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Learning Lab: Workshop Series

Are you a professional artist interested in working with young people and educators in schools, but not sure where to start?

Already have experience working in schools, but want to enhance your skills and meet other artists in the field?

The Arts Integration Learning Lab is a unique professional development experience for artists designed to build your capacity to work alongside educators! Local artists and mentors will prepare you with the skills to plan, fund, and lead arts-integrated experiences in schools and classrooms across the province.

New Format

In an effort to make our programming even more accessible, we revised this Learning Lab to be open to artists of all disciplines on a free, by-registration basis! We also adjusted the format to stay in touch with the everyday realities of working artists. Workshops took place on Wednesday evenings at ArtStarts in Schools for six weeks We allowed participants to select the workshops that were the most meaningful to them and that worked for their schedule. Those who attended a minimum of three workshops was placed in a classroom in a Vancouver school where they were able to observe an artist at work with young people!

Here are the workshops we had offered in the recent Learning Lab: Workshop Series:

Funding, Art, & Schools

Join Director of Programs Emily Beam for a guided introduction to how ArtStarts can support you as an artist seeking to work (or already working) in schools. Interested in working in the school system but not sure where to start? Emily will walk you through our funding opportunities that can support you collaborating with teachers and inspiring young learners across the province! Together we’ll explore the Artists in the Classroom grant, Creative Spark grant, and take a look at our annual Showcase opportunity for performing artists.

Youth & Your Practice

Excited to work in schools, but not sure how to break down your creative practice in a way that works for young people? Join filmmaker and digital media artist Yunuen Perez Verrti for this in-depth workshop on meeting young people where they’re at! From “What if it’s too hard for kids?” to “What about my expensive equipment?”, we’re here to talk you through all your worries thanks to Yunuen’s wealth of experience in the film and television industry and working with youth in film!

Good Questions: An Artist’s Introduction to the BC Curriculum

Did you know that teachers in BC are working with a curriculum that was revised in the past few years? This workshop will introduce you to the variety of opportunities for artists embedded in the provincial curriculum. We’ll also explore pedagogical methods including inquiry-based learning and arts integration. The stronger the connections between your practice and the curriculum, the more likely your projects are to receive funding from ArtStarts, so don’t miss this workshop if you’re hoping to apply for our Artists in the Classroom grant!

How To Talk So Parents & Teachers Will Listen

Pitching your collaborative projects and describing your artistic practice to teachers and parents can be a major challenge for artists who are inspired to work in schools. Let us help you through this workshop! If you’re planning on applying for an Artist in the Classroom grant, don’t miss this session - successful AIC projects are created in close collaboration with teachers and school administrators. The grant also requires that 30% of project funding comes from the school community and parents can be a great help in sourcing funds to bring art to their young people!

Appreciation, Not Appropriation

Every year ArtStarts receives grant proposals that seek to engage with Indigenous symbols, knowledge, and community members without proper remuneration, context, or protocol. Learn why we turn down these projects and how to avoid appropriating from Indigenous groups in your own practice, especially with young people. We’re honoured to welcome educator Fiona Laporte for this important workshop that will walk you through how cultural appropriation harms Indigenous artists, educators, and students, and how your creative practice can demonstrate respect & solidarity instead. We’ll draw on the First Peoples Principles of Learning, a new aspect of the revised BC curriculum. If you’re planning on applying for an Artist in the Classroom grant, don’t miss this workshop! This workshop is designed for settlers but is also applicable to Indigenous artists working outside of their traditional territories. Fiona Laporte is a guest on Unceded Coast Salish territories with Anishinaabe and Metis roots.

Crowd Control

Worried about classroom management as an artist working in schools? Are you a marginalized artist with well-founded anxieties about experiencing oppression like racism, ableism, and homophobia in the classroom again? This workshop with veteran performer and teaching artist Rup Sidhu is designed to support you with some clear, simple strategies to improve your confidence in front of groups of young people and hold your own. We’ll also explore the boundaries between artist in the classroom and teacher, and where you can (and need to) turn to your educator-collaborators for support. You’re not on your own!

Field Trip!

Artists in Action in the Classroom—with Maggie Milne Martens and the Artists-in-Residence Studio Program

Local arts champion Maggie Milne Martens has collaborated with Emily Carr University of Art & Design, the Vancouver School Board, and other partners to transform locked and unused art rooms in schools across Vancouver into working studios through the AIRS program. Join small groups of Learning Lab participants in this invaluable opportunity to visit teaching artists at work in the classroom and see some of the strategies we’ve learned in action! In order to be eligible to attend a Field Trip, we ask that you attend three (or more) sessions of the Learning Lab. Field Trip sessions will take place during the day, to reflect the fact that teaching artists must have daytime availability to comply with school hours.