Community Partners Project in Saskatoon
Besides featuring "Reading the Museum" projects, the newsletter is always on the lookout for related initiatives that tap museums as a learning resource and provide access to disadvantaged groups and individuals. Martin Bembridge reports on the Community Partners project he is coordinating in Saskatoon. For more information you can reach him before May 23 at the Sherbrooke Community Centre, 301 Acadia Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7H 2E7, Tel, (306) 655-3685, Fax, (306) 655-3688.
The Community Partners project was launched in the fall of 1996. The project involves eleven organizations in the Saskatoon area: five museum/gallery or heritage organizations partnered with six community organizations and several client groups:
The Community Partners project received funding through Youth Service Canada (YSC). YSC is a federal government initiative designed to provide out-of-school and unemployed young people between the ages of 18 and 24 with meaningful work experience through community service. Most Community Partners YSC participants have completed their post-secondary edtication, and hope to use their experience as a gateway, into the professional workforce. Currently eleven young people are involved in the Community Partners project, and each participant is assigned to a partner group. YSC participants have learned to design and deliver museum programs and events as a result of receiving
interpretive training and work experience. These programs are designed to address clients' specific needs, based on available museum services.
Partnership is a key factor in the success of this project. Each organization has contributed extensive support for the YSC participants by providing training and materials. Without their commitment and sense of ownership of this project, Community Partners would not have worked. The unique aspect of this project is that groups are working together that would never have done so under normal circumstances. The challenge given to the YSC participants is to create a legacy. Each event, educational program and project will have a lasting effect on the Saskatoon community long after the project is over. Some sustainable components include: 1) incorporating volunteers, 2) developing educational manuals and kits for permanent use by client groups and 3) making facility and landscape improvements to provide greater accessibility for those with physical impairments.
By combining the elements of partnership and sustainability, it is hoped that Community Partners will help to further integrate our community and provide enthusiastic young people with opportunities for future employment. Groups with special needs also receive services and programs that provide them with an opportuinity to access museums, galleries and other cultural facilities. It is our hope that these new programs and services will reduce the barriers these groups face in understanding and enjoying all that these facilities have to offer.
| LAST PAGE | ARCHIVE |