Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) is hiring!
Spellbound by Nature Program Facilitator
AHA! is seeking an enthusiastic artist who loves the outdoors, to facilitate ½ day nature-based ‘playshops’ with youth. Taking place at various Antigonish outdoor locations, this position will support 12-18 hours weekly during the summer, with the possibility of more hours later in the summer and into the fall. Based on ‘The Lost Words’, AHA! hopes to foster a love of nature through encouraging keen observation and descriptive reflection to ‘conjure’ the natural world.
This position is supported by AHA! in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
Prepare and facilitate about 13-15 ‘playshops’ over the summer of 2019, for youth of all ages and groups of varying sizes
Evaluate the playshops, making adjustments as necessary throughout the summer; coordinate evaluations from participants, parents, volunteers, support staff
Report regularly to AHA!
Coordinate with AHA! a celebration of the artwork created
Available Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings throughout the summer, last Tuesday in July and first Tuesday in August. Preparation and evaluation hours will be required and compensated, but can be at applicant’s convenience.
Prepare a final report with best practices learned from this pilot project
Experience working with groups of children from diverse backgrounds, having unique individual needs
Must have Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check; documentation required
Artist of any genre is preferred for this position
Experience in outdoor education, nature knowledge, biomimicry, indigenous knowledge of the land, other related fields, will be considered assets
Demonstrated oral and written communication skills
Demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills
Ability to maintain accurate reflections of practice and to submit records in a timely manner
Able to work independently and with a team
Responsibility and accountability for actions and decisions
Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) 2018 Report
February 27, 2019
Early 2018 marked five years of AHA! bringing arts for health programming to the Antigonish Community. When we began in 2013, we decided to stay informal, to explore the need for such a movement in our community. Now six years later, we know there is a need. Our programs have time and again, shown that engagement in the arts can make us healthier, both individually and as a community. Therefore, in 2018, we decided to become more formal and registered as a not for profit society.
In 2018, we hosted 7 different programs, hiring 20 artists for part time or contractual work, reaching 750-1000 folks across the lifespan. About 25-30 volunteers supported our work. We brought $75,000 in grant funding and donations to the community, most of that going directly to our artists.
2018 saw us take our programs farther afield, with Musical Pathways in Richmond County, Sherbrooke and Paq’tnkek, and Arts Canopy in care facilities in New Glasgow as well as locally. We embarked on our first collaborative project with a national organization, The Shoe Project, which is also our first project with immigrant women. We shared our Arts Canopy learnings at the Provincial Alzheimer’s Society Conference in October. John and Dorothy began their own publishing endeavour, HARP publishing, creating and publishing ‘The People’s Photo Album’. Janette wrote an article about AHA! for the Muse Magazine, an interprofessional publication of McMaster University. Our research project with St.F.X. in 2017 led to a publication in 2018 in the Canadian Journal of Adult Education.
We continued to offer Art Care at St Martha’s and created a program of local photographers’ work for televisions at the hospital. Musical Pathways, offering music to youth out of school time, showed the immense value of music to learning, especially to social and emotional skill development. During November, Arts Health Month, we offered a series of AHA! workshops to the community.
Thanks to the Federal Government’s New Horizons for Seniors Grant, we were able to continue and expand Arts Canopy, taking it to different venues and trying new art forms: storytelling, movement, dance, improv. Story booklets were created for participants and an improv show celebrated that program. A sound installation is in development, sharing the joy these programs bring to those living with dementia. We are creating a book for caregivers based on Arts Canopy programs.
Further details of these programs are in the reports of those so effectively created, coordinated and facilitated them. But as you can see, our year was full, rich and rewarding! Read more in the links to individual program reports:
In celebration of Arts Health Month in November, 2018, AHA! hosted a series of participatory workshops, entitled AHA! Tuesdays.
My heartfelt gratitude to all those who participated in AHA! programs in any way: participants, facilitators, coordinators, volunteers. And a sincere thank you to the AHA! team, who behind the scenes helped with logistics, payroll, grant writing, communications, and the myriad of other ways you supported this vital movement. I am deeply grateful to you all.
Tuesday, November 6th Storytelling: Compassionate Listening, Compassionate Sharing Maureen St. Clair
Maureen will guide participants in developing a deeper understanding of compassionate listening and story sharing as a tool and skill for building relations and cultures of peace. Come share, write, dance, listen, and embody your own and other’s personal stories!
Maureen St. Clair is an artist, peace educator, activist and writer. She holds a Master’s Degree in Adult Education with a focus on women’s self and community empowerment. Born and raised in Canada, with Grenadian citizenship, Maureen has lived in Grenada, West Indies for over 20 years with Grenadian partner and daughter, Theo and Maya. Maureen is known throughout the Caribbean and internationally for her vibrant, multi-racial, women-positive paintings inspired by her work with women and youth. While in Nova Scotia, Canada, Maureen is an Associate of Coady International Institute where she facilitates programs in community peacebuilding, global youth and community leadership. Maureen won the Beacon Award for Social Justice Literature and the Atlantic Writers Festival with her novel, Big Island, Small published by Fernwood Publishing and released spring 2018.
Tuesday, November 13 Songwriting: Word Power in Song Kim Wempe
Join Kim in collaborative songwriting to know the power of words in song. Through the use of ‘free writing’, participants will collaborate in groups to create songs, then share the experience. If you play an instrument, please bring it! However, you don’t need to play an instrument or consider yourself ‘musical’ to attend this workshop.
Hope to see you there!
Kim Wempe uses her past experience as a touring musician and her current experience as a nursing student at St.FX to combine art and health through songwriting as an outlet workshops that address mental wellness, coping, and social inclusion. Kim has worked with youth and music in a variety of school settings since February 2016 thanks to the support and funding from Arts Health Antigonish and SchoolsPlus-Antigonish. She also teaches private voice and guitar lessons, as well as continues to play shows as a singer-songwriter. Currently, Kim is completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a final clinical in Youth Health Centres.
Tuesday, November 20 Dancing and Dreaming with Fingerpaints Nancy Turniawan
Do you remember those first mud puddles you stuck your fingers in? The wet sand? Did you get to paint your whole hand green… maybe even up to your elbow? Did those first paintings adorn the walls or fridge with your name and age in bold letters? When was the last time that you created with your fingers? Nancy will nurture participants into focusing on the joy of letting our fingers ‘dance’ across the page. Red? Yellow? Blue? Which colour will you choose first?
Supplies: Please bring scissors and rags
Nancy describes herself as a mosaic artist, clay sculptor, photographer, and mixed media artist. She draws on her creative energy by immersing herself in the natural world and regarding everything with awe. Nancy is drawn to the texture, rhythm and light in nature. She can express this beauty, and find healing and balance in her life, through the creative process of art making. In her 31 years of teaching Art in public schools at all grade levels, Nancy has always integrated Arts into every subject, school life, and within the arts community.
Tuesday, November 27 Laughter is the Best Medicine! Laura Teasdale
Everybody knows that laughter feels good. But did you know it is a great workout for your muscles and releases lots of stress relieving hormones? It even has the power to fight illness. The good news is, there are simple ways to bring more laughter into our lives so we can take advantage of all the rewards laughter brings.
In this workshop, Laura will fill us in on the science of laughter therapy and its benefits. Then we’ll play some simple games that begin as exercises, but end in genuine laughter. Laura will leave us with some techniques to bring laughter into our lives everyday.
Laura Teasdale is an actor, singer, playwright and teacher. She spent twenty four years living in Quebec, but recently returned home to her beloved Antigonish. She hasn’t regretted it for a minute. You may have seen her this summer at Festival Antigonish in Lunenberg, Burnin’ Love or in her own show Being Hank & Patsy. She was probably laughing when you saw her. Laura has always been very active and dedicated to community groups. Most of her plays involve local history. As part of her Performing Arts degree, Laura learned all about comedy, from the ancient Greeks on down to clowns and British Farces. She is a long time member of a comedy improv troupe and a clown troupe. She studied with the great Canadian Laughologist, Albert Nerenberg. But she also learned that the funniest moments are the ones we share among family and friends.
Since October of 2016, Arts Canopy has been providing arts based programming in music, visual arts, dance/movement, and poetry for people with dementia. It addresses the mental wellbeing of this growing population by providing meaningful ways for them to remain active, to retain their dignity, to encourage social engagement, to discover other ways of remembering, along with offering opportunities for creative expression. A team of professional artists and therapeutic artists from the local area facilitate Arts Canopy programming and offer creative spaces to enjoy the moment with others. Programs run once a week for ten weeks.
Arts Canopy is funded through a Positive Aging grant from NS Department of Seniors, the RK Foundation and a private donation. In the fall, another set of programs will begin. Location and registration details will be made available through the website.
St. Francis Xavier University, in partnership with Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) is seeking a Research Assistant to support a project exploring the relationship between community-based arts and health initiatives and the social determinants of health (SDH). This position is for 35 hours/week for 5 weeks during June through August. Distribution of hours during that time -period is flexible.
The primary responsibilities of the Research Assistant are to:
Complete a literature review of research exploring the relationship of community-based arts programming to social determinants of health
Liaise with project partners to establish scope of review
Compile values mapping data and existing evaluation findings from AHA! to identify the nature of data available to use for mapping
Map known outcomes onto the Public Health Agency of Canada Health Equity Tool.
Assist project team in identifying research gaps and opportunities
Compile summary report
The position requires the following skills and experience:
Minimum of an undergraduate degree
Research experience related to evaluation of community health initiatives
Understanding of the value of arts to health and well-being
Familiarity with the social determinants of health
Experience completing literature reviews
Ability to work independently and be accountable for project tasks and meeting deadlines
Strong organization and oral and written communication skills
Creative and innovative thinker
Applicants should include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae and the names and contact information of three references to:
Ann Fox, (firstname.lastname@example.org) Department of Human Nutrition St. Francis Xavier University
Review of applications will begin on June 12 and will continue until the position is filled.
Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. StFX respects diversity and welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities and members of a sexual minority group.
Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) enjoyed another remarkable year of exploring the arts-health relationship through projects, workshops, guest speakers and performances. In 2016, we employed 12 artists in part time work and for the third year in a row, brought close to $100,000 in funding to the local arts community.
“Art has the power to inspire, the power to heal, the power to transform, to rehabilitate, to bear witness, and to make us believe that there are better days ahead.”
Michaelle Jean, former Governor General of Canada