SUMMERSIDE –Island students will benefit from the in-depth knowledge and experience of local artists during the 2013 ArtsSmarts program.
Culture Minister Robert Henderson said ArtsSmarts helps make learning more dynamic and meaningful by taking everyday subjects like math, language arts and social studies and incorporating the skills and experience of Island artists.
“The theory is to try to allow students to broaden their horizons and get a better sense of art and how that translates into education,” Henderson said.
The minister said some of the projects could pertain to social studies, or art around history or science.
“I just read some of the stuff on micro chromatic colours and how that has an impression on people,” he said. “So, I guess there would be different ways that they would benefit the students. It is about trying to promote the concept of art and linking that with other sciences and other types of study.”
He said it would be a collaboration between the teachers and the mentor – in this case the artists.
“But there do seem to be a variety of topics but in the briefing I got it was more around how that artistic project linked to different types of study and it was certainly more study than just art itself.”
The minister said the funding provided by the province benefits more than just the students.
“For the amount of money we spend we feel we’re getting a good promotion of the artistic community,” he said. “We’re able to help artisans in communities through a little bit of some financial reward plus what the students benefit from it and the community in general.”
The schools identify that they would like to participate in the program and this year 10 schools are participating.
“They would have to find that linkage to developing a concept and find an artisan that would be willing to participate and then we would grant the approval and hand out the money and go from there,” Henderson said. “We contributed $78,000 for 11 artisans and 10 schools. That provided some supplies, some learning materials a stipend to the artisan. That’s basically what the money was spent for.”
Hundreds of Island students from kindergarten to Grade 12 will participate in this year¹s ArtsSmarts program along with 11 local artists. This is the ninth year for ArtsSmarts in Island Schools.