In 2017, the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC) began to test the idea of launching an out-of-school program for middle school students. The program was designed to use arts and culture as tools for advancing student social and emotional competencies, such as empathy, respect for racial and ethnic differences, and for gaining a greater sense of community connectivity and self-awareness. The Canvass Project is funded in part by RAC and a major three-year grant from Wells Fargo Advisors and is being developed by RAC in partnership with FOCUS St Louis and Springboard to Learning. The project is also advised by Margie Johnson Reese, principle of MJR Consulting.
The St. Louis Canvass Project is offered on one Saturday per month from October 2018-May 2019 through four host sites, Beyond Housing, Intersect Arts Center, St. Louis ArtWorks and Jazz St. Louis. Two professional teaching artists have been hired to provide arts-based learning activities at each host site.
Students will arrive at their host site at 9 a.m. for arts-based learning at their site for a portion of the day and the other portion of the day will be spent at an “excursion site,” where the students will visit an arts or cultural destination for more arts-based learning. The teaching artists and students will return to the host site not later than 2:30 p.m. and the students are dismissed at 3 p.m. The exact schedule for each day will vary.
Dates and Times
The dates of the St. Louis Canvass Project are – October 27, November 17, December 15, January 26, February 23, March 16, April 27, May 18. Each session will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.
The mission of The St. Louis Canvass Project is to promote creative thinking in middle school aged learners, infused with rigorous and engaging arts exposure and instruction that advances social and emotional
competencies. This isn’t just about the arts. It’s about the ways in which the arts and artists create learning that bring participants into an experience to explore authentic expression and discovery, toward a new awareness for children – of themselves, their community, and their place in the larger world.
Thank you so much for your interest in the St. Louis Canvass Project. As a critical part of a triad of stakeholders we are striving to ensure a quality experience for your children during the Project. Each stakeholder (students, teaching staff, and parents) is equally important to meeting this mission. The below information is provided to make clear the participation expectations of all children and parents involved. Please read the below document carefully. Your signature is required on this document prior to your child’s involvement in the Project.
Our obligations to you and your child
- Provide a quality experience in a fun, safe, non-threatening environment
- Respectfully treat each child as individuals with individual needs and wants
- Communicate any issues or concerns to parents in a timely manner
- Keep records confidential
- Transport your child to and from the Satellite Site to the assigned Excursion Site each month
- Parents commit to providing the time, support, and transportation necessary to ensure regular attendance and engagement of their child. Parents closely fulfill the assigned drop-off and pick-up times throughout the program. If a child’s parent or guardian arrives later than the stated pick-up time to claim the child, parents shall pay child care fees to Springboard to Learning at the rate of $25 per interval of 15 minutes or less.
- Parents communicate child accommodations and medical needs to the Canvass Project staff ahead of time (i.e. nut allergies, wheelchair accessibility, need for asthma nebulizers, )
- Parents understand that they are responsible for their (child’s) behavior during each Canvass event and are willing to pick their child up at the request of the teaching artists if not in compliance. Unacceptable behaviors include – fighting, bullying, threatening speech or behavior, or harassment of any kind toward students or staff
- Parents and students must sign a media release agreement allowing their image to be reproduced and/or used by the project for publicity, reporting and documentation purposes (See below)