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ArtEd Initiatives Begin the 2019-20 “Connect” Phase

In 2016, ELAN developed a project to explore how the organization could support its network of Artists in connecting with schools across the province.  Funding from the Government of Canada enabled ELAN to design, test, and scale strategies to connect Arts, Communities and Education (ACE). When the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers was created in 2018, the ACE Initiative was one of the first projects they selected for funding.

ACE 2.0, as we call it, is beginning the 2019-20 Connect phase –in October our ACE Facilitator, Paula Knowles will meet with 10 schools across the province. Each school will develop a vision for a project that students and teachers develop with artists and community members to meet education goals while contributing to personal and community vitality. ACE is now one of two programs the ArtEd team is supporting.

The ArtistsInspire Grants program, funded by the Government of Canada through the Action Plan for Official Languages, launched on May 23rd at the Laval Senior Academy. These $1500 micro grants provide every English public elementary and secondary school in the province with an opportunity to have students and teachers engage in creative artistic and cultural experiences during the school day. The first ArtistsInspire Grant experience took place at Sunnyside Elementary with artist cj fleury.  Our education partner, LEARN, has been a collaborator in our ArtEd work from day one, and without their networks and support our programs would not have succeeded.

As we began the new school year, ELAN’s ArtEd Initiatives worked on connecting with artists through a series of orientation sessions. ELAN’s ArtEd Team, led by Christie Huff, is focused on making a difference for every artist, community and school we have the privilege of connecting with. Artists who participated in our orientation sessions (60+) expressed gratitude for the work being done to enable them to achieve their potential as facilitators. As we reintroduce our ACE projects and launch into the first year of the ArtistsInspire Grants this fall, our team also organized a community organization outreach and information session that took place on September 10th.

Photo from artist orientation session in September 2019.

In October, Artists will have free professional development opportunities that have been designed to respond to needs they expressed. The ELAN ArtEd training program includes a QEP (Quebec Education Program) 101 for artists, a session on including students with special needs, a 2-day Mental Health First Aid program thanks to the support of the Community Health and Social Services network (CHSSN) and how to plan for multiple years of funding for ACE goals. Over the next 6-12 months, we will be designing professional development pathways for emergent artists to develop their knowledge and skills.

If you are an artist who is interested in our programs, please contact us through artistsinspiregrants@quebec-elan.org. We want to connect with every artist who identifies as a member of the English-speaking communities of Quebec and has experience working in school settings.