The st.ART Project was designed to address several issues within our immediately surrounding community, including the lack of recreational/educational opportunities for youth, the lack of funding to schools and other organizations for the arts, and finally the issue of community improvement/beautification. The st.ART Project began by fortuitous circumstance when over a period of time children and youth began to wander into our facility at 109 Higgins, then only an urban art gallery, looking for something to do. The artists began to anticipate these children and youth and would organize the spare supplies available and lesson plans for our young visitors.
From this experience sprang the concept of the st.ART Project. We are proud to say that over the past 12 years, the project has been at the forefront of arts programming, always changing and evolving to meet the needs and demands of our participants, keeping them interested, motivated, learning, and growing. The st.ART Project builds capacity and abilities that encourages self esteem, work ethic, and work experience. Fostering a sense of creative cooperation, self healing, and creative problem solving are at the core of st.ART Studio values.
After school workshops have proven to be a valuable community resource. An influx of youth, as well as community groups such as Rossbrook House, Andrews Street Centre, Winnipeg Boys & Girls Club, Marymound Residential Centre, B & L Youth Services, to name only a few, aid in our programs growth and address the value of partnerships towards holistic community development.
The st.ART Project has also afforded the opportunity over the years for thousands of students, through their schools, daycares, organizations, etc. to tour the facility and gain a greater understanding of the genre of graffiti and how to take it “Off The Wall”. Groups complete workshops on planning and executing their own murals, whether with acrylic paint, aerosol or collage. Each of the groups has left with a sense of pride in their art; many returning over and over again as a result of their positive experiences.
Part of our belief continues to be centered around preparing young people for life by developing their self esteem through a combination of education and real life experiences. When the right combination can be offered to each individual, under the guidance and mentorship of caring adults and experienced artists, what follows is a well adjusted youth. We are proud to say that in 2009/2010 we have had 1200 individual children and youth take part in our programming, for a total of just over 10,000 participations at our various st.ART Studios.
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