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News Release

Creating Community: Valuing Ourselves and Each Other
June 1, 2004

The Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts Youth Institute hosts a VERNISSAGE of students’ work from the 10th -17th of June 2004.

The Creating Community: Valuing Ourselves and Each Other project encouraged Anglophone and Francophone students from Parkdale Elementary School in St-Laurent and École Anne Hébert in Notre-Dame-de-Grace to value themselves as vital members of their communities by inspiring them to be creative. Throughout the school year, these grade 5 and 6 students explored issues of identity and diversity through both visual and performing arts.

To be creative means to grow as individuals and as members of a community; and to recognize that we can each play a valuable part in constructing the various communities we inhabit: our grade, our school, our culture of origin, our borough, and our country. The project aimed to forge a sense of responsibility to and respect for self and others, including valuing differences while seeking commonalities and working to nurture them.

In the fall, students participated in eight weekly drama workshops culminating in final performances for their schools and parents in December 2003. During these sessions, students explored their own experiences with issues such as racism, sexism, and bullying through journal writing. Inspired by Agusto Boal’s “theatre of the oppressed”, this kind of applied theatre responds to the needs of participants and inspires critical thinking about social issues through shared stories. Issues raised in the fall semester were followed up in the winter semester with four monthly visual arts workshops: painting, drawing, collage, and clay sculpture. Throughout the month students continually revisited workshop themes through journal writing and artwork. The grand finale of the project is a Zine of the students’ writing and an exhibition of their artwork in Espace Trois at the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts.

For further information please contact Lisa Waite, Administrative and Programming Assistant at the Youth Institute, at 739-2301 ext. 330