What do we do & where we do it
A.R.C. Community is creating and offering community and educational resources, events and programming with an Afrocentric and Indigenous focus for ALL children and families on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations (Vancouver, BC).
Photo: Land-based education at Whey-ah-wichen (Cates Park, North Vancouver)
Who we are & how we came to be
A.R.C. CommUNITY was co-founded in the Spring of 2020 by parents and community builders Sacha Gingras-Fox, Roger Collins, Natalie Moor, Annelie van der Heyden, Athena Affan, Yvette DuMouchel and Daisy Thompson. During the early COVID-19 school closures and the increase in public attention to racial injustice, ARC CommUNITY founders created events that prioritize& celebrate the culture of Black, Indigenous and people of the Global Majority (BIPoGM) families to gather and share knowledge, skills and inspiration that will guide children to participate in an equitable future.
How do we do it?
Our pilot project, Art Roots & Culture (A.R.C) CommUNITY learning, was birthed from a love of community & a strong desire for our children to have knowledge of self through culturally relevant and responsive education. We are actively raising free thinking people & creating a relational school experience .
We are intentionally inclusive: our (re)school's curriculum prioritizes BIPoGM educators, mentors and facilitators. Our focus is on land and arts-based education that foregrounds ways of connecting and building collaborative communities of care. Within our school we aim to cultivate self confidence, self expression, self reflection, and self direction.
Photo: Learning together
From its inception until current, A.R.C. families have been volunteering their time and resources and collectively funding the majority of projects out of pocket. We are grateful to have received grant funding through LUSH Cosmetics community pot in support of our fall session of farm, forest and arts education in collaboration with UBC Farms, Legacy Growers Collective's Alicia Lettman, Vanessa Richards' Wild Imagination program and the Community Arts Council of Vancouver and many more community members who stand with us in our vision.
Photo: Farm and Forest (un)schooling, UBC Farm
What is this fundraiser for? (see "updates" tab for most recent info)
We have a big vision for the future of A.R.C. CommUNITY learning and it starts with our Spring 2021 educational programs. With the support of our broader community (that's you!) we plan to sustain our current programming, including another term of farm & forest education while we focus on key grant projects to roll-out our full range 2021/2022 programs.
So here we are in the last weeks of winter 2022! So much was made possible by everyones generous support and contributions. We are moved by gratitude and continue to look forward in what more is possible. We have a place to call home and are now ready to grow and expand our class so that as many children & families as possible have access to ARC Programming. We haven't yet reached our goal of financial sustainability through our tuition so we still need everyone to rally behind us through this phase of grassroots growth. We will get there together. Our fundraising goal has been adjusted so that we can cover our fixed costs primarily of rent and programming and our valued commitment to have scholarships for Indigenous learners. Last but definitely not least, our fundraisers give us access to materials needed for all the project based learning the children are so inspired by. Thank you for seeing the importance of this project.
Photo: Language Arts in the classroom
September 2021 we are excited to be moving to a new East Vancouver location which offers space to grow our class and collaborate in-house with other BIPoGM led organizations, artists and mentors!
UPDATE!!! - We did it!!! However our home is in South East Vancouver's River District and the kids are thrilled to be learning how to navigate public transit for our offsite learning.
Funding is (still) needed to cover:
-Salaries for curriculum preparation & delivery for classroom educators
-Salaries for outdoor education facilitators to RESUME our weekly farm & forest programming
-Honorariums for guest instructors and mentors
-Materials, as needed, for students to participate in programming
-Classroom rental fees for our beautiful new home!
To learn more about A.R.C. CommUNITY and follow what we have been up to:
Follow us @arccommunityproject on Instagram