Learning from the DESIGN! & TEST! Phases

In early 2016, ELAN received funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage to explore how to support artists in engaging with English schools to benefit students and connect with community members.

The initiative’s DESIGN! phase began with a full day of strategic thinking on how to develop ACE connections, pulling together a diverse group of people from the Arts, Community, and Education sectors.

Fifty ACEJam! participants brainstormed overall networking, communications and capacity building strategies needed for projects to succeed in the TEST! phase.

ACEJam! participants also generated TEST! Project ideas that were shared with potential applicants to develop projects involving artists, teachers, students and community members. Communities selected for funding were encouraged to develop capacity and sustainability by finding local partners and additional funding.

The Five ACE TEST! Projects explored themes of identity, community, culture, and belonging, with several including development of intergenerational and/or intercultural relationships through diverse arts disciplines. 

Learning exchanges were facilitated amongst project coordinators virtually during project implementation and in person at the TEST! phase finale event, ACElebrate!, in the fall of 2017. Representatives of all ACE sectors were involved in advisory roles throughout the TEST! phase and continue to contribute to the planning and implementation of the SCALE! phase.

ACEJam! participants – 2016