Our "Visions of our Future" program will give you an idea of the quality of our programs and the kinds of workshops that we can put together for your school or organisation.


Leah Jacob developed the teaching methods for the her art in education projects by working with local teachers in the Hasting and Prince Edward District School Board, which is the school board for Belleville and area in Ontario, Canada. Her integrated 2-4 day projects introduced a project-based learning approach, which encouraged cross-curricular competencies, matured self-awareness and supported the well being of the classroom community. (For examples of these workshops view Curriculum Enhancing Themes.)

Leah designed and coordinated the” Visions of our Future” program as a Millennium pilot project to celebrate the genius of Canada’s youth. The funding came from the Quinte Arts Council, the school board and a federal funding organization

At its base, the program introduced a comprehensive method for implementing the Ministry of Education's proposed Art Curriculum, which was accomplished by completing one focused project. The students learned about art history, language, techniques and aesthetics, how to access creativity, express their ideas and how to participate in and generate culture. In using artistic process for thinking about a topic, students used many learning modalities and discovered their strengths and interests, which sparked their love of learning.

The "Visions of Our Future" program gave 4 grade 8 classes an opportunity to imagine themselves, their activities, careers and personalities in the world of the future. The classes included a cross section of rural and urban schools in the area, with each class working with one local art expert and their medium. The program’s teaching strategies were formulated to support an umbrella of goals, a cohesive inquiry and a step-by-step constructive hands-on learning process.

Leah trained the artists how to build the teaching strategies aligned with the goals of the program. The artists conveyed the steps in their lesson plan to the classroom teachers with whom they were matched. Modeling the spirit of collaboration, teachers and artists from the Belleville area transformed their classrooms into safe working studios for the duration of the workshop

Leah trained the artists with teaching methods emphasising program continuity. The artists adapted their medium and conveyed the steps in their lesson plan. The content of the art-work was directed by the students within the theme context. The workshops included focus exercises, research, group-work and planning.

The students developed their own ideas. The workshops included slides and information on relevant art history, focus exercises, group-work and planning stages prior to applying the techniques for the medium. Student’s written work and research assignments connected to the theme developing an extensive perspective for the classroom.

Your school or organization’s program would be built on the successes of this project. The program is based on re-sourcing and training local artists in a comprehensive hands-on teaching method that balances artistic language and practical knowledge with core subject information and curriculum goals. In this context, Art can be seen as a field of study through which other fields are tested. The issues and patterns that affect our students are brought into the framework of thinking and expression, which offers opportunity for students to take a stand on what is significant about the material personally, locally and globally.

Through working in groups, developing community within the classroom, developing responsibility for learning, students are able to integrate the skills needed to generate other projects. Consequently they develop leadership and hone tools for collaborative events.

As schools become familiar with the supportive role, the artists' projects can play in building a vital classroom community, schools are motivated to make the workshops an integral part of the grades studies

The program is also intended to increase public awareness and appreciation of the artist and the arts, as artists take their place in the community by helping students understand how to access creative thought and effect their local cultures.

The benefit for communities in contracting or working collaboratively with Leah at Art Shift is that local artists who want to teach can do so within a strong unified program. Artists can become a viable resource for the school board or other educational environments.

The ideal would be for all students to experience an Art Shift workshop early in their middle school, junior high or grade 7-8 careers, as part of their maturing process. The workshops help to develop a sense of place in their own culture and the capacity to act on what is doable.

Leah now lives in Montreal, and will work on contract or through your local organizations in education or the arts. She can also help with fund raising. She is ready to work with Canadian schools boards to develop this project based learning agenda.

She can also offer professional development workshops for teachers interested in this engaging studio style of learning. Leah is able to work in partnership with arts organizations, teachers and administration to plan Art Shift programs for pre- Kindergarten and up.

Here are links for the individual "Visions of Our Futures" workshops.

Floor Cloths
Relief Sculptures
Hand Lettering and Poster Design
Graffiti and Pop Culture