Visiting artists program a success with schools

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The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) awarded $26,780 in grants to 42 projects through the Visiting Artist Program between February and June 2013, a news release states.

The program is a joint initiative between the provincial government’s Cultural Connections: A Provincial Arts and Culture Strategy, the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association, and the NLAC. The management and administration of the program is conducted by the NLAC.

Schools apply for funding to bring artists, groups of artists, or arts organizations into the school to work with students in a wide variety of artistic disciplines. Projects are generally short term, ranging from a couple of hours to a few days. They may include activities such as performances, readings, or hands-on artistic workshops.

Some of the artists who took part in projects this year included Jerry Stamp and Ian Foster who explored practical applications of chords, song structure, and lyrical motifs with students in St. John’s, Pasadena, Deer Lake and Corner Brook, leading them to make their own compositions afterwards.

Visual artist Audrey Feltham hosted a full-day printmaking workshop about negative space, colour, lines, shape and form in Corner Brook; and Ed Kavanagh led workshops incorporating reading, writing and music focusing on dramatic storytelling, book illustration as well as the history and techniques of the Celtic harp in Holyrood, Shoal Harbour, and Swift Current.

“This program gets professional artists into classrooms across the province to enhance the learning outcomes of all grade levels and subjects in a hands on and interactive way,” says Reg Winsor, executive director of the NLAC. “Teachers welcome the artists into their classrooms to enrich the learning experience their students have, working with artists in creating their demonstrations and performances to align with curriculum goals.”

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers, Celtic

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Pasadena, Deer Lake Holyrood Shoal Harbour Swift Current

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