Children have a natural curiosity and interest in making and shaping the world around them. These creative impulses can be nurtured through art education which focuses on guiding their inquisitive and artistic impulses with opportunities to create with different mediums. Art education is a hands-on enterprise where children grow in self-confidence as they develop artistic as well as problem-solving skills. The Centre will provide art classes for children given by trained artists and educators. Visual arts, including digital arts as well as aspects of music and dance will offer children a richly diverse learning environment to appreciate, create and celebrate art and their own artistic abilities.
Art therapy is a creative method of expression used as a therapeutic technique. Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of communication. It is a valuable way to provide healing and restoration to children who have been traumatized or abused.
We see the potential to create a strategic partnership with the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and other organizations in the sector for the arts therapy space and programming.
In addition, Calgary now has a growing refugee population of children traumatized by war, conflict, loss of home and family members. Barbara La Pointe Calgary Children’s Art Centre will provide cutting edge art therapy to bring healing to children, particularly those in at risk populations. The Centre will work closely with leading art therapists to develop in house and community outreach programs to serve Calgary children. We will also collaborate with Alberta Health Services and local hospitals, particularly the Alberta Children’s Hospital, to expand the art therapy resources currently offered in the community.
Calgary sits on Treaty 7 land, and the First Nations within the city and in the wider Calgary region are peoples with their own rich cultural and artistic traditions and practices. Calgary’s indigenous populations are growing rapidly. The Barbara LaPointe Children’s Art Centre will have dedicated art education programs directed at children with indigenous heritage. Preserving those cultural and artistic expressions will be the focus of several initiatives and partnerships with local and regional school programs and service agencies for indigenous and aboriginal peoples. The Centre will seek to integrate and promote Indigenous Knowledge Research connected to creativity and the arts. As well, the Centre will work with First Nations reserves in the Calgary region to integrate a therapeutic arts model as a suicide prevention and a model to positive transformation, personal growth and success in school and life.