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Making a Creative Difference in our Community

Supportive Arts for Adults 18+ with Learning (Dis)Abilities

AN ALL INCLUSIVE, ALL ABILITIES WORKSHOP with ECFTA Arts Educators in collaboration with the FESTIVAL SINGERS!

Previously our participants would gather each week and enjoy a guided morning workshop, specifically designed to support adults of varying abilities. Each Thursday we would embrace diversity through art making, movement and vocal explorations. Every week was as unique as each of our participants!  Workshops were lead by ECFTA Arts Educators and wonderful volunteers from our community, followed by joyous singing in the gallery lead by Chris from the Elora Festival Singers.

IMPORTANT UPDATE!  Supportive Arts is growing and expanding thanks to an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant!  Read below to find out all about it!

 

 


 

Planet Youth in Support of Youth Mental Health

AN ANNUAL OUTREACH AND YOUTH EXHIBITION PROGRAM FOR ELEMENTARY AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN SUPPORT OF YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH

This program includes an elementary school outreach component, where our ECFTA Arts Educators ‘take art on the road’ to school classrooms throughout the community.  For high school students, the ‘call for student artists’ is incorporated into their arts curriculum.  The goal for each year is to create a theme that connects back to mental health and self reflection, utilizing the creative project as the catalyst for sharing and dialogue.  The project partners with YouthTalk (a division of CMHA), UGDSB Support Services, CWDHS staff and others.

In 2019 our theme was “See the Forest Through the Trees:  an exhibition in support of youth mental health” where students learned about the strength and power of trees and how we can learn from their resilience.  Project were submitted and a jury selected over 120 pieces for the exhibition.   Over 600 people visited the exhibition, including the opening reception and several school field trips to the gallery.   A commemorative book was published to capture the exhibition and artist thoughts.

The program was supported by grants from The Ken Danby Legacy Fund at the Guelph Community Foundation, Neighbourwoods and Centre Wellington Community Foundation.

 

In 2020, the Planet Youth theme is #therealselfieproject in support of youth mental health will challenge students to reflect and consider their best and worst selves, celebrating a time or place when they were at their best or what their “self” looked like when it faced challenges.  The outreach project for 2020 is in process.  The exhibition date has not been set.

 


Youth Addiction & Recovery:  The Healing Power of Art & Creative Expression

In partnership with Portage Ontario Residential Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Centre for youth, Elora Centre for the Arts (ECFTA) offers arts-based programming in our classroom (one session includes 12 sessions).  Through individual and team-based art projects, students will have the opportunity to learn art techniques and practice the creative freedom of making mistakes, problem-solving and sharing using their projects as the catalyst.  The program will culminate in a public mural installation as well as work shown in a youth exhibition, and will include student reflections of their artistic journey.

The first pilot session of this program has been partially funded by a generous grant from the Centre Wellington Community Foundation.

Youth recovering from addiction have faced so many traumas in their lives, which have been further compounded by the societal stigma that comes when someone is deemed an addict.  The result is a young person left feeling marginalized and isolated from their community.  This project will welcome Portage residents with open arms, allowing them to develop and explore their creativity in a supported environment.  It will also open up the discussion of mental health on a broader community level among exhibition attendees.

The first pilot session of this program has been partially funded by a generous grant from the Centre Wellington Community Foundation.

To find out how you can help support this, and future programs like this please click here.

Please check back for photos of this project.