Culture News

Red Lake gears up for first National Youth Arts Week

By Lindsay Briscoe

The recently born Red Lake Youth Arts Collective is joining Canadian communities from coast to coast in organizing “eruptions of art across the country” for National Youth Arts Week (NYAW) May 1-7 in Red Lake.

NYAW Organizer Rihkee Strap says so far the group is planning an opening ceremony at the Heritage Centre, a two-day silk screen workshop at the Indian Friendship Centre where participants will learn how to print their own design on a bandana, a digital display of art and photography on Howey Street, an open house at the high school featuring students’ work and a special open mic night at the Red Lake Legion to close out the week on May 7. There are lots of other events in the works.

“We’re talking about potentially doing a seed bomb-making workshop,” says Strap. “That’s where you take wild flower seeds and organic fertilizer or soil and clay and little bit of water and you roll it into ball…basically what people usually do is throw them into dilapidated areas or ugly plots of land that have nothing going on and then random gardens grow.”

Strap says even though NYAW is organized and created by people between 13 and 30, the events themselves are open to anybody. People over 30 with an artistic skill to share are also welcome. Pretty much anything goes, she adds.

“It’s not art. It’s arts. If you look up ‘arts’ on Wikipedia – that’s my go-to reference – it includes video games and video game design and culinary arts. It’s theatre, it’s dancing, it’s music, it’s public performance. It’s really open-ended. There’s art for art’s sake but arts is also a really great tool for social programs and non-profits to use to elevate their cause.”

Strap says the Youth Arts Collective recently received a thousand dollar grant from Canadian Heritage and she’s already committed to pledging a sizeable amount herself but is calling on the community to help with financial contributions so youth can keep the NYAW going in the area year after year.

Any support (financial or otherwise) the Arts Collective and NYAW are able to achieve the first year will determine its success for the years to come, she says.

The Arts Collective will be adding events to its online calendar www.youthartsweek.ca (Search the Red Lake map). If you would like to get involved, submit your work or share a talent, lead a workshop or donate money to the Arts Collective get in touch via the Red Lake Youth Arts Collective Facebook group or ricki.strapp@redlake.ca.

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