What we're up to in Arviat, Nunavut and meet our newest art educator Sara Bessin

We had a lot of amazing applications sent in for our volunteer position in Arviat for the next ten days. We were fortunate enough that with the help of the Government of Nunavut, the Hamlet of Arviat and amazing sponsors and donors, that we were able to provide:

  • accommodations including hotel
  • round trip airfare
  • a per diem/honorarium for the volunteer
  • art supplies
  • supplies for the youth to keep at home
  • monetary compensation for 20 youth submissions into our new end of year A.R.T. Book/Magazine (to be announced in full detail soon)

We sincerely thank everyone for helping make this a reality. 

While we're up there, we'll be teaching painting, mixed media, jewelry making, entrepreneurship, print design, creative writing, working on two community murals, one of which is to represent Canada's 150 next year and having an end of program ALL NIGHT paint party. Mind you, the "night" is only from 11PM to 3AM these days. 

As mentioned before 60% of Arviat's population is under 25. There are few resources up and activities for the youth to do. Indigenous suicide is a prevalent issue and the Government of Nunavut is committed to combatting this in Nunavut through programs such as ours. 

Our initial volunteer was a youth aged 25 with experience organizing and facilitating youth workshops, as well as experience running his own small arts company. However, timing didn't work out and no matter, a wonderful woman named Sara will be going up with our president to help bring art to the community.

Let's meet her:

Artist: Sara Bessin 

Artist: Sara Bessin 

SARA BESSIN is a Toronto born multi-disciplinary artist and educator.  Starting as an artist and activist, Sara 's work was chosen for the campaign posters for the Anti-Child Exploitation Campaign in affiliation with ACAT in 2000.  The body of work she created for this project was exhibited at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva Switzerland in 2001. Sara then entered the Community Arts Sector, having trained through the Engrenage Noir - Levier community arts training and exchange program.  She holds a diploma in Art Education Specialization from Concordia University, Montreal and has since pursued studies with York University and with the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

With funding and support from the Engrenage Noir Levier program, she coordinated and directed the community arts project "Raising Mom" with the Young Parents Program of Head and Hands from 2005 to 2007.  She facilitated the making of a collaborative documentary of the process which was screened at the World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil in 2009.  The film and project are also featured in the publication "Célébrer la collaboration: Art communautaire et activiste humaniste au Québec et ailleurs”.

Sara has worked in affiliation with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, En Masses Pour Les Masses and the QPAT Teachers Convention. She has been a speaker and presenter at the Kairos Anti-Poverty Forum, LEVIER Community Arts Forum and the Common Wealth Community Arts Conference.

Sara is most interested in collaborative initiatives that affect social change through holistic and transformational educational approaches.

She and her family recently relocated from Montreal to Belleville Ontario,  where she founded and directs the Visual Arts Program at the local chapter of the YMCA and teaches with the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.


We're happy to have you be a part of the team Sara!

Once again, THANK YOU EVERYONE. We look forward to sharing all of the photos and videos of our time up in Arviat in the next coming weeks. 

With Love, 
Mai
Executive Director

Artist: Sara Bessin

Artist: Sara Bessin

Artist: Sara Bessin

Artist: Sara Bessin