A really awesome innovative youth leadership project has been happening in five Manitoba communities over the past year and a half; in
- Gladstone – Gladstone and area Rec Centre
- Carberry – Carberry Plains Arts Council
- Steinbach – Steinbach Arts Council
- Flin Flon – Flin Flin Arts Council
- Morden – Back 40 Festival (and high school)
Thanks to funding from The Department of Canadian Heritage and under the initiative, leadership and coordination of the Manitoba Arts Network (MAN) and Facilitator Sue Hemphill. The name of the Youth project is YEP! for Youth Engagement Project.
Youth from 13 – 21 years old have been working together, forming committees with support, guidance and encouragement from their local arts council or presenting organization. Their goal or mission, to plan all aspects of a youth audience oriented professional arts performance (music, theatre, and dance). For a year and a half they have been being mentored in all aspects of bringing professional performing artists to present to youth-age audiences (including their families and the broader community) in their community. Youth identify professional performing artists of interest, poll the youth in their community to determine what performance the youth are most interested to see in their community, negotiate contracts, advertise the performance, fundraise (in year two) and manage and evaluate the professional performing arts presentation project.
In year one the performances and community workshops were to be free of charge and therefore were fully funded by The Department of Canadian Heritage project funding.
In year two only some of the required funds are provided so, in year two a ticket fee can be charged to generate the rest of the revenue needed for the show. The year one performances and the workshops to develop the audience that the artists gave in all five communities were very well received. The artists were:
Now we are in year two of the YEP pilot and the youth in the five communities are right in the process of selecting their artists.
This year in October 2018, the annual MAN Showcase (an arts festival and conference) is being held in Portage La Prairie. MAN has invited youth involved in YEP in the five rural / northern communities to attend the Oct. Showcase, take in the 20 professionals performances over three nights and attend workshop and network during the day, while both demonstrating and gainer further leadership abilities and job related skills. MAN through funding support provided by: is able to cover some of the costs for the students to attend Showcase but they need to find a way to cover the remaining costs.
Sue Hemphill is our Youth Engagement Project. Sue has provided consultation and facilitation for multiple workshops and projects for both the Manitoba Arts Network and Arts and Cultural Industries (ACI). Her background and training in the arts and cultural sector makes her a uniquely creative and engaging educator and organizational developer. http://www.healthyhive.ca/