CODE was at The Canadian Network for Arts and Learning (CNAL) Conference in Ottawa! A full Conference with many take-away questions, inspiring ideas, and connections made with Educators and Artist Educators from across Canada, the highlights of which we share here with you, our members. Read on!
- Outstanding panel discussion with Youth on the topic of diversity in Arts Education, representation and building relationships. Lina Moreno, Director of Research and Development at Mikw Chiyam (Montreal) reminded us about the importance of creating cultural activities and experiences with care, and creating space for youth to explore what they feel is important, and to claim their voices, to create ‘with’ instead of ‘for’(visit Lina’s organization at mikwchiyam.com).
- The gifted words of Mars (One Mic Educators) in her poem about Feminism were a call to action and an impassioned expression of what ‘our’ feminism is and can be. Mars’ colleague Amoya Reé encouraged arts and arts education advocacy organizations to include youth and diversity panels as part of their offerings to support a learning opportunity for all and foster exchange between educators and those who are the benefactors of education programs (www.onemic-educators.com).
- Inspiring performances were also provided by hoop dancer Rhonda Doxtator of Oneida First Nation, Poet Laureate Jamaal Jackson (www.justjamaalthepoet.com), and street dance performance group Bboyizm led by Yvon Soglo. For more information on these artists, the programs they offer, and other artist in the classroom opportunities visit the Multicultural Arts for School and Communities website (www.masconline.ca) and check out the tremendous programming available to those living in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.
- Tanya Senk and Mervi Salo of TDSB in their session “Learning from Indigenous Artists and Art” presented a framework for approaching diversity and Indigenous education specifically, discussing the need for Respect, Relevance, Responsibility and Reciprocity – a useful conceptual tool to keep in mind when approaching work from different cultures in general.
- Dr. Yujin Hong, Director of the Centre for Arts Education Initiatives, and Hyejin Yang of the Korean Arts and Culture Education Service spoke about how their government has mandated Arts Education policy in their country and CNAL Chair, Larry O’Farrell, discussed the tenants of the Seoul Agenda which were adopted by UNESCO in 2010 with an aim to turning policy into action. The Seoul Agenda articulates the need to provide access to quality arts education, and to pursue arts education with a goal to ensure the arts are used to solve social, cultural and economic problems of the world. For more on this document go to The UNESCO site and search Seoul Agenda (www. unesco.org).
- For more on this Conference as well as The Canadian Network of Arts and Learning go to www.eduarts.ca.