Submitted by the Meaford Culture Foundation
Whether through dance, music, creative media, or literature, experiencing the arts is an essential component of positive development in youth. The powerful emotions and connections that flourish in arts and cultural programming can contribute to better problem solving, more positive social relationships, higher academic grades, improved memory and creativity, and so much more. In fact, according to Americans for the Arts, youth who are involved in arts programs are up to four times more likely to be recognized for achievements in academic excellence.
Art is inherent for children, as we are instinctively drawn to music and creative arts from a very young age. Immersing children in the arts can be done at home, through in-person or virtual lessons, in the classroom, and in the broader community. Enhancing children’s lives through creative processes has a positive lifelong effect on their overall well-being.
According to the National Youth Council of Ireland, “Communities with under-served and at-risk youth will very often have the least resources to provide quality art programmes, yet studies show that these youth are the most likely to benefit from exposure to the arts.”
The Meaford Culture Foundation’s (MCF) Community Outreach program has pledged to make arts and cultural experiences accessible to all youth in our community, regardless of socioeconomic status. In 2022, MCF supported 14 initiatives and programs that brought music lessons, live theatre, and other programming to local residents of all ages. This year, MCF has already supported nine programs that range from dance bursaries to film festivals to live theatre.