Cultivating Creativity: Christmas show helps fund the next generation

Photo by David McDonald

 

“The Quinte Arts Council’s Arts Education Program helps fund programming experiences not otherwise available to young people in our community,” says executive director Janet Jarrell. “It is vital to the succession of arts and culture in our community.”

 

By Fiona Campbell/Quinte Arts Council

Art and creative expression play a critical role in child and youth development. Studies show the benefits of an arts education lasts longer than the school years; early and sustained exposure to different arts experiences helps foster innovative thinking and problem solving, stimulates fine motor skill development, increases motivation and engagement with learning, and even cultivates compassion.

But provincial cuts to arts education have hit students hard, and enterprising teachers are searching for ways to fill gaps and provide enriching opportunities for their students. Enter the Quinte Arts Council.

“The Quinte Arts Council’s Arts Education Program helps fund programming experiences not otherwise available to young people in our community,” says executive director Janet Jarrell. “It is vital to the succession of arts and culture in our community.”

Since 2003 the QAC has supported local schools by bringing visual and performing artists into elementary and secondary classrooms throughout the Quinte region; to name just a few, local musician Matt Smith played blues guitar with students at Eastside, Belleville artist Emebet Belete shared her love of mixed media in Stirling, potter Perry Poupore created hands-on experiences at schools in Belleville, and watercolour artist Donna Bonin painted at Trenton High School.

The QAC also awards six annual bursaries to graduating students who are pursuing post-secondary arts education. The latest round of bursary winners are currently studying at OCAD, Queen’s, Wilfred Laurier, University of Ottawa and beyond, and realizing their dream of turning their passions into rewarding careers.

But the need is increasing: in 2019 we received more than three times the number of applications than awards. The QAC’s goal is to narrow the gap between the need and our means – and we need your help.

The Sultans of String Christmas Caravan Concert on Dec. 12 at The Empire Theatre is not only an opportunity to celebrate an incredible night of music – think Christmas favourites with a world music twist – but to help the QAC help the next generation of artists. Proceeds of the show will support the Quinte Arts Council Arts Education Program.

This is Christmas as you’ve never heard it, and if you’re looking for something different, something that will blow hearts and mind, a show that will get your friends, family and coworkers talking – and help us help kids – this is it.

In addition to Sultans’ show, there will also be an art sale featuring the work of local artists including Mark Hopper, Lori Meeboer, Robert Tokley and Barbara Whelan. There will also be a 50/50 draw and a raffle for original art, as well as prints.

Tickets are available through quinteartscouncil.org/sultans-of-string. If you are unable to attend the show, please consider making a donation.