The past year has often traveled into the absurd; filled with chaos and tempered by confusion. Yet, amongst all the tragedy, mass movements for positive change have risen. This year, the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society (VACS) is proud to present a program that will help equip the youth of today— the leaders of tomorrow— with tools to navigate the strange new reality we find ourselves in.
Created in the summer of 2020 by a group of dedicated individuals, the Future Leaders through Art Program (FLAP) focuses on providing youth with education on the foundations of local and global social change, as well as the knowledge and skills that are needed to accomplish it. For those who wish to learn more about the ways that art can be used to create societal change, FLAP is an inclusive and welcoming learning space where students will develop comprehensive and creative innovations aimed at solving problems. It features three main courses: Journalism as Social Change (FLAP 101), Design in Action (FLAP 201), and Resilient Cities through Placemaking (FLAP 202). For students who seek more knowledge about social systems and their growing autonomy, the Leadership Circle provides short videos and informative documents on developing ideas and sense of self.
The Future Leaders through Art Program(FLAP) is focused on:
Building knowledge through cross-disciplinary learning
Creating youth-driven shared experiences
Sparking collaboration through leadership development opportunities
Envisioning our futures through Art-Based Community Development
Engaging in real-world problem-solving
Access to the innovative online learning project created by course mentors from diverse backgrounds
Webinars and live community engagement with like-minded peers
Support in terms of key theory and practical subject knowledge
Three capacity building courses led by mentors well-trained in their respective fields
Engagement with diverse world views and experiences
Life skills – getting comfortable with being uncomfortable
FLAP offers three courses to its fellows:
FLAP 101: Journalism as Social Change
FLAP 201: Design in Action
FLAP 202: Resilient Cities through Placemaking
Watch this video about the learning methods for our program!
FLAP 101: Journalism as Social Change
Empowering youth to connect with social issues through journalism.
FLAP 201: Design in Action
Cultivating professional art and design skills to make an impact.
FLAP 202: Resilient Cities Through Placemaking
Creating and learning about art-based solutions for global issues.
Who are we looking for?
We are seeking youth who are interested in developing the mindset and skills to address social justice and environmental issues through the arts and creativity. Ideal fellows will possess:
A passion and desire to learn about emerging local and global challenges and use arts and creativity to solve issues
An ability to quickly adapt and work in resource-constrained environments
Desire to engage in an interactive leadership development experience while applying creative solutions to deepen the impact.
Who We Are:
VACS is a non-profit art-supporting organization that pursues the enrichment of lives and community through art. The team at FLAP is dedicated to these ideals, and is passionate about connecting with the future leaders of tomorrow, helping them build stronger communities today.
Dr. Keiko Honda
Founder & Executive Director
Ph.D. in Public Health (NYU, 2002)
Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Columbia U, 2002-2005)
My primary title is Founder & Executive Director of the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society (VACS), but by training I am an epidemiologist and health behavioural scientist. My work mainly focuses on theories of behavioural change and advanced intervention design. Epidemiology is largely a quantitative public health discipline that uses principles of statistics and research methods, and I incorporate epidemiology into the Social Artistry courses I teach at Simon Fraser University Continuing Studies. My background in epidemiology and evidence-based practice came in handy when I served as a collaborating grant review advisory board member or a project leader for various interdisciplinary community projects. My contribution is to evaluate the usefulness, reliability and validity of criteria proposed for various community health issues.
One of the most exciting developments in my career has been my involvement with the VACS, the platforms of the arts, science, and social change, to support and foster active exchange between all disciplines by building connections, creating shared experiences, and sparking collaboration. I accepted the challenge to educate and learn from young people about the shared roots of artistic development and of system change to create more possibilities in our community.
Meet the Course Leaders and Peer Mentors
Keiron is a Vancouver & Toronto based photographer whose work focuses on documenting the creative process of other artists and finding creativity and reimagining everyday spaces. His first solo gallery show ‘hoops’ explored the interconnections of sport and culture and reimagined spaces of leisure as places of expression and beauty. He is pursuing a master’s degree in International Development at York University and his research focuses on how access to programs of sport, art and music impact both individual and community development in post-conflict contexts.
Lucas Lee is a writer and editor who splits time between Vancouver and Toronto. He has written for publications like Toronto Life, THIS Magazine, and the Ryerson Review of Journalism. He writes about social issues like mental health, labour, and inequality. Currently, he is most concerned about pollution in the upper Don River and the low-cost concrete-asphalt mixture used in Toronto streets. He is the acting editor-in-chief of VACS Magazine.
Rachel is a Nigerian-Canadian Graphic Designer based in Vancouver. She finds inspiration through various mediums like Internet culture, animation, Swedish design, and all things retro.
Rachel enjoys her job because it allows her to express herself through shapes, colors, and styles.
First and foremost, thanks for stopping by! Mandy is a curious student of history and asian canadian studies at UBC. She is in the « behind the scenes » production of this program, so although you might not see her often, know that she is cheering you on! As a developing social artist (artist + activist) herself, she says if you’re on the fence about applying, try it anyway! You’ll meet people like her that can help you along on your journey.