Humber’s YouthINK event inspires young artists

Mar 13, 2024 | Campus News

Humber partnered with VIBE Arts and hosted a two-day event for high school students to participate in a creative writing workshop called YouthINK.

Sarah Feldbloom is a professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences and one of the people who pitched YouthINK to Humber.

“The idea was to create this program to offer this opportunity to youth who come from neighbourhood improvement areas in under-resourced communities, and also, folks who might be the first in their family to attend post-secondary,” said Feldbloom.

VIBE Arts is a charity dedicated to teaching the arts in the GTA.

Mirka Loiselle is a teacher and one of the creatives with VIBE Arts who came and guided students through one of the workshops.

“This is not an age group that I get to work with all that frequently,” Mirka said, “so, I was excited to get the chance to work with slightly older youth as opposed to elementary school-age kids who I usually work with,” she said.

Mirka primarily focuses on visual art, but she said she was excited to stretch herself out as an educator to incorporate that into the activity and says the students have done well.

“I’ve been impressed with this group in particular. They’ve been super engaged. I’m really impressed with how brave they are in terms of sharing their writing,” she said. “It gives me a lot of hope for the future.”

Feldbloom said it’s challenging becoming an artist and that this program will offer them practical experience in getting one of their works published and being paid a small stipend.

Eufemia Fantetti is another professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences with Humber, and she was the one who initially came up with the idea for the event.

“The arts are often underrepresented or undervalued in society,” she said. “Often when people are thinking that they want to get into the arts, like writing or visual arts, they get discouraged,” said Fantetti.

She says many have concerns about how someone would make a living in the arts and this can discourage people from pursuing the arts. She hopes this event will help dissuade those stigmas from stopping people’s creativity.

“The idea behind this was to show young people that they don’t need to be discouraged,” she said. “They can be surrounded by people in an educational institution that also appreciate the arts,” Fantetti said.

Fantetti had gone to a similar event when she was in high school which focused on coming to a Humber for a more drama-based workshop and she says that it was a great help to her in her journey.

“I’m so thrilled. It’s really emotional to see them participating, engaging with each other, talking to each other because they all came from different high schools. The fact that they took two days off of their March break to come to school tells you how much they value the arts already,” Fantetti said.