The Re-Vision Our World: Engaging Art for Change Project was a school based initiative designed to develop the capacity of students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 to work towards a future free from discrimination and racism through three steps. It was created by Concrete Theatre and our community partner The Centre for Race and Culture through the generosity of two major grants from the Edmonton Arts Council Lee Fund and the Alberta Human Rights, Education and Multiculturalism Program.
How did the program work?
First, the students viewed an age appropriate piece of professional social action theatre produced by Concrete Theatre with racism and difference as the theme. In the fall of 2011 Junior and Senior High students viewed the teen production Offensive Fouls. In the winter of 2012, Elementary aged students viewed Lig & Bittle.
Secondly students participated in a follow-up interactive workshop provided by the Centre for Race and Culture that built on the concepts raised by the play and explored the complex issues around racism, discrimination and empowerment. These workshops were led by Karen Chinaleong-Brooks as well as volunteers from the Peace Ambassadors Program at the Centre for Race and Culture.
Finally with the help of professional artist facilitators provided by Concrete Theatre, students created their own piece of visual art or theatre that expressed each student’s own re-visioning of their world. Artist facilitators included Lynette Maurice and Cindi Zuby who led the visual art workshops and April Banigan, Nadien Chu, Caroline Howarth, Mieko Ouchi and Bob Rasko who led the theatre workshops.
The project culminated on March 21st, the day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at City Hall. The Celebration featured words of welcome and congratulations from City Councillor Amarjeet Sohi and sharing of the visual art and theatre pieces from several schools created by students in the Re-Vision Our World program, as well as a beautiful reception catered by Kids in the Hall.
Thanks to all the students, teachers and administrators who made this possible. The program was a huge success! Thank you for being so welcoming to both organizations as we came into your schools and classrooms. And thank you for being such thoughtful, compassionate citizens of this city and sharing your thoughts about re-visioning the world we live in with your fellow Edmontonians.
The 13 Edmonton schools who participated include:
A Blair McPherson School
Anne Fitzgerald Elementary School
Callingwood Elementary School
Highlands Junior High School
J Percy Page Senior High School
St. Basil’s Junior High School
St. Catherine’s School
Spruce Avenue Junior High School
Westmount Junior High School
The program was generously funded by: