As a teaching artist, I've been partnering with teachers to integrate circus arts into curricula for the past 3 years, funded through Artstarts' Artist in the Classroom Grant programs. A teaching artist is a practising professional artist with the complementary skills and sensibilities of an educator, who engages people in learning experiences in and through the arts. My company, Vesta Education, specializes in integrating Circus Arts into Curricula with programs such as the Science of Circus, Patterns of Math, and of course Performing Arts, Dance, and Physical Education. This year, ArtStarts is embarking on a new initiative focusing on mentorship and community for teaching artists across BC.
I believe that by building the capacities of artists across BC, I can enable them to confidently work with teachers to design relevant and engaging art projects for students. Mentorship is a way to build meaningful relationships between aspiring and experienced teaching artists - building capacities and ensuring that there is a sustainable community of artists working for the benefit of young people and education.
I am contracting with Artstarts to create and host an Arts & Education Mentorship Salon to convene aspiring and experienced teaching artists to share their experiences, create dialogue, and generate ideas about building local communities of mentorship. ArtStarts will be instigating five salons, one each in Smithers, Nanaimo, Kelowna, Vancouver, and Nelson. I will be co-planning and facilitating the Arts & Education Mentorship Salon in Nanaimo. I will also be presenting at a summit in Vancouver where I’ll be developing recommendations for supporting mentorship across BC.
I am so excited to be sharing my expertise in integrating arts into education under the new BC curriculum with my fellow artists in this community! Many thanks to Artstarts and the BC Arts Council for this opportunity!
Karina Strong is currently a full time Education student at VIU in the Post Bac program. Her undergraduate degree is in Social Work and Small Business Management. She is a professional Circus performer and owner of Vesta Entertainment, a multifaceted entertainment company on Vancouver Island.