Cultural Ambassador Program
The Cultural Ambassador Program aims to connect the arts with health and well-being by preparing young artists to perform at various venues in their communities. Sponsoring organizations can apply for funds to pay the young artists for approximately seven weeks through programs such as the Canada Summer Jobs or the Province’s Summer Employment Program (or other funding sources). Designated supervisors of the sponsoring organizations will meet with the students regularly to assist them with their schedules as well to ensure their safety. Transportation to the venues will be provided by the Ambassadors or by the sponsoring organization.
The Cultural Ambassador Program began as a pilot project of the Soundbone Foundation during summer of 2017. With funds from the Canada Summer Job program, we hired a young musician to perform along the Kittiwake Coast from Carmanville to Gambo. She performed at seniors homes, public libraries, hospitals, private homes, community centres, recreation centres and festivals. The project was deemed a great success by all involved and we were encouraged to expand the concept the following year. You can learn more about this initial pilot project here.
In 2018 Soundbone invited other organizations and communities to hire their own Cultural Ambassadors for the summer. Music educators Jennifer Lane and Eric West assisted three young performers (from Musgrave Harbour, Gambo and Forteau) by providing them with mentorship workshops in Ladle Cove. After the workshops the young artists returned to their communities where they performed throughout the summer.
In 2019 we plan to expand the Cultural Ambassador Program by involving more organizations and artists throughout the Province. Terra Nova National Park has offered the use of its staff houses to accommodate the Ambassadors for the mentorship week (June 10-14). During this time professional artists and educators will conduct musical and organizational skills workshops – developing appropriate repertoire, finding suitable locations venues and discussing other issues. The mentorship week is provided free to all the participating artists; they will only be responsible for transportation to the site and providing their food for the week.
Memorial’s University’s School of Music has shown their support by encouraging their students to participate in the Cultural Ambassador Program. The National Arts Centre sponsored the 2018 mentorship week and has offered their support for the coming year. Terra Nova National Park has offered the use of their staff housing facilities as well as the Activity Centre.
We believe the Cultural Ambassador Program has great potential to assist our young artists in developing their careers, while benefiting their communities in the process. If you are interested in learning more about the Program please contact us.