Art Child 2013: Filling the Void and ‘Drawing’ Attention

On January 27th 2013, the second annual staging of Art Child will be held at the Glebe Community Center at 175 Third Avenue, from 12 noon until 7pm. Art Child is a one day art festival that fosters the development of the arts by providing free workshops to children of all ages in a wide range of art forms.

Art Child arose as a grassroots youth initiative aimed at mitigating the effects of the government’s cuts in art education. The ultimate goal of Art Child is to provide children with the opportunity to take part in activities that are no longer readily available within the school system. Since recent budget cuts classes such as dance, creative writing, painting and acting are all being slowly eliminated from school curriculums. Instead of simply complaining, the Art Child team aims to provide children with access to these artistic expressions outside of the classroom. In addition to Art Child’s annual free workshops, the Art Child team has also launched their first after school program in partnership with Immaculata High school.

Given that public sector spending cuts seem to be permanent and the impasse between the teachers’ Union and the government has resulted in teachers withdrawing their services from extracurricular activities, the need for Art Child has never been greater. This need is felt especially by parents who cannot afford to pay for art lessons, and consequently the Art Child team is committed to keeping the next staging of Art Child free, as was the first staging. The first Art Child was held at Carleton University on January 22nd 2012 and was attended by over 150 children. The team plans on improving on the first year’s effort by serving more children and provided more and better workshops. The upcoming Art Child will include workshops in flim, arts and crafts, dance, culinary arts, creative writing and others. Attendees will also be entertained by a fashions show, live bands, poets, a painting exhibit, guest speakers and all the way from New York City singer Baiyu. Baiyu is a former MTV presenter and rising pop star, her hit single ‘invisible’ is in rotation on MTV and Much Music and has been viewed more than 7 million times online.

Since Art Child is a free event in order to improve on last year’s showing it will require the support from the community also to improve, through additional sponsorship and volunteers. Art Child has one remaining fundraiser for the year which will be held on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at Oh So Good Desserts and Coffee House, 25 York Street.

When Jewne Johnson of In Da Industry the founder of Art Child was asked what inspires her tireless effort towards Art Child, she replied “when I just moved to Canada from Jamaica the culture shock was almost unbearable, it was through the arts that I found my place, found a way to express myself and without art programs I could not have survived school”. Join Team Art Child and help the next generation to find their voice and express themselves. For further information you can contact Art Child’s communication director Clevon Meikle, at [email protected] or by phone at 613-406-2286.

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