (photo by Arts Express Coordinator S. Fels)
Mandate: The Arts Express Program was established specifically for the 10 schools feeding into J.L.Ilsley High School in Spryfield, Halifax, in order to allow for a stronger arts support within this unique family of schools. The program has been supported by the Department of Education and the school principals of this area since 2002 when the following mandate for the position had been established:
- Direct support for existing arts programs and development of new arts initiatives.
- Coordination of arts partnerships between schools and community.
- Access to external sources of funding through available arts grants to enrich school and classrooms programs, as well as arts opportunities ranging from students with special needs to disadvantaged kids as well as gifted students.
- Emphasis on ‘prevention and intervention’ by creating unique arts initiatives for students with diverse learning styles and those who are otherwise disengaged from our public schools.
Photo: “Youth on the Radar”, extracurricular cool art programs funded by Lightshouses Crime Prevention Grants from the Department of Justice. (Photo by S. Fels)
The full time position of Arts Express Coordinator is currently being funded through supplementary and discretionary moneys and centers around developing a network of connections among schools within HRSB, the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, community arts organizations, universities, local artists, social agencies, HRM, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Symphony Nova Scotia, corporate giving programs, private businesses, and of course classroom teachers and visual arts teachers. Other than grant based funding ArtsExpress currently receives no other financial support. For the past 4 years, the ArtsExpress coordinator was also the president elect of the Art Teacher Association of NS and organized the annual conference for the teachers of the province and is currently on the Board of Directors for Dance Nova Scotia, and serves on the education committees for Symphony Nova Scotia, Viewfinders. Professional Development activities include piloting of new curriculum initiatives to teachers from across the province, developing in-services fro art teachers and providing art connection for RCH and Cultural diversity.
Photo: “The Big B Project”, a work in progress by students at J.L. Ilsley High, funded by Youthscape, and displayed at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia during the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women on December 6 – an expression of youth about the hypersexulaization of teenage girls. (Photo by ArtsExpress Coordinator S. Fels)
The components for the Arts Express Program include:
- Writing and coordination of a wide range of applications for arts funding from a variety of foundations, governments programs and private as well as corporate sources.
- Scouting for artists suitable for ‘artists in school programs’ by forming close working connections with the local artistic community.
- Teaching art units directly in classrooms ranging from grades Primary to Grade 12, to explore and demonstrate the possibilities of enhancing the curriculum through the arts.
- Offering leadership in visual arts, both at a regional and provincial level, by planning and implementing both mandated and optional PD for visual arts as well regular classroom teachers of the HRSB and other school boards.
- Planning and organizing the October Conference for Art Teachers of Nova Scotia.
- Development of school outreach programs and partnerships with local arts institutions, organizations, businesses and community centers.
Contact: Sabine Michaela Fels, ArtsExpress Coordinator
Phone number: (902) 479-4612 ext. 570-1008
Mobile: (902) 403-3160
Address: 38 Sylvia Ave., Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3R 1J9
-submitted by Sabine Michaela Fels, ArtsExpress Coordinator
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