Learning Lab Spring 2022: Grow + Sustain

During the pandemic, we’ve all gained an even deeper understanding how important it is for artists to be able to have as many tools at their disposal to build a sustainable art practice.

This series of free professional development workshops will be held online on evenings and weekends - to accommodate artists with many different types of scheduling needs.

Students and educators take part in art activities

Everything in the Spring 2022 Digital Learning Lab is designed to prepare you as an artist to expand your practice and become better equipped to finding funding and avenues in making art with young people in the new normal, including:

  • An information and networking session for artists and educators related to our Artist in the Classroom (AIC) Grant.
  • Having an opportunity to connect with staff from the BC Arts Council and learn more about their funding opportunities, and getting grant writing tips from a fellow professional artist.
  • The opportunity to watch and chat with an artist-in-action and connect with peers looking to expand and sustain their practices similar to you.

In order to keep online attendance manageable and facilitate deeper learning, we are asking artists to fill out a short application form for the Spring 2022 Digital Learning Lab.

This is not a competitive juried process but spaces are limited. We will simply ask you a few questions to make sure this program is the right fit for you and that you’ll have a satisfying online learning experience among peers. Spots in the Learning Lab will be allotted based on your ability to commit to the majority of sessions and demonstrated interest in working with young people specifically in the school system.

Some previous experience working with children and youth is considered a benefit, but is not essential. You will not be required to prepare a portfolio.

Emerging and professional artists from across the province of BC are eligible to apply. To apply, fill out this short form by 11:59PM Thursday, March 3rd, 2022. The Digital Learning Lab will take place from March 8th to the 19th. You’ll know if you’ve been accepted into the program by no later than March 4th.

The Learning Lab will not cover the following topics:

  • How to teach fine arts techniques
  • Basic group facilitation skills
  • Early childhood & adolescent development
  • Grading, discipline, and other skills specific to the teaching profession
  • Any information not yet released by BC’s Ministry of Education or Health
  • We recommend that you have a basic comfort level with techniques in your own art practice, and some confidence with group facilitation, prior to applying for the Lab.

Completing the ArtStarts Learning Lab does not:

  • Guarantee you a position working in the school system as an artist
  • Guarantee that you will receive one of our Artists in the Classroom grants - but it helps!

Our hope is that through the completion of the Lab, you’ll be inspired to pursue work in arts education on a path that is right for you. 


Workshop Dates and Information:

Artists in the Classroom Grant: Info Session and Teacher & Artist Mixer with Lily Cryan

Tuesday, March 8, 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Are you a professional artist interested in applying for the AIC grant, but need support finding a teacher to work with? Join this session facilitated by ArtStarts Program Manager Lily Cryan to meet potential collaborators and work through some curriculum ideas together! Educators interested in attending this event can sign up until March 7.
Ask A Teacher! Your Questions on Working in the Classroom with two BC educators

Thursday, March 10, 6pm to 8pm

Concerned about classroom management? Have questions about the day-to-day reality of life as a teacher? Worried about what the role of an artist in the school will look like amid COVID-19 precautions? Bring your curiosity to this one-hour session with guest educators from across the province. No one has all the answers, but we can be strategic and creative together!
Grants 101 with BC Arts Council Staff

Monday, March 14, 5:30pm to 7:30pm

In this session, BC Arts Council staff will show participants how to set up an Individual Profile and navigate through the online grant system so they can apply for funding. The session will offer an overview of BCAC's relevant granting programs and tips on writing strong grants for individual artists. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about any of BCAC’s granting programs.
Grantwriting: An Artist’s Perspective with Natalie Gan

Wednesday, March 16, 6pm to 7:30pm

Have you ever been daunted by the idea that you have no idea who could be reading that grant you’ve submitted, or are thinking about writing? Or that you haven’t been able to ask for anyone’s advice on a grant you’ve written? Take this opportunity to hear from a fellow artist, independent choreographer and interdisciplinary artist Natalie Gan, on her experiences in grant writing. What has and hasn’t worked for her in the past, and how she views grant writing from her experiences.
Artist in Action: Alyssa Martens at ArtStarts Explores

Saturday, March 19, 11am to 1pm

Observe our new Program Manager and artist Alyssa Martens as she facilitates Explores! ArtStarts Explores is a beloved community program that encourages families and young people to develop their creativity by focusing on process over product. There are only three rules at Explores, and the first rule is that there are no expectations! Alyssa takes our theme of “Grow & Sustain” in a different direction - one in which she applies her learnings in climate justice to the content and process of art-making in an ArtStarts Explores session. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect after the workshop ends at noon; we’ll convene for discussion from 12:15 until 1pm!

Students and educators take part in art activities