A young woman’s passion for the arts has led her on a journey of selflessness to give of herself to city youth who might not otherwise be able to experience their passion.
“I’ve been dancing since I could walk,” said Jocelyn Jacques, the daughter of Pastors whose humble salaries could not afford their artistic children dance or music lessons as they grew up.
For the most part, self-taught, other than a year of formal training in her late-teens, Jacques has just completed her first year at Concordia University, where she is majoring in contemporary dance. She is presently taking a year off from her studies, before finishing her BFA in Toronto to be followed by teacher’s college.
“What I really want to do is reach kids through arts,” said Jacques. “I thought it would be really nice to open a centre where kids could do this for free.”
With the support of her parents, Jacques has been laying the ground work to open a non-profit art centre for local youth, with free lessons and workshops in dance, music, theatre and visual art. They call it Creative Expressions.
“We want it to be a studio and centre (that will be) a really positive place for kids to go where there is that support,” said Jacques. “A lot of kids come from some pretty crazy situations. They want to pursue arts and just want to be somewhere that they can feel safe and express themselves. We want this to be that place for them.”
They have applied for grants, however they are presently scrambling to make the rent on their studio space, located at 143 Montreal Road, where they held an open house last month. The response from the youth in attendance was overwhelming.
“We’re going to do what it takes to make it work; just to see the look of passion of their face.”
Jacques is reaching out to the community. Anyone wishing to make a donation or to find out more about the organization can email her at Jocelynemail@example.com or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/creativeexpressionsministries.