April 30, 2013 - 12:20 PM
A new initiative will see the Kamloops Arts Council partner with three local centres to bring arts to people who would normally not be able to afford classes.
Crossing BridgesArts Outreach Program received $17,500 from the province to help run the 30-week program, which will offer a variety of arts workshops to clients of New Life Mission, YWCA Women's Shelter and the Phoenix Centre. The one-time funding - through the B.C. Creative Communities Program – will allow the council to hire three instructors for the 30-weeks.
Kamloops Arts Council executive director Kathy Sinclair says, “it was identified in the strategic plan to begin offering arts workshops to members of the community that may not be able to otherwise access programs.”
The arts are good for aiding with both mental and physical health, Sinclair says, noting it also helps with building a sense of self esteem. The intention of the program is to provide a means for development of self-expression, self-esteem and life skills to individuals living in difficult situations, and will raise awareness of the arts as a vital partner in healthy communities.
The partner organizations have been great and staff will be on site to offer guidance. An arts therapist is also on the committee and has been offering input on how to structure the program, Sinclair says.
“The idea is these people we'll be working with will have a chance to try out some different art forms and there may be an opportunity to show the works and maybe even performances (near the end of the program.)”
The council is currently in the recruitment process for the art instructors and the hope is each of the instructors will be versatile enough to teach at least three mediums – such as painting, theatre and clay working. Hiring will take place early in May with the program set to start at the end of May and running through December.
While Sinclair is unsure if any similar programs have ever been offered in Kamloops there are programs across Canada, including some very successful ones in Vancouver. She hopes further funding and partners will come forward to help continue the program after the initial funding is up.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013