Friday Morning Coffee: Intergenerational Art-Making

25 01 2013

photo credit: cricava

Good morning! My fingers are like claws, shaped by the -25°C (with windchill) freeze. I’ve got no right to complain though—as some of you live in Dawson or Nain! I cling to the 49th parallel and am just not prepared in the same way many of you are. Anyhow, the pipes to the ArtBridges/ToileDesArts’ office are frozen—I can’t even get a glass of water, so I’ve come downstairs to our local diner to warm up with a bottomless cup of coffee.

Intergenerational art-making is big on my mind this week. Last weekend, my 71 year-old dad and I did a weekend pottery workshop together. He’s in business, so all this stuff is relatively new to him. We learned how to silkscreen images onto clay.  If you ask me, the value of our time hanging out together and trying something new was far greater than our finished clay products.

ArtHeart Community Art Centre is starting up a free intergenerational Family Arts Drop-in workshop on the weekends—open for any version of the “modern family.” So grandmothers can bring their grandchildren, or a single dad can spend the afternoon with his daughter, teens can bring their younger siblings, and so on. Visual arts projects will be designed for all levels and for intergenerational collaboration.

This week we posted about Mural Arts. It will be running intergenerational arts workshops on muralmaking. I called up Tara Dorey to comment on this and she enthusiastically said:

 “[intergenerational art making] creates such an interesting dynamic…skill levels vary as do styles and view points of different ages…at first it can feel uncomfortable, but when people get a feel for the program, it really starts going!”

Blue Print For Life runs hiphop workshops in the Arctic for youth. But, they include everyone from elders, to teachers, to local authorities—true community involvement. I think the idea is that if the community can come together, learn something totally fun—while hard and challenging, too—it will make them stronger and break down barriers between people, their positions in society and generations. Look at this video to see what I mean and check out the elders being DJs for the first time while the kids do the hustle!

So many arts programs across the country are tailored for either “children”, “youth,” “adults” or seniors.” It seems rarer that there are ones specifically designed to be intergenerational.  Of course there is planning to do in the offering of intergenerational workshops for sake of liability- permission slips for minors to attend or rules that minors must come with a guardian, etc.

Would love to hear more!—Have you attended an inspiring intergenerational arts workshop? Or do you run one? Please write or call in (1-877-278-3002/416-691-7777) and tell us about it!

Seanna Connell, Project Director

photo credit: cricava



One response

25 01 2013

I love this idea! Elizabeth


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