Building Knowledge and Facilitating Action Against Violence in the Lives of Youth in New Brunswick
Acting Out is a project of the MMFC and is an extension of the earlier Intersecting Sites of Violence in the Lives of Girls research project. Acting Out is designed to engage youth in violence prevention through arts-based activities, such as photography, sculpture, painting, poetry-writing, script-writing, drama, and film-making. The activities are explicitly intended to promote youth agency and social change in young people’s lives. They are also a means of informing the public, educators and policy makers about violence in the lives of youth in New Brunswick and to raise attention about the kinds of support structures needed to bring about real change in young people’s lives. Graduate students in the UNB Faculty of Education, Critical Studies in Education graduate program and members of the local arts community bring their expertise to the project.
Phase 1 of Acting Out involves working on issues of violence with youth enrolled in the School District 18 Enterprise program. The work is being coordinated by Matthew Rogers, a graduate student in the UNB Critical Studies and Education program. Matthew, an experienced teacher, is teaching the youth about the art of film-making and how to use film to explore issues of violence. The project is linked to literacy curriculum outcomes; and youth participation is voluntary. The youth will present their work in the form of a film entitled A Project in Potential, to school groups, teachers, and policy makers, and in other public spaces and places across the province.
Acting Out is made possible by funds from the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation School Trustees Fund, the Hon. Mary Schryer, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, the University of New Brunswick, and School District 18. We would like to thank the Enterprise Program staff for their continuous support of the project and to Philip Sexsmith, Literacy Coordinator, District 18 who believed in the project from the beginning and has provided enthusiastic support throughout. This work would not be possible without the expertise and commitment of Matthew Rogers and the hard work, generosity and diligence of the youth in the program – our thanks to you all.
For further information, please contact the research coordinators.
Student Research Assistants
- Matthew Rogers
- Deanna Musgrave
- Rachel Watters
Ms. Deanna Musgrave, local artist and graduate student in the UNB Interdisciplinary Studies program, worked with young women at the Fredericton Multicultural Association to produce a series of paintings related to violence in the lives of youth. Deanna worked with the group throughout the year, introducing the young women to theories of art-making and ways to express their thoughts and feelings through drawing and painting. The young women produced over 80 paintings; an exhibition is being planned for the coming year. Deanna presented the work at the Canadian Women’s Studies Association, Congress 2011.
Matthew Rogers, a graduate student in the UNB Critical Studies in Education program, continued to present the filmmaking project Candle in the Dark to teachers and administrators in the District, and to university classes and public events. Youth involved in the project have led discussions about violence in the lives of youth. In addition, Matthew has provided professional development for teachers on using filmmaking to address social issues with youth. In this way the Acting Out project has extended, indirectly, into the schools and has spurred other curriculum projects that address issues of violence in the lives of youth in New Brunswick. Matthew presented a critical analysis of the project at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Congress, 2011.
The Acting Out Project is currently being formally evaluated by Ms. Stacey Pineau. She has carried out interviews with the principal investigators, research assistants, and community members. She will submit her final report in August 2011.
Matthew Rogers, a graduate student in the UNB Critical Studies in Education program, presented the filmmaking project Candle in the Dark to teachers and administrators in the District, and to university classes and public events. (The film was completed last year with youth in the School District 18 Alternative Education Program.) Youth involved in the project have participated in the presentations and have led discussions about violence in the lives of youth, and answered questions about the project. In addition, Matthew has assisted Philip Sexsmith, Literacy Coordinator, District 18, in providing professional development for teachers on using film-making to address social issues with youth. The teachers, along with their students, have produced a series of films entitled What’s Up Doc, some of which address issues of violence in the lives of youth. In this way the Acting Out project has extended, indirectly, into the schools and has spurred other curriculum projects that address issues of violence in the lives of youth in New Brunswick.
Funds received this year from the Canadian Women’s Foundation have enabled us to expand the Acting Out project to incorporate other forms of art-making, i.e., painting and drawing with artist Deanna Musgrave, and photography with Jennifer Savage. This work is now in the planning stage and will come to fruition in the fall.
***An opening reception and screening of Candle in the Dark was held at the Empire Theatres, 1381 Regent Street, Fredericton, on May 14, 2010 at 11:30 am.