Sponsored by Northbridge Insurance, in March, Ms. Field and DAREarts Montreal Coordinator Sarah Manolson along with artists, teachers and community members to launch a local program for an initial 30 teens who have already experienced life challenges. The two participating schools were Perspectives 1 and Vezina Alternative Schools.
After the successful public showcase on April 5th, 2014, hosted by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, DAREarts was invited by Montreal’s only multilingual community Radio Centre-Ville, 102.3FM station to talk about the youth’s experience. Here is a partial transcript from the show, which aired April 12, 2014.
Taking Risks – DAREarts youth disclose discoveries about themselves: The young people, Vito, Martin, Mimi and Shaila, were interviewed by Stan Asher and Andrea Hazelwood for the Arts Notebook program. At first, the high school students spoke in chopped up sentences, a little unsure, but as they settled in, they got more comfortable about talking about themselves.
Andrea: I went to your showcase last week and I was very impressed by the work that you’ve done. And thank you very much, Vito, for holding the door for me. I was very impressed by that. Very gentle-manly. I appreciate that. What did you like best about the week? It was very intensive, I understand.
Mimi: What I enjoyed the most was making new friends and discovering more about myself. I’m not so scared of taking chances anymore. So I take risks and stuff. Like coming on the radio and speaking today.
Stan: Why is that so risky? I do it every week. (They all laugh, and the kids relax.)
Vito: My favourite part was creating a self-portrait of me.
Martin: My favourite part has to be looking at all the art at the museum. They were very intricate, seeing all the personalities – how the art was displayed, how intriguing it was. It popped out.
Mimi: I like the Museum of Fine Arts. Because they had the artefacts from Picasso.
Andrea: Oh, you like Picasso! Is there a particular style that you liked? A particular period?
Mimi: Actually, I liked the cubist one.
Stan: That’s interesting, I never met anybody who looks like any of the people in Picasso’s paintings. (All laugh)
Sarah: When we were at the McCord Museum, we had this wonderful artist working with us. Sylvain Rivard, and he shared a lot with us about the difference between the way the media portrays the “Natives”, so to speak, and the actual rhythms he showed us on the drum and some dances and taught us a lot about the culture. That was a real gift for us.
Martin: You know how in Hollywood they display Native American Indians, like people that like do all this weird stuff? That’s fake. So it was very interesting to meet Sylvain, it was really interesting to hear what was real and seeing all the interesting clothes they wore, and doing the dances and learning about his culture.
Andrea asked them what they liked most about DAREarts.
Vito: One of the things that I found interesting about DAREarts is that no other group up to now has put teamwork as an emphasis – for example Martin aided my art design and it helped our group a lot more. It bonded our circle more than it would have without any form of teamwork.
Martin: I really don’t know how to describe it. I teamed up with Vito, and so, we kind of built a friendship together. I really like DAREarts, because – it’s really ingenious how they put two schools together to interact.
Vito: And I found it interesting to work with Martin. He had many interesting ideas that we spoke about, that we created this form of art and we collaborated.
Shaila: I worked with Mimi. We are very similar in many ways, but she likes drawing and I like painting so when it came up – she showed me how to do the different styles of things.
When asked about what kind of risks they took when they were in the program, they talked about how shy they were when they started.
Vito: I took a risk when we were on stage. But when I was with DAREarts and the group I wasn’t nervous. I was fairly excited.
Shaila: My biggest risk was…well for one, I met a lot of people which I was very happy about, because there’s a lot of cool people that I met in the other school. Probably the risk was working outside my comfort zone; so when I draw I like to perfect my stuff – I try, I don’t usually do but I try. We had to make a cardboard sculpture, and what I learned was that art doesn’t have to be beautiful, because the theme was really to make something hideous. And so I found that for once, just being able to let go and just make anything out of cardboard and crayons was pretty fun.
Stan: Well you’re all relaxed here, which I commend, very much. What is DAREarts to you?
Martin: DAREarts is discipline, Vito: DAREarts is Action, Shaila: DAREarts is Responsibility, Mimi: DAREarts is Excellence.
All: DAREarts is us.
Photos by Frederic Chais for DAREarts. The DAREarts Montreal artists-educators were:musician and Hip-Hop artist, Butta Beats;videographer, Elijah Baker; artist, Margot Klingender;Oscar winning film producer Frederic Bohbot; dancer Marc Pronovost; and Aboriginal musician, writer and broadcaster, Sylvain Rivard. The teaching team was: Laura MacKinnon, DAREarts Lead Teacher who is a past artist-educator for Learning through the Arts, the National Ballet, Danceworks and the Canadian Opera Company; Marie-Helene Lemaire, a Montreal based experienced museum educator in contemporary art, Emily Rose Michaud, an artist, performer and community teacher-organizer bridging art and ecology;and Stephen Legari, Montreal based art therapist and art facilitator working in secondary school, addiction recovery, private practice and arts-based community work. Alex Leonard-Coloccia, aMontreal secondary student and musician, photographer assisted the team as Student Apprentice. With lead sponsorship fromNorthbridge Insurance, DAREarts is working in partnership withThe Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, The McCord Museum, The Canadian Centre of Architecture, DHC-ART and Tangente asEducation Partners. Each of these Montreal institutions generously provided space for the youth to explore their creativity as well as innovative educational tours with their educational staff working closely with the DAREarts teaching team and artists. If you would like to donate towards our Montreal program, visit our DONATE page or click the button on the sidebar.