Neighbourhood Love Letters (LL): an arts-based community engagement process connecting youth-in-and-from care (YIC) with residents in Hastings-Sunrise & Grandview-Woodlands to harvest the deep, unspoken seeds of belonging that make up a neighbourhood , and reflect the spirit of neighbourhood back to itself, in it’s own words, illustrated in shared public spaces.
Supported by Corrina Keeling, Lead Artist, Diego Cardona, Youth Coordinator and Vicki Li, Volunteer Coordinator, a spring and summer engagement process for resident volunteers, inclusive of a group of youth-in-care, gain skills in art installation and community-directed inquiry, and interact at multiple points along the way, including meeting in person, contributing to the LL Scrapbooks, and witnessing the fruits of their own dialogue through temporary sidewalks and street installations in the neighbourhood. Fall harvest of scrapbook writings and photo documentation of sidewalk/street installation will form the basis of an arts exhibit and dialogue between youth and adults. LL will work w youth through networks including VACFSS-CRUW, Urban Butterflies, Youth Matters, Templeton CST, RISE, Roving Leaders.
Importance of connections & social capital for all people is well-documented. Weaving YIC connection to and aspirations for place and home with those of other residents will provide a tangible, beautiful record of community affection and dialogue, & insight into strengthening connections in place.