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Youth Arts Action

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Youth Arts Action

Youth Arts Action offers visual arts programming for youth 12 to 18 years old in diverse communities in Calgary. The program goes beyond art classes,  shifting the focus is on providing a safe space for youth to express and reflect on society, community and emotional topics.

Current Programming

Over 10-weeks, our program will explore the voices of youth through the therapeutic benefits of traditional art mediums through lessons, discussion and shared experiences with a professional facilitator. Cultivating in a final virtual art showcase, each youth will have a platform to share their art piece that demonstrates the theme and topic they are bringing awareness to.

Register Here

About the Facilitator

Kai

They focuse on the power of community and the strength in providing platforms for voices to be heard. Kai is a self-taught artist who holds the belief that creativity has the capacity to transcend our understanding of self, and our relation to the world around us. 

Kai obtained a Bachelor of Education from the University of Lethbridge and spent several years in Southern Alberta supporting youth through their work at the Boys and Girls Club and through her time as a middle school teacher. 

The intention of benefiting both youth and the community will be prevalent through the focus on Social Emotional Learning development and community art engagement.

Youth Arts Action is offered in 3 different locations on 3 different days! There are 15 spots available per location. See above for details.  

Programming Weekly Schedule

Week 1: Belonging Exploration through Paint Marker Art

In the kickoff session, participants will embark on a journey of self-exploration and community building. Youth will delve into the elements of belonging that drive their own individual sense of community.  Through thoughtful discussion, this week lays the groundwork for a collaborative and inclusive space within Youth Arts Action.  Using vibrant paint markers youth will create an art piece that reflects both the feeling and the spaces where they experience belonging. The intention of this week is to create a foundation of how the youth in Youth Arts Action can co-create a space of connection and welcome belonging for all participants. 

Week 2: Newspaper Connecting Community Stories: Weaving Narratives

In this session, youth will engage with the community through modern stories via newspapers, extracting stories that resonate with them. Through mixed media techniques, participants will creatively connect their own individual stories with broader community narratives, fostering a sense of belonging within the broader community. 

Week 3: Individuality Explored through Acrylic Squeegee Art

Individuality is explored through colors, patterns and the playful creativity of Squeegee art during this week’s session. Youth will engage in an expressive process, experimenting with colors and patterns to create personalized art pieces. The intention is to explore the uniqueness that each participants brings to the collective canvas of Youth Arts Action. 

Week 4: Journal Collage

In this session, we will explore individual identity through the creation of collaging a journal cover and back page. Using colour, shapes, and images as connections and metaphors for aspects of the youths’ individual identities. Focusing on how simple and small aspects of everyday life can draw a connection to who an individual identifies as. 

Youth will engage in discussions about what colours and shapes they are drawn to and what words they connect with these things, further then to how these words then connect to themselves and their experiences. These connections will then be expressed through the creation of a collaged cover and back panel for a journal. Which the youth can then use to continue this exploration of identity in any modality. Empathy and emotion management will center in this session’s creativity.  

Week 5: Self Portraits turned to Ash

In this week’s session youth will explore the ever-changing nature of identity and self. Participants will engage in a unique approach to creating self-portraits by combining watercolor and charcoal in an expressive drawing. In attempts to release judgements to the finished product youth will not look at their page and instead create their self portrait entirely from a feeling in their brush not from visual stimuli. In a symbolic gesture of impermanence and perpetual changes of life the self-portraits will be burned, and the ashes will be used in next week’s art piece.

Week 6: Textured Ash Reflection-Embracing Transformation

Building on last week’s symbolic burning of self-portraits, this week youth will explore how the transformation of individual identity can continue to shift and change as we learn more about ourselves through experiences and self-reflection. Participants will mix the ask from their self-portrait with acrylic paint to create a textured acrylic for an art piece that reflects their own becoming.  

zines youth arts action

Week 7: What is a Zine? Community Zine Creation Begins

This week marks the beginning of the communal Zine project that all youth across each location of Youth Arts Action will participate in. Exploring the concept of Zines, and how they are powerful tools for capturing diverse voices and stories will be at the heart of this week’s program. The collaborative effort of creating a unified Zine on the topic of Individual Identity and Nurturing belonging will commence during this session.

zines youth arts action

Week 8: Zine Completion- Celebrating Unity and Diversity

In this week’s session youth will finalize their contributions to the Youth Arts Action Zine. This celebratory week emphasizes the completion of the communal project that will be available for the community and at the Youth Zine Workshop Night. This Zine will highlight the diversity of voices within the group and the unity achieved through artistic collaboration. 

plate printing youth arts action

Week 9: Gelli Plate Printing: Unveiling the layers of Expression

This week youth will explore the layers of identity through gelli printing with acrylics. Gelli printing is a unique technique that involves creating captivating prints using a gelatin plate. Youth will explore the endless possibilities of this medium experimenting with color, texture and layering to bring their creative vision to life. As we prepare for the upcoming Zine Workshop, youth will transform their prints into vibrant collage elements to contribute for their peers to use in their zines. Today’s session invites youth to create something of meaning to their individual identity and share it with fellow youth across the city. 

Week 10: Youth Workshop Zine Night

In the final session of this program cycle youth will come together for a Youth Workshop Zine Night where they will create zines that express their individual identity. The event will be open to any youth, age 12-18 in the city including the participants of Youth Arts Action. The communal event will invite youth to showcase their individual identity and foster a sense of belonging among peers. Additionally, the Youth Arts Action Collaborative Zine will be on display and available for viewing at the event.  

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