Street Art Fest: giving Ottawa's youth a voice
Passion 4 Youth Fine Arts Program
November 21, 2012
Overview:Street-Engaged Youth in Ottawa
- an average of 500 youth use Ottawa shelters each year
- mortality rates and suicide attempts are 10 times higher among street-engaged youth than the general population
The Passion 4 Youth Fine Arts Program (P4Y)
So often, people look at youth on the streets and see only the negatives: delinquency, drug use, poverty... These youth, in turn, are so accustomed to focusing on their deficits that they begin to define themselves in these ways, making positive change seem hopeless.
In 2009, Ottawa Innercity Ministries initiated the Passion 4 Youth Fine Arts Program in order to support street-engaged youth by focusing on their strengths. We have found that by identifying strengths and building on them, big changes can occur. The program runs weekly on Thursday evenings It begins by sharing a hot meal together, and is followed by the youth creating art and music. We have bi-annual art shows so that the youth can display their art for the community.
When P4Y began, we had 9 youth participate in the first year. There are now 18 youth in the program, and several youth who have graduated from the program after finding housing, employment or education.
National Youth Arts Week
National Youth Arts Week is all about celebrating the arts and promoting leadership among young people. More than that, it promotes the arts among all youth, despite economic status or situation. P4Y would like to participate in this initiative by holding a a large Art and Music Show during National Youth Arts Week 2013. This event would be planned and organized by the youth in the Passion 4 Youth Fine Arts Program but would also include other street-engaged youth in Ottawa and other organizations in the city that support street-engaged youth. This would be a large scale event that would allow for a large number of youth to participate and would include music, poetry, creative writing and various forms of visual arts.
This event would promote empowerment among the youth and would help them feel more of a connection to their community.
Thank you for your consideration.