Local youth invited to design a better future at creative festival

Photo via YIF Festival.

The second Youth Imagine the Future Festival (YIF) is taking place this fall — timely, after a summer of “destructive, deadly climate disasters,” according to festival organizers.

During the Youth Imagine the Future festival, local youth are invited to design their own (better) believable future, make it socially equitable, and then use that as the setting for a fun short story– or create a piece of art. The festival will “guide youth to positive solutions around the world that help communities adapt to and mitigate the Climate Crisis,” organizers stated.

To kick off the festival, Jerri Jerreat, author and former St. Lawrence College writing instructor, will give high school and intermediate classrooms free one-hour workshops at schools across the area this September, highlighting renewable energy and innovations such as basketball-sized wind turbines that bring inspiration and optimism, according to a media release, dated Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023.

According to the event website, this festival is open to youth in grades 7 to 12, residing in the area covered by the Limestone District and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Boards.

This year, Queen’s University Faculty of Education, Kingston Community Credit Union, Community Foundation for Kingston & Area, Trailhead, 350 Kingston, Kingston School of Art, and Providence Centre are sponsoring the festival. There are 30 awards to be won, worth $25 to $500.

“It’s a fantastic festival because youth are becoming more concerned about their future,” said Walt Sepic, award-winning local outdoor educator. “Climate anxiety is a proven issue. This allows youth to look at leading-edge solutions and become active toward a positive future. It gives youth a voice and invites us to listen.”

Teachers are invited to contact the festival for a free workshop in September. All guidelines are on the website: https://youthimaginethefuture.com

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