Submitted by: Milton Community Resource Centre

Children are full of ideas, theories, dreams, questions and stories. They are eager for relationships – with people,
materials and everything in their environment. They are kind and generous, thoughtful and empathetic. They are full of joy and wonder. They persevere and are willing to take up challenging work. As Amani, age 6 yr 8mo said of her group’s mural ‘Dreamland,’ “The hardest and most sweatiest part was the sky because we didn’t want any white spaces.”

When children are provided with materials such as clay, wire, drawing tools like pencils, charcoal and fineliners, paint, pastels, quality paper, interesting loose parts like buttons or shells, glass beads or sticks as well as coached in the techniques of some of these materials, we get the privilege of seeing the children’s thinking made visible.

The Artists and Children Together (ACT) Exhibit, held at the First Ontario Arts Centre Milton from September 25th-October 15th, gave visibility to children’s ideas, discoveries and questions, from 8 months to 8 years of age, through drawings, paintings, three dimensional work and accompanying stories. The stories told about the children’s processes and learnings, as well as the artists’ and educators’ interpretations of the meaning behind the children’s work and ideas. Visitors were also invited to interact with drawing and three dimensional materials.

Our hope was that people would see the brilliance of young children and their immense competencies, both skill wise and in dispositions and be inspired to think more deeply about their work and relationships with children.

Milton Community Resource Centre (MCRC) is the lead agency for ACT, an innovative initiative that integrates local artists into early learning and licensed child care programs. Through funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, MCRC has grown the ACT initiative into more programs in MCRC as well as into the Oakville community through a partnership with Oakville Parent Child Centre.

For more information about ACT, please visit:
www.mcrc.on.ca/act-initiative