Working with Youth. Vibe Arts Toronto.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have started working with an organization called VIBE ARTS which is based here in my home city of Toronto. It's an incredible organization that is essentially committed to implementing "meaningful, innovative and impactful hands-on arts education programs for children and youth who identify with the margins." And so very meaningful it is. The programs vary in terms of the age of students, types of programming, and the needs each group of students, but the core values of inclusion, expression and team work remain the same.
Along with mentoring an emerging artist, I am currently stationed in two schools, one being an after-school dance program in a primary school in Toronto's east end, and the other one being a high school in Toronto's northwest sector of the city, where we are exploring the idea using the arts as a medium for social justice (a co-facilitation with beautiful spoken word artist @ighodiana - very excited to see what we create out of this).
I am reminded again and again of how awesome kids are. They are so smart, witty, respectful (I mean, some are 'too cool for school' but we are finding common ground ;) ) and talented in ways that you don't even realize exist until they show you. I have to say that the kids in the primary school I'm teaching in currently are seriously some of the best dancers I have ever seen (let's be real, they are actually teaching me!) We hope to shoot a little video to showcase their talents before our time together is up.
I'm very grateful to VIBE ARTS for bringing me on board. To enrich the lives of youth is an incredibly enriching experience in and of itself.