the creative classroom at your fingertips

Arts Education Initiative News

Smash! An Arts & Education Collision

Are you an artist with great programs you would like to offer in schools and community centres or are interested in developing programs?

Are you an educator that would like to involve artists in your classroom but don't know where to start?

Then have we got the day for you!

The Arts Education Initiative invites you to attend a one-day mini conference on Arts Education.

When: March 2nd, 2012

Where: The Button Factory, 25 Regina St South, Waterloo

The Details

  • 10am-12pm: Professional development workshop #1 for artists – Working with schools
  • 1pm-3pm: Professional development workshop #2 for artists – Connecting your work to the provincial curriculum
  • 4-6pm: Artisan trade show. This is the part where educators join in the fun and “shop” around the booths. Check out their programs, see their wares, talk to them and learn how they can help in your classroom
  • 6:30pm: Artist showcase. Educators are invited to stay for our showcase, sampling the artists available to work with you in your school

Artists can register for the Workshops for only $20.00. This includes two informative sessions, and lunch. For an additional $10.00 you can register to have a table in the Trade Show. Use this as a unique opportunity to present your program, mingle with educators, discuss collaborative program possibilities.

Educators can register for the Trade Show and Showcase for free! Come and see what the fantastic Artists of Waterloo Region have to offer you and your students.

To register: Visit EventBrite

About the Arts Education Initiative

Taking the Initiative

Connecting educators with professional artists and arts experiences for the classroom.

We work with teachers, schools and community centres to help them find the artist or arts experience they are looking for. From behind the scenes we work with professional artists and arts organizations, helping connect them to employment opportunities in schools and community centres.

We believe that all young people can fulfil their potential through positive engagement, and that art in its many forms can be a powerful vehicle for this engagement.

The Creative Classroom, At Your Fingertips

The Arts Education Initiative makes it easy for teachers, school boards and community organizations to incorporate arts in their lessons. AEI does all the groundwork so that educators don't have to.

  • Extensive connections with the arts community, ensuring the perfect artist for each project
  • Creation of innovative ways to connect with Ontario curricula
  • Our artists are leaders in their field and are passionate about sharing their expertise
  • AEI training guarantees fluency in classroom procedures and policies
  • Comprehensive follow-up to measure the success of your project

Project Funding

The Arts Education Initiative is a pilot project between eyeGO to the Arts, MT Space, The Button Factory and ArtsSmarts Waterloo Region and has been funded by the Waterloo Region Arts Fund and the Creative Enterprise Initiative.

The Partners

A great project needs great partners.

Waterloo Region

ArtsSmarts Waterloo Region funds up to $3,000 for projects that involve professional artists working in schools using the arts as a way of learning core curriculum.

Important dates for the 2012-2013 school year:

  • September 25th, 2012, 4:30-6:00pm
    Teacher & Artist Matchmaking Event. Come learn more about ArtsSmarts including how to apply for project funding and meet fellow artists and educators you could partner with on a project. This event will be held at the Waterloo Region District School Board (51 Ardelt Ave in Kitchener) in the Cambridge Room
  • October 12th, 2012
    Expressions of Interest due
  • November 16th, 2012
    Full Applications due

The Button Factory

The Waterloo Community Arts Centre in the Button Factory strives to combine the arts and our greater community for a more satisfying and creative environment in the Region.

We provide gallery exhibitions, reading series, concerts, art classes, workshops, professional development for artists and rehearsal space.

Artists on the Move Programs

Elementary School

Grades 1-6. Two sessions of 2 hours each.

  • Collagraph means to glue—using their imaginations, students will use every-day objects with interesting textures or shapes to glue onto their mat board printmaking plate, as well as explore gouging, depression and mark-making
  • Explore shape, texture, line; primary and secondary colours; inking and printing

Grades 3-6. Three sessions of three hours each.

  • Stop-motion animation is created by taking hundreds of consecutive photographs of a scene to depict movement when rendered into an animation
  • Students will work in groups to explore plot, character development, dialogue and set design using plasticene and Lego; use digital cameras and Mac software to animate
  • Design a movie title and cover, have a showing of movies to the class
High School

Grades 9-12. Two sessions of 2 hours each.

  • Drypoint is a technique where a sharp point is used to scratch an image into a piece of plexiglass to be used to create a print
  • Create printmaking plate, prepare plate for press; inking, rolling, and press time on our Takach professional press; how to edition and sign your prints for presentation
  • (Can be done in school classroom without professional press but results may vary.)

Grades 9-12. Three hours.

  • Understanding how to represent the human body is one of the requirements for post-secondary education in the arts
  • Students will explore life drawing with a clothed professional model in a real studio atmosphere
  • Using easels and newsprint, students will be guided through 1, 3 and 5 minute poses as well as extended poses
  • (Can be done in school classroom for additional fee.)

eyeGO to the Arts

eyeGO to the Arts is a program dedicated to making the arts accessible to high school students. Cheaper than a movie, eyeGO to the Arts empowers youth to consider live performances as a viable entertainment option.

Experience Live Arts
With Affordable Tickets!

For only $5 all high school students get best available seats to experience, by choice, the powerful and positive influence of live performance at some of the most influential theatres in the province.

  • Go to
  • Search by city, venue, type of performance, or date
  • Buy your ticket for only $5!
  • Bring your student card to the performance
  • Enjoy!

MT Space

Waterloo Region's acclaimed multicultural theatre company presents compact and dynamic theatre presentations that raise issues socially relevant to our diverse communities: immigration, discrimination, mental health, volunteerism, environment, employment and more.

Liven up your Classroom! Make Theatre for Social Change

Theatre for Social Change

Grades 7-12 – 50min to 2hrs

20 min plays followed by interactive workshops facilitated by our experienced team of professional artists. Choose from our list of available productions—a list that keeps growing every year!

  1. Seasons of Immigration – What is it like to come to Canada as an immigrant?
  2. The Other End of the Line – Barriers that face immigrants and people of cultural minorities from accessing the Canadian Mental Health system, and the how the system deals with these challenges and its response to cultural diversity.
  3. Across the Veil – Issues related to misconceptions, discrimination and hate crimes, specifically targeting Muslims in Canada.
  4. Volunteering Eh! – How volunteerism engages culturally diverse youth in our community.
  5. My Paper – Based on the millennial goals of the United Nations, concerning issues of concern in the 21st Century, including; child poverty, environment and maternal health.
  6. Family Pack – Addressing the reality of smoking during pregnancy, focusing on Aboriginal and immigrant women.
Working with Students throughout the Year!

Grades 7-12 – 3 to 4hrs/week

MT Space artists also work with your students to help them express themselves emotionally by creating and performing their own theatre productions based on their life experiences.

Did you know?

Students who make time for the arts are also more involved in community service, and less likely to drop out of school.
Longitudinal data of 25,000 students involved in the arts ... shows that consistent participation greatly improves academic performance and significantly bumps up standardized test scores.
Research conducted at UCLA's Graduate School of Education by Dr. James Catterall
Because TV is such a popular form of entertainment, kids aren't used to focusing for an hour or an hour and a half. While plays work to jumpstart the imagination, they also lengthen the attention span of our youth.
The word theatre means a “place for seeing”.
The Canadian Arts Consumer Profile reports that 91% of Canadians surveyed agree that “it is important to expose children to the arts.”
National Endowment for the Arts
Many long term scientific studies have revealed that kids who take part in fine arts and theatre perform better in school, in spite of what their cultural or socio-economic backgrounds are.
Moreover, it also helps in increasing community awareness, social skills, cultural perspective, and artistic abilities. These are all expertise that are helpful for children while learning how to be more responsible and thus it can help them to become contributing members of our society.
Theatre productions educate and enlighten people by examining and exploring various social, political, personal, and artistic issues that are relevant within our lives and communities-these are often trends that span generational gaps and show how people can overcome differences and celebrate unique aspects of our lives.