Outreach Project Reflection
For my Community Outreach Assignment, I chose to volunteer with Place des Arts; a diverse community arts centre with a large range of programs for anyone living within the Tri-Cities. Place des Arts is a not-for-profit arts education centre with a mission to inspire the artist in everyone, no matter your level of skill or experience. As we know, there is a large variety of arts, ranging from visual, music, literary, theatre and performing arts. I am glad to be volunteering with a rare, unique organization which covers all of these and more! Thanks to Place des Arts’s commitment and continuous dedication to helping our local Coquitlam community, they are able to grant opportunities, when there are not too many options. If I were to briefly describe Place des Arts in three words, I would use empowering, comforting, and remarkable.
With all that being said, I believed Place des Arts mission of promoting accessible and collaborative team work though the arts was important for our community. I wanted to volunteer and aid Place des Arts in their mission to provide “superior learning programs” by being a part of their journey in helping all ways that I could. Currently, I am still a volunteer with Place des Arts, and in addition, I am a member of their Youth Arts Council, where my team and I plan and provide one-day free art events, with a focus on youth in our community. My role as a volunteer includes several unique services. Some duties include: volunteering in the arts classes, encouraging children to try their best and help with any difficulties, being a contributor to their amazing concerts and exhibitions, working closely with local artisans in our community, and planning with the YAC (Youth Arts Council) to strategize how we can get youth in our community involved in the arts. Without help from volunteers, Place des Arts would still have to maintain their fast-paced arts programs, so, I believed, why not help out to make it a more enjoyable experience for all?
Going into this Community Outreach Assignment with Place des Arts, I had three main goals I wished to accomplish. Firstly, I wanted to learn about children and classroom regulation. I got to learn how Place des Arts ensures safety with large masses from my volunteer training and hands-on experience. This was my greatest learning curve and helped immensely in my youth development. Next, I had a particular interest in the different arts programs Place des Arts provides. I was fortunate enough to learn about their community engagement by being a part of the YAC. Through the Youth Arts Council, I learned about various techniques and engagement projects to keep everyone involved in our community. I was surprised to know how much work goes into what they provide. And lastly, I wanted to be a part of their mission to overall have a good feeling inside. Each and every class or event I was involved with, gave me self-confidence and left me feeling like I made someone’s day, or even hour, just that much better.
From the environment I was in to the people I worked with, every moment with Place des Arts feels geared towards comforting each and every visitor. Once you enter one of the —several— Place des Arts doors, you are instantly hit with a warm, homey feeling. The reception staff are always ready to help you with any possible assistance, including direction and your post-dance munchies. The long hallways hang beautiful pieces by our local artisans, and showcase them in a way that will have you staring at the walls for hours. The classes have teachers and volunteers set-up and ready for teaching their next class. And their program guide is efficient and intriguing, making you want to register for your next class as soon as possible. Place des Arts makes me feel at home, supported by an outstanding team who is committed to excellence.