‘Forworld Studios x Youth Diversion ArtsFest’ wins Awesome Kingston May grant

Image via Forworld Studios.

Every month, Awesome Kingston awards a $1,000 grant to a local project that the trustees think will keep Kingston awesome. This May, the Forworld Studios x Youth Diversion ArtFest project was awarded the honour.

This collaborative land-based arts education program supports at-risk youth through free art workshops open to all youth in need of a safe space. The project features workshops and an art gallery show, which will allow the youth to see their work on display.

Forworld Studios Artist Collective is a group of young community artists who are looking to create an inclusive, sustainable and accessible art scene here in Kingston. Co-founded by Francisco Corbett and William Carroll, Forworld Studios was created on the basis of building a better, more inclusive and accessible creative community, Carroll shared.

“The first stage of Forworld’s existence was shared studio space for emerging local artists where we could collaborate on projects, connect with each other, share funding opportunities, and build a space that we could all call our creative home,” they continued. “Now more established and less impulsive, Forworld has entered its second phase. Building on the original idea of shared space and fostering our individual careers, we are now able to give back, connecting with the local community, sharing our knowledge and skills with organizations like Youth Diversion, while also creating meeting spaces for creatives through activities like game nights.”

The project began in mid-May and runs until the end of June. Workshops are taking place at both Youth Diversion, 559 Bagot Street, and Douglas Fluhrer Park.

Poster for the next workshop in early June. Image via Forworld Studios.

“We are student-centered; meaning we let youth lead using their own creative imagination, and we adjust our programming based on youth interest,” said Cat Rose, who joined the Forworld collective in December. “We create alongside and with the youth, sharing artistic ideas and new ways of getting messy and creative. A big part of our workshops is learning about and expressing oneself through art. We hope to forge connections between youth, instill a lasting love for the arts, and maintain a safe space that youth can be active creators of and participants in.”

The grant money from Awesome Kingston will go towards supplies for the workshops, including disposable cameras, tie-dye kits, and crafting materials. Any leftover funds will support the gallery show at the end of the program, according to Rose.

“We are taking a break from youth programming for the month of July to focus on Forworld Summer Camp,” Rose noted, “but will start planning for more youth programming in August. We’ve spoken with a couple of arts organizations… that are interested in having us facilitate programming in natural spaces close to their facilities for youth. We’re hoping to expand our outreach, partner with more youth-driven organizations, and visit more urban natural spaces. We also want to reflect on and improve our programming after getting feedback from the youth currently involved in ArtFest.”

The spring workshops are drop-in, but anyone with questions, or who need to access transportation, can connect with Victoria from Youth Diversion Outreach at 613-305-3292.

“We definitely plan to continue hosting workshops in the future for youth who otherwise don’t have access to an art community, art materials, and a natural space to create in,” Rose stated.

Connect with Forworld Studios on their Instagram page and over email at [email protected]. Currently, they are looking for donations of used cameras to teach photography skills, and for a Photowalk they plan to put on in June, as well as gallery space for the end of June/beginning of July to welcome the community to view the youth’s work.

Read more about Awesome Kingston and their monthly grants here.

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