On March 28th Access Alliance Youth Cultural Explosion took place, the event was focused on the youth to represent and explore different cultures and the power they have to strengthen local communities to forge a sense of identity and belonging by promoting social development in the form of urban arts. The event included the celebration of the youth volunteers who have contributed their time and effort with the organization. The collaboration of the youth from different backgrounds leading to the showcase allowed the afternoon to present a crossroad of cultures, that serve as a positive agent in promoting peace and intercultural understanding.
The beginning of the event was devoted to photography displayed in the form of mini exhibits throughout the room. Community members were encouraged to take time to view the captured shots as they enjoyed delicious and healthy finger foods. Once seated, I was able to introduce the next part of the show, which was videography of the New Youth Toronto March break camp 2015. The camp focused on providing a wide variety of urban arts workshops including drumming, stomp, beatboxing, dancehall, spoken word, Dj mixing, wacking, and freestyle with the aim of promoting creative ways to express who you are, and how you feel. The afternoon continued with a dance performance and an award ceremony of certificates acknowledging the hard work of the participants, followed by prizes ranging from chocolate, Tim Horton, iTune, Subway, and Cineplex gift cards. The show ended with a fashion outburst of different cultural attire found worldwide, allowing the youth to strut their stuff down the catwalk by embracing the beautiful colors, prints and designs our backgrounds bring to Toronto.
This being my first time working with youth, I was able to see how the exposure to new and creative ideas, through our own heritage plays a huge role on self-acceptance, but also exploring others allows us to acknowledge the importance, especially in such a multicultural place like Toronto, to embrace all cultures in order to bond us together as a cohesive community.
Written by: Merbib Shambe