Yuva Arts Project is an international arts-based youth exchange program aimed at addressing issues related to displacement and integration faced by underrepresented and underserved youth populations across the world. Using arts as a medium, we provide space for youth to share their stories, as well as explore social issues and possible solutions.
YUVA ARTS PROJECT 2019
The Yuva Arts team of 2019, founded by Tamara Menon, comprised of music students. Yuva Arts, together with Multicultural Theatre Space, a theatre company and charity based in Kitchener-Waterloo partnered with Prerana, an anti-trafficking organisation based in Mumbai, India. Various community organisations and artists such as the Reception House/Community Justice Initiatives, Healing of the Seven Generations, Neruda Arts, Gary Diggins, Inshallah Choir, Dr. Gerard Yun and Dr. Colin Lee were also our collaborators.
In May 2019, three youth groups (aged 12-15) participated in our two-week exchange, including children of commercially sexually exploited women from India, Canadian indigenous youth and newcomer youth in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada. The three youth groups used creative arts to communicate, build understanding and friendship, while addressing various global issues of their interest. The exchange offered a series of workshops that focused on general themes such as identity, leadership and self-worth including music therapy sessions, collaborative music-making workshops, sound therapy, Arpillera craft workshops, Moccasin craft workshops, Spirit-Painting workshops, Haudenosaunee social events and collaborative theatre workshops, led by the professional community artists and organisations mentioned above. The two-week program concluded with a final celebration at Forest Heights Community Center in Kitchener-Waterloo as a means of sharing their learnings and successes through cultural presentations and displaying their collaborative work.
YUVA ARTS PROJECT 2.0
Due to the continued marginalization of underrepresented and underserved youth populations and travel restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, Yuva Arts Project 2.0 will move to an online platform, where groups of youth from across the world, including previous and new participants, will have the opportunity to lead their own storytelling projects and address social issues related to their own experiences surrounding displacement and integration resulting from COVID-19 pandemic and/or climate change.
The voices of youth are rarely prioritized in conversations regarding the current health and climate crises. However, these long-term crises continue to affect and shape their lives. We believe that youth have the right to shape their future on this planet and that underserved and underrepresented youth also have the right to dream and envision a future for themselves. Yuva Arts Project 2.0 will provide the youth with an opportunity to tell their stories, provide autonomy and ownership over their storytelling, and an invitation for long-term mentorship to hone skills that they discover and want to develop. In effect, we will encourage the youth to explore various possibilities towards developing their sense of identity, leadership, and self-worth.
Yuva Arts Project facilitates the development of global engagement, global activism, community involvement and inclusion, all in the hopes of creating an international perspective for all individuals involved in our project. Yuva Arts also addresses and raises awareness of various areas of injustice and challenges faced by youth across the world. This has turned out to be a great opportunity for volunteers and community partners to build awareness, sensitivity, acceptance, and appreciation of diverse cultures surrounding them. Would you like to be involved? Contact us: email@example.com
Our goal is to build leaders so that, not only will youth strive for an enriching future for themselves, but also for their communities.
Meet Prema, our Yuva Arts Project 2019 participant from Mumbai, India: http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_lXrQ1FvSg&t=99s