Arissa reports on Rianna's placement with RE-create
RE-create Outreach Art Studio is a wonderful haven in our city where youth aged 16-24 can gather each week during designated drop-in times to do art together in community. Participants are often street-involved or face other barriers to daily living. Using their own materials or those provided by the centre, youths can spend their time working on any project they might have on the go, while interacting with others and breathing in the creative energy in the room. Many young people come to spend their time there to reconnect with themselves and their artistic abilities and to decompress, using whichever form of artistic expression they prefer.
RE-create works in partnership with a number of small businesses and groups within the surrounding community to reach out to youth and provide support for them. They are part of a larger network called Shalem, a counselling agency and mental health support organization which seeks to restore hope and encourage healthy relationships among people in any circumstance. Volunteers are often artists themselves, and are able to mentor the youth in their art and encourage them as they share their stories with one another.
Rianna, whose art has come to grace the walls of our home on Blake Street, has found (not surprisingly) that she feels right at home in the creativity of the studio.
“I’ve really been enjoying my placement at RE-create so far. It incorporates everything that I’m interested in for a future career (in art therapy) and it’s also fun just to be able to do art for an actual placement! I love the community there and how intentional the volunteers and workers are with the youth that come in. They work hard to make sure it’s a safe and welcoming place where teens can do what they love to escape a lot of the daily hardships in their lives. It’s been an incredibly encouraging placement so far and I can’t wait to build and deepen more relationships while doing what I love most.” – Rianna
As well as joining in on drop-in studio times with the youth, Rianna, alongside two other Act Five students, put time into setting up the studio, assisting with admin work and helping with ‘outreach walks’. This is when she and several other volunteers go to surrounding spaces and organizations such as the Hamilton Public Library, the Living Rock youth centre, or other popular youth hangout spots to spread the news about RE-create’s programs.
To learn more about RE-create and the programs they run feel free to check out their website: https://shalemnetwork.org/services-in-communities/re-create