Culture is defined as the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. … The word “culture” derives from a French term, which in turn derives from the Latin “colere,” which means to tend to the earth and grow.
Exposing our children to the arts is a way of nurturing and helping them grow. “Fundamentally, it’s about creativity – what does it take for a plant to grow? It’s basic creation, as is art!” says Irena Zenewych, a local Art Educator, has been involved in a various art therapy initiatives. Her work with Arts After School Kids (AASK) as both a board member and instructor has brought a compassionate and nurturing approach to bringing every day art to every day kids. The free program has been a fixture in Brantford for 12 years, with financial help from various organisations. It is designed for grade 6-8 and provides musical and artistic programming after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The main goal of the program is to reconnect the youth with their creativity, build self esteem, confidence, leadership within the youth groups and the community.
Irena has also had an idea to bring some of the art into the Equal Ground Community Gardens around the City, There there are several art events planned in the gardens over the course of the growing season. Irena is going to leave art randomly displayed in the gardens, for onlookers to enjoy and to take home if they feel like it. These “Garden Galleries” will pop up throughout the city gardens and it is hoped that people will take the art and perhaps also make a donation to the program.
AASK have received partial funding to continue in September and are holding a fundraiser at the Brantford Curling Club, 34 Morrell St on May 5, 6pm – 1am. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Featured musicians are Juneyt, Jason and Tyler McCarthy. Some of the past participating kids’ art will be for sale at the event.