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April 15, 2020

Connecting community to resources during COVID-19

Whether you’re an artist, educator, or parent, you’ve likely experienced significant changes to your daily life over the past several weeks. We, too, are navigating these challenging times and reimagining how to deliver our programs under these new circumstances.

Our ability to make arts an integral part of young learners’ lives depends on our personal interactions and the ability to build relationships. From our annual Showcase to our artists bringing experiences to the classroom, to families attending the gallery for our weekend programming, so much of what we do depends on human connection.

While we can’t connect in person at this time, we are mapping out ways to support our community and bring our programming to you in new and exciting ways. In the meantime, we’re sharing some resources we’ve found helpful in this ever-evolving time.

With many families trying to find a balance amidst the new reality of schooling from home, the province has created an educational resource for families. This resource provides general guidelines and features daily activities for young learners at home. We're thrilled about how this new resource encourages families to slow down wherever possible and learn alongside young people by developing curiosity! What a powerful opportunity to make connections between the curriculum, the arts, and our daily lives.

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Perhaps that’s why the Getty Museum has taken to Twitter to inspire families to get creative at home. If you’re looking for a maker-style project, have people in your household recreate famous works of art with items you find in your home. The activity is a great opportunity to teach young learners about perspective, process, and representation.

Eight artists based in British Columbia have teamed up to provide young learners with a nature book that families can download, print at home, and work on together. The book features all sorts of creatures and activities to keep young learners engaged. Share your own creations and see what others have created by following ‘#NotBoredWithNature’ on social media.

The Chicago-based SkyART has taken their art studio online to provide virtual offerings. From constructing newspaper dinosaurs, to an introduction to watercolour, to even making a pizza at home, SkyArt provides a broad spectrum of creative activities for everyone.

As teachers and educators move to online learning, access to physical resources—like libraries—are limited. Many teachers have reached out to publishers directly for resources to continue educating young learners. The Association of Canadian Publishers has partnered with Access Copyright to deliver the Read Aloud Canadian Books Program. Teachers can now access books from participating publishers to incorporate storytime in their online curriculum. The program is part of the organization’s broader efforts to ensure the works of authors & illustrators are used with permission. It’s a win for everyone.

Artists, educators, and families will find the Culture Online project incredibly useful. This province-wide directory was created to sustain B.C.'s art and culture sector because #culturedoesntstop. The website features a calendar of live stream events. You can even submit your own event to be featured on the website.  

Options for arts-based relief resources are proliferating but it may be difficult to keep track of what’s available. The CBC is continually updating a list of resources for freelancers. Know of a resource not on the list? Send it to H.G. Watson.

ArtStarts offers the Creative Spark Vancouver grant to emerging artists interested in working with young people. The 2020 intake has updated project guidelines in light of COVID-19. The good news is we have extended the deadline. Artists have until May 26 to apply.

We look forward to when we can all be together again at the ArtStarts Gallery. In the meantime, we hope that these resources serve you. If you would like to stay up-to-date on our operations, programming, or other important information affecting our community, visit our blog and sign-up for our newsletter.

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