Building on a youth-inspired charter of rights for parks, Artasia – Culture for Kids in the Arts’ annual arts initiative for children — empowers young people to care for the environment through arts, technology, and story exchange. By activating and caring for local greenspaces, children consider the interconnectedness of living things. With help from a herd of recycled aluminum caribou (created in collaboration with artist Dave Hind), their ideas migrate from the playground to the planet.

Mindful of the land and its stories, children explore concerns about habitat, plant varieties, pollinators, and endangered species. Arts activities transform questions into civic action, as children assemble creatures to carry their voices and views. Kids get digital by 3D scanning their artworks, and designing a virtual environment to meet the needs of human and non-human beings alike.

In concert with a McMaster-based research team, Artasia 2019 culminates in a 3D virtual park, housing the visions of more than 500 kids from around the region. The students of Artasia invite you to join them as they deepen their engagement with parks and the environment.

Walk along in Virtual Reality as communities are connected together via digital footpaths and waterways. The Artasia 2019 app launches during Supercrawl on September 14 and 15. The #ArtPark installation welcomes visitors via an Oculus Quest VR headset into a world of landscapes, insects and creatures – real and fantastical – carrying the voices of children with underlying themes of parks planning. Development of the #ArtPark has blossomed in partnership with a research team at McMaster University led by Dr. David Harris Smith. Further valuable input from Environment Hamilton around local plant species and pollinators has similarly aligned with CKA’s community arts approach.

Artasia is a thematic annual arts initiative, bringing children together, community-wide, to discover the transformative power of the arts. The pillars of the Artasia program are art education, civic engagement, environmentalism, innovation, and storytelling. Artasia touches over 500 young people each summer and is designed with an understanding of the importance of creativity to development, and the ideas of young people, both of which are vital to shaping strong healthy communities. This innovative program encourages collaboration, mutual learning and the multi-generational sharing of knowledge, with children, secondary school students, new generation emerging artists and practicing artists working together to uncover the potential in our community.

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