The youth of Lowertown have created a song that features powerful lyrics such as, “I don’t want to be another dude on the news, not just another stereotype, not just another homicide”; “pow pow all we hear is the gun sounds, like man put the guns down, I’m so sick of my hood being on the news” and “The nights might be scary, but I‘m safe in the light”. This song was created as part of the 6th MASC Awesome Arts en folie program in Lowertown.
This community-engaged arts program provides residents an opportunity to explore issues and to express themselves through the power of the arts. After a 3-month program, over 100 participants aged 5-95 will share their creations at the Awesome Arts en folie Festival which takes place on March 24 from 6-9:00pm at the York St. Public School, 130 York St.. The Festival will be hosted by spoken word poets/musicians: Mehdi Hamdad and Jamaal Rogers. The evening will also offer professional artist performances from internationally-renowned beat-boxer and musician Julia Dales, B-boy dance crew Bboyizm, Hip Hop artist Jamaal Rogers and more!
According to Jamaal Jackson Rogers “Awesome Arts provides a safe and creative space for youth to learn and appreciate the value of how their artistic talents matter in the world around them.” The 2016 festival will focus attention on the pride Lowertown residents have in their community as well as the importance or working as a community and the importance of embracing diversity.
“More than one hundred children, youth and seniors have participated in our Lowertown workshops over the past 3 months in both French and English. Awesome Arts en folie is a rewarding program where the end results are not only empowering to the participants, but offer unique and thought-provoking performances to the general public at the festival” says Micheline Shoebridge, Awesome Arts en folie Director.
2016 marks the eighth Awesome Arts program and festival in Ottawa and the sixth program and Festival held in partnership with the Lowertown Community Resource Centre. This year we are proud to have also partnered with the Centre de services Guigues to reach out to the senior residents. This Awesome Arts en folie program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, Community Foundation, Seniors Ontario, the City of Ottawa and an Anonymous Donor.
Awesome Arts en folie is a program of MASC, an Ottawa non-profit organization that aims to provide communities with experience of artistic excellent and creative process that awaken creativity, deepen awareness, encourage understanding and give vivid demonstration of Canada’s cultural diversity.