This is Jane and Finch

This spring, I had the amazing opportunity to work on another VIBE Arts Arts For Social Justice project, this time with Westview Centennial, and hip hop dancer/choreographer, Jennalee Desjardins. For this project, the students wanted to challenge the discrimination they feel when they tell people where they’re from. All of the material in the video was created by the students using their smart phones! Jennalee and I helped put it together. Have a look!

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Arts for Social Justice at Central Etobicoke

This past winter, I had the honour of working with the students of Mr. Beline’s Grade 12 Drama class at Central Etobicoke High School with the amazing director, choreographer, and performer Allison Beula, VibeArts, and the CCLET.

As these ASJ projects are student designed and directed, when we start, we never know how the ideas will manifest which is always very exciting! Throughout our discussions in this session, the students identified many injustices in the world around them and chose to address them collectively in a choreographed group protest. In their performance, they focused not only on what isn’t fair in the world, but also expressed their ideas about how we can change things for the better. Their incredibly empathetic perspective and boundless positivity through the entire process was truly heartwarming and inspiring. Please do check out their work in the video posted above.

It is always so rewarding to see an artwork develop and live on beyond the program. Here is a photo of the students performing their piece at a school assembly! Bravo everyone!

I’ve just started another Arts for Social Justice project for the spring term and I can’t wait to see what the students come up with this time! As always, I’ll post images/videos of the new work when I can. Until then, be well everyone.

Arts for Social Justice at Central Etobicoke

I’m very excited to be co-leading another Arts For Social Justice program for Vibe Arts and the CCLET, this time with Allison Beula in Mr. Beline‘s drama class at Central Etobicoke School. I can’t wait to see what these students come up with!

A photo from this morning’s drawing warm up. We listened to the music of Michael Bates and others with charcoal and paper in hand. It’s a great exercise to loosen up any apprehensive artists.

 

Arts For Social Justice at Central Tech

This past fall, I had the wonderful opportunity to co-lead an Arts For Social Justice program with the amazing Roshanak Jaberi, VIBE Arts and the CCLET. For several weeks, we worked with the grade 12 students of the Social Justice class at Central Tech High School to produce artworks that addressed a social justice issue they felt strongly about. The class was split into two groups and we worked with the students to choose an idea, a medium to work in, and a method for addressing their chosen issue. What resulted were two amazing videos, different in their approach but equally effective in their message. The videos were presented at the Social Justice conference held at the school and Vibe has graciously put these works up on their site.

In the first video, the students created a slide show of self portraits accompanied by statements read in their own voices about the visual prejudice and racial profiling they experience. In the second video, one student acts out in a single day, the experiences of racism described by the students in the group. The accompanying voice over is a spoken word piece, written and read by one of the students.

This is a full video of the presentation at the Social Justice conference at the school. Check it out!