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June 16, 2017

Welcome to Our New Program Coordinator, Erica Lazo-Diaz!

Welcome, Erica!

Please join us in welcoming Erica Lazo-Diaz to the ArtStarts team as our new Program Coordinator for Booking and Touring!

Welcome, Erica! Please tell us a little about yourself.

I recently completed my degree at Simon Fraser University in International Studies with a concentration in Comparative World Politics, Culture and Society. I'm really passionate about exploring new places and learning about different cultures.

In the past I've worked in the hospitality industry, spa and wellness, and I had the opportunity to spend some time in El Salvador volunteering as an English teacher and participating in an election observation mission. I'm really excited to bring my knowledge and experience to my new role at ArtStarts!

Some of the things I enjoy most are travelling, tasting new cuisines, reading, writing, dancing and picking up new languages.

Why were you interested in joining the ArtStarts team?

As someone who strongly believes in the importance of art in everyone's life, I was really drawn to ArtStarts' vision of a society where the arts are considered an essential part of education. I was really excited by the idea of being part of a team that's working so hard to support young people, artists, teachers and the community through its various programs and resources. I'm so happy to be in a welcoming environment where creativity really flourishes!

Where did art start for you?

Art started at a young age for me, probably when I was first able to pick up crayons, although some of my drawings might have ended up on the wall! I also developed a love for writing stories and later on in high school; I had the opportunity of exploring film and theatre production.

How does creativity play a role in your life today?

I see creativity as playing a role in my life every day because I have opportunities to be creative on a daily basis, whether I'm choosing how to put together an outfit in the morning, trying out a new recipe, solving a problem at work or just being inspired by a song I'm listening to.

You're working with schools to coordinate Artists on Tour visiting schools across BC. In your opinion, what impact do performances in schools have on young audiences?

I think performances in schools have a huge impact on young audiences, firstly because it's a chance for them to experience something outside of the classroom and away from textbooks. Performances create a sense of excitement for young people and it gives them an opportunity to connect and learn in a unique way. When young people witness these performances it also sparks their own creativity and can really inspire young people to pursue and create their own art. The impact on young audiences can really have far reaching effects and it's the reason I'm a huge believer in making art accessible to everyone.

What are you looking forward to you in your new role at ArtStarts?

I'm really looking forward to working with artists and teachers to support the process of bringing art performances into schools across BC. I'm also really excited to learn more about all of our artists, watch some of their performances and hear from young people and schools about their experiences!

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