About Art2Connect

Imagine spending two days immersed in nature, jamming, and building a vibe in the cool hills of St. Mary, taking creative risks, and learning how to Amplify Your Voice & Action to Address Citizen Security and Safety. Importantly, you spend the days and night using Art 2 Connect, empowering youth and helping to build their resilience in a safe non-judgemental environment.

Working with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Jamaica and UNESCO, The Youth- For-Development Network (YFDN) and The Jahmeyka Project team came together to develop a creative arts micro project that will support youth in Kingston to create connections and build skills to express themselves. Focused on the Sustainable development goals of both the UNDP and Vision 2030 Jamaica, the Art 2 Connect project aims to support youth with connections and opportunities to minimise the impacts of violence in their lives.

The 3-day program - one day online and two days in person sessions - will be held in August & September of 2021. The in-person workshop days will address extensive device and internet connectivity concerns. Importantly, the in-person workshops will be offered in a youth-safe, play-rich, covid-safe, camp location at the Tapioca Village Retreat Centre, St. Mary. This programming is designed to help young people witness creative connection at Tapioca Village, providing needed opportunity in a neutral, lush environment enabling youth to interact and enjoy time together. The workshops will draw from traditional YFDN #CampHeart2Art learning areas: creative arts, inner-work and self-care, nature education, tree planting activities, learning from difference and leadership/social activism. Customized ‘art and connection’ themed workshops will engage youth with local and international artists. Each youth participant will also receive an Art Box filled with art supplies and Survival tools. This take-home gift sends a powerful and positive message that creativity helps us survive even the hardest of challenge and provides an ongoing reminder of their community of care and connection.

The Camp is a melting pot of youth from diverse backgrounds and life situations, and 20 other adult staff and youth mentor volunteers who are delighted to be with you—visual artists, musicians, actors, storytellers, dancers, naturalists, self-care specialists, community activists, change makers— all there to build a community in which everyone thrives. Good food, hiking, tree planting, river rafting, good friends, and good fun, in a relaxing, natural setting.