CULTIVATING CREATIVITY: Supporting the next generation of artists

 

Winners of the 2019 Arts Education Student Bursaries

“During these unprecedented times, more and more people are turning to the arts as distraction and comfort; the value of arts to the betterment of individual and community health has never been more clear,” says executive director Janet Jarrell. “Supporting the next generation to consider the arts as a valuable and viable career option is more timely and more important now than at any time in our history.”

The impact of a school closure due to COVID-19 goes beyond academics. Parents (and students) are feeling anxiety and uncertainty about the future of the school year: when will kids go back and how can I best support them during this time?

The team at the Quinte Arts Council are all parents: we’re feeling it too.

However, despite the significant disruptions caused by the pandemic, our commitment to arts education remains a fundamental part of our mandate. We work to support artists of all ages and stages, and that includes students.

To name just some of our work: we provide funding for teachers to bring professional artists into classrooms for experiential learning; we have a student membership category that gives young artists access to discounted workshops, as well as our open calls for submission, including QAC shows (we’ve had student representation in our photography, self-portrait, LGBTQ+ and, most recently, our RISE: Because We are Equal shows); and in 2019 we had more than 350 students participate in our Arts en Plein Air Festival and Competition, which paired professional artists with classrooms for an afternoon of painting “in the open air.” We are also building our Youth Arts Advisory Committee with members from each of the high schools to help direct and inform our activities, as well as plan their own events.

All of these activities are temporarily suspended under COVID-19, and as of writing there is no return to school date for students, though we know the province has extended the Declaration of Emergency to May 12 — an extension that may be re-evaluated based on public health advice.

Nonetheless, the province has recognized the unique needs of students in grades 11 and 12, and ensured no student will have their graduation compromised by COVID-19.

To further support graduating students, while schools may be closed, the applications for our Arts Education Program are open. Each year the Quinte Arts Council sponsors and facilitates six Arts Education Bursaries for a total of $3,000 to encourage post-secondary education in an arts field.

“During these unprecedented times, more and more people are turning to the arts as distraction and comfort; the value of arts to the betterment of individual and community health has never been more clear,” says executive director Janet Jarrell. “Supporting the next generation to consider the arts as a valuable and viable career option is more timely and more important now than at any time in our history.”

Bursaries include: the Quinte Arts Council Students Arts Bursary, the Hugh O’Neil Bursary, the Susan Richardson Bursary and the Elaine A. Small Bursary. Full details about criteria, eligibility, submission requirements and the application forms are available online.

We have also extended the application deadline to May 15. Should this prove to be limiting, please let us know.