Art Beat: OCFF Outreach
Connecting artists, students, and community during the annual OCFF conference
Definition of Outreach
The act of reaching out; the extending of services or assistance beyond current or usual limits. (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012)
Definition of Art Beat
An opportunity for performers who are registered delegates at the annual OCFF conference to ‘extend’ and ‘reach out’ to the host community. Performers act as volunteers by donating intimate, acoustic one-hour performances in local schools, seniors’ residences and long term health-care facilities. (OCFF, 2012)
Why Art Beat?
Folk music is ultimately about expression, reflection, creativity and community. What better way to embrace the roots of folk music during the OCFF conference than to volunteer an hour of time with students and local residents who might not otherwise have an opportunity to hear, learn, discover, and connect with our musical community.
What kind of performances does Art Beat offer?
The primary focus of the program is to offer performances which are enjoyable and engage the audience in a live, acoustic music experience. Some Art Beat performances feature content ranging from the art of songwriting to ethnic folk dancing; from traditional story-telling to guitar techniques. The common connection is folk music in its many forms. This program is a voluntary service and no fee is charged to any of the schools or organizations that are chosen to host a concert.
What are people saying about Art Beat?
Students, teachers, administrators, health care workers, and musicians alike have been delighted with the programs offered during conferences in Sudbury, Guelph, Kingston, London, Ottawa, Niagara Falls and Mississauga. One high school student’s parting comment at the end of a performance was, “That was the best history class I’ve ever had,” while a teacher at another school said: “You don’t understand, we have no music program, and that was the first time some of those kids have seen a guitar or heard a song sung in this building.”
To learn about our most recent Art Beat (Mississauga, 2012), read on…
“I wanted to thank you for the wonderful opportunity our kindergarten students had when Gabrielle Papillon and Corinna Rose came to visit our school. The students were mesmerized by the music and I have never seen them so attentive! Gabrielle and Corinna were exceptionally talented and explained about their music, the process of writing music, the instruments they played, and whole host of other curriculum expectations all crammed into a one hour performance. Their last song was so funny to the kindergarten children that they were falling over backwards with laughter.”
St. Hilary School, Dufferin-Peel CDSB
“Thank you both so much for coming to our school to give a little “North” to our southern place. The children had such a great experience. It’s refreshing to see the children take such joy in music while learning about nature, animals and other cultures within our great country. I really believe that this type of music is missing in the society we have today.”
St. Alfred School, Dufferin-Peel CDSB (Re: Art Beat performers Kate Weekes and Grant Simpson)
“The best part about my Art Beat experience was reminding the children that they are not simply passive consumers of music, they have the opportunity to express themselves and participate in real terms. It was important to me that they realize that music is more than just the backdrop for advertisements. I’m not sure if the Grade Ones understood the message, but I’m certain they enjoyed yelling stuff!”
OCFF member and Art Beat performer Dave Borins