Art and identity

The Riverside Aboriginal Arts Festival team meets at Riverside Community School. Clockwise from top left: Jigging instructor Tanya Vancoughnett, choir director Twyla Gange, jigging instructor Bonny Johnson, theatre director Roxanne Dicke, Riverside Aboriginal Arts Festival organizer Troy Parenteau, jigging instructor Alicia Vandale, visual artist Jack Jensen, poet Carla Braidek and jigging instructor Megan Walsh. (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

Riverside Arts Festival encourages students to express themselves

Since the beginning of April, poet Carla Braidek, visual artist Jack Jensen and theatre director Roxanne Dicke have been coming to Riverside Community School a few times a week to lead classes for Grade 5 to 8 students.

The artists are in the school thanks to a $10,000 Artists in Schools grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board. Riverside Jigging Club instructor Bonny Johnson said the arts give students an outlet to explore and express who they are.

“The main focus has always been identity for us because we feel like if these kids can really begin to know who they are as human beings at a younger age, it will help them in their future,” she said.

“We just felt like if we could expose them to artists who could show them another way of thinking, another way of expressing themselves, it would just be really beneficial to them.”

The work produced as a result of the art classes will be presented at the Riverside Aboriginal Arts Festival. Dicke’s drama students, as well as members of the school choir and jigging clubs, will perform at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre, while the poetry and artwork created with Braidek’s and Jensen’s guidance will be displayed at the John V. Hicks Gallery at the Prince Albert Arts Centre.

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Got to go:

What? Riverside Aboriginal Arts Festival (performance)

Where? E.A. Rawlinson Centre

When? Wednesday, May 17 at 6 p.m.

Admission? $2


What? Riverside Aboriginal Arts Festival (exhibit reception)

Where? John V. Hicks Gallery

When? Thursday, May 25 at 3:30 p.m.

Admission? Free