The violent outbreak on May 22, 2010 which shook the country of Jamaica, forced the TAP Executive to spend a considerable amount of time in conversation with associates both in Canada and Jamaica investigating the best possible way to proceed with the 2010 Jamaica Project. The final conclusion was reached that, for the safety of both the Canadian and Jamaican participants, it would be in everyone’s best interest to postpone the project for 2010 and commence again in July 2011. Our desire is that the additional time and resources gained will allow us to offer a more enriched experience for the participants next year.
TAP members have worked hard throughout the summer to create care packages for each of our participants. These packages include items such as hygiene products, non-perishable food items, flip-flops, toys, and writing utensils. We are so grateful for the many donations that poured in after the TAP community was informed of our decision. The packages will be shipped this week to our participants across Jamaica!
In order to maintain TAP’s presence in the lives and communities of the participants and in order to strengthen the Jamaican Leadership Team, TAP has decided to host the first ever Arts and Leadership Intensive in February 2011, bringing ten members to Canada for a 10-day program including workshops lead by local educators and artists as well as a chance to interface with Canadian youth by entering local high schools to showcase their talents.
Although TAP did not run its fourth annual Jamaica Project in July 2010, we had the opportunity to introduce two new projects in Canada.
For the first time, TAP partnered with Youth Options for Success (YOS), an organization based in the Niagara Region which creates programs to help promote strong families and healthy communities, and hosted the first ever “Arts Camp” in July 2010. TAP was responsible for providing workshops to youth ages 9 to 14 which allowed them to explore relevant issues through theatre, creative writing and improvisation. TAP will continue to work with YOS in the future, hoping to offer programs to youth and their families to help strengthen communication and ultimately, relationships.
TAP was welcomed by the Woodgreen Community Centre, a local non-profit organization that provides a range of services and programs to the Toronto East Community, in July 2010. The participants, ages 14 to 17, included 15 Aboriginal Youth from British Columbia and 25 Caribbean Youth from Toronto. TAP provided a series of workshops for four days including theatre, music, and dance, and on the final day the youth selected one area to present for the Final Showcase. One of the highlights was the workshop offered by guest artist Blakka Ellis entitled “Rites, Rights and Creative Writing”, which focused on the link between the arts, culture and human development. TAP has made a commitment to continue to work with the Aboriginal Youth by offering a similar program in their community in British Columbia in the coming years.
Wow! What a summer! Let the fall begin!
To find out more about what TAP is up to in the next little while, please join us for our Annual General Meeting and Eat So They Can Fundraiser on Sat. Oct. 16th in Hamilton, ON. More details to come…