Art Education Program

Mandate

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Program intention is to teach young students, both of First Nation and Non-First Nation ancestry, the skills, history and stories of traditional First Nation artwork through weekly instruction by an advanced carver from Northern Cultural Expressions Society. Through creating and reflecting the processes, youth can increase awareness of self and others. For youth with special challenges it can assist them to cope with symptoms, stress and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.

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Two of the advanced carvers from our organization will be leading as instructors in the schools with their participants. If the attending school has the goal of developing young artists, lessons begin with learning traditional shapes, recognizing traditional designs and understanding why art was traditionally made in First Nations Culture. As students progress the move on to more skill-intensive projects. The participants will be supplied with sketchbooks and drawing implements and will have full use of shop tools and painting supplies. The studio will also provide various books that will assist participants with design ideas. The instructing area will be prepared before participants arrive and cleaned beforehand and by participants when the lesson is over. Teachers or principals are required to be in attendance to supervise their students but are always welcome to participate.

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Overview

The purpose of the Art Education Project is to bring experiential cultural programming into Yukon schools and to help grow and sustain traditional art forms in the Yukon. The project also aims to increase awareness in both First Nations and Non-First Nation students of the rich and varied artistic and cultural history of the Yukon. In the process, it is our hope to affect change in young peoples lives and in our communities.

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Traditionally, NCES has targeted youth at risk for their programming. The Art Education Project also focused on these youths but also wanted to open the program up to all students who showed interest in the art form.

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Another aim of the Project is to improve instruction and planning in order to better meet the needs of our students. While this serves to enrich the students experience the process is also beneficial to our Carvers and the long-term sustainability of the project itself. As we continue to build, develop and hone our skills as instructors/mentors, we open up possibilities and move forward toward reaching long-term goals of the Project.

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