Newsflash: New Community Arts Outreach Opportunities for Students (Halifax)

1 04 2010

The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD) School of Extended Studies, is going to be opening a community service learning center this year that will connect students with community based opportunities.

The school is in the initial stages of development and hopes to institute a new position of Coordinator of Community Service Learning within the month. Community groups have been meeting with the school to discuss potential partnerships and opportunities for students as well as recent graduates in the form of residency programs throughout the province. In meeting with community groups like Veith Street Gallery Studio Association (VSGSA) the School is generating interest for future collaborations.

 The expertise of NSCAD students with their critical, analytical and creative skills are being brought to the table in the development of this centre. By fostering partnerships that support and encourage learning in a different environment, the learning is reciprocal. There will be different streams of programs for students i.e. volunteering positions, placements, and service learning opportunities. It will facilitate connecting students with opportunities in the community throughout Halifax, and more broadly, throughout Nova Scotia. In time, they hope to connect students with national and/or international opportunities.

The centre would like to support faculty who want to incorporate community arts interactive in a currently existing course or to create a new course. Professors can give out assignments which encourage learning experiences through the placements. For example, there was a community arts interactive course that assistant professor Gene Daniels created last year. He guided and placed students while they participated in projects throughout the North End of Halifax which ultimately culminated in “Community Art Day”.

Ms. Blanchard and Ms.Reynolds-Farmer are now part of the working group for the Arts Engage Symposium scheduled for June 14-20, 2010. NSCAD has agreed to host the event at the Port Campus and is looking forward to working closely with the community partners like Veith Street Gallery, 4C’s Foundation, Halifax, Regional Municipality, and Visual Arts Nova Scotia to name a few. As part of the Symposium the Arts Engage Symposium is hosting a weeklong training session for artists and volunteers who would like to learn more about community arts  engagement. This core group will present their experiences as part of the conference. Arts Engage’s website is now up and running – check out the details at www.artsengage.com.

The School of Extended Studies is the outreach arm for NSCAD. It aims to build reciprocal arrangements for learning and contribute to a civil society. To keep posted, go to NSCAD’s School of Extended Studies Website.

ArtBridges spoke with Sharon Blanchard and Joann Reynolds-Farmer from the School of Extended Studies at NSCAD on January 28, 2010.


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