In February and March of this year I was an artist is residence in a Cree community in northern Quebec and part of The Mikw Chiyâm program. I had an awesome time and am looking forward to my next residency this upcoming year. This program is great and does so much more than teach students how to make art. It gives them a safe space in which to explore who they are and who they are becoming, and for some of them it is the only such place that they have in their lives. Without a doubt the opportunities given by this program for both the students and artists, and I would argue the school and community as a whole, are some of the best that I have seen from a program like this. The growth that I saw in the students over the course of my five weeks with them was incredible. My growth as an artist and educator was equally significant. This program does just as much for its artists as it does for its students. By providing me with the time and space away from the demands of my regular life I was able to simplify my mind and concentrate on one project at a time. They also provided extensive training prior to starting the residency in education, working in northern communities, mental health, and much more. I felt armed with more skills about how to be an effective teacher of the arts after my time in this program and am excited for the continual learning opportunities I will have by working with them. It’s a truly unique experience, one I am thankful to have had, and one I am excited to continue with in the future.
To read more about my experience you can check out this post I wrote for The Quebec Writers Association.
Artistically wanderingly yours,