Young people should be involved in youth programming decisions. The fewer barriers to youth participation, the better. Programs should be inclusive because kids want to see themselves in the work. And by all means, make sure those programs are of the highest quality.
These are just some of tips offered by four arts programmers (Kim Senklip Harvey, Samantha Nock, Rekha Pavanantharajah, and Brandon Yan), who participated in the BC Alliance’s panel discussion and networking event, titled Meaningfully Engaging Young People in the Arts, which took place March 8 at the BC Alliance.
Panelist Rekha Pavanantharajah of ArtStarts in Schools set the theme for the discussion when she told the audience that if our community hopes to ensure that art is perceived as essential, then we must work together with youth to communicate its value. “The future for young people is reliant on creativity, innovation and empathy, and those are the skills that are learned through the arts,” said Pavanantharajah.
Above, see a four-minute video of the nearly two-hour discussion (you know when a conversation is good when it continues well into the time allotted for networking over wine and cheese). A full video of the event is archived here (subtitles are not currently functional but we hope to have them up and running within the week).