As we walk through the school group entrance of the magnificent building, take our coats off and hang them up, we shake off the bitter cold of a January day in Toronto. The DAREarts team is visiting the Royal Ontario Museum as part of our All The Arts Architecture Day. The ROM has been hosting DAREarts for years, and thousands of our students have been guided through its halls by its engaging interpreters. It’s all part of a “taste-test” of cultural and arts institutions. A lot of these kids, who live in the outer reaches of the GTA, have never been to the city centre before, and this is the first time they’ve been to a museum.
Down to Business
Our large group of DAREarts students is split into two groups. When they get together, they’ll have different perspectives to share with each other.
They need to learn to focus on the research they’re doing today. They can’t help but see the dinosaurs looming outside the windows of the great hall of Roman History. This is all part of an examination of the Renaissance Period. A time of change. Turmoil. Growth. Explosive creativity.
Part of the story is that the Elizabethan people were fascinated by the Roman and Greek eras, and fashioned their subjects after classical statuary and architecture. A sprinkle of real life for the people of the time: they didn’t take baths but twice a year. They threw their refuse out the window. They didn’t know that germs were carried in bad water. But they did have the first inoculation against disease. Queen Elizabeth 1 had the first needle, and the nation followed, sparking the first national immunization program. And, if you were of nobility, the likelihood of a Royal visit was great, especially during cleaning time at her house.
When our lovely guide, (who knows Arabic, by the way) mentions different column styles, and points out a column, the kids in unison make a hand gesture that describes “Ionic columns!” They study facades carefully. They’ll be making facades out of foam later.
They learn to be respectful of other peoples’ enjoyment of public places.
They learn a lot about human nature, ingenuity, historic perspective, and the wonder of it all. And guess what? I learn all about those things all over again!
DAREarts would like to thank the ROM for helping these kids reach their potential to be leaders in our communities.
Please go to the ROM for information on tickets. You might want to check out those dinosaurs!