Why We Exist
Curtis was referred to an Antyx community mural project by a community youth justice committee. He had committed his first criminal offense and needed to complete a number of mandated community service hours. He was a reluctant participant at first, showing little enthusiasm and declining to participate in much of the opening dialogue and project brainstorming. It was obvious he felt he was required to be there.
As Curtis continued to put in his hours, changes began to occur. He began to help more with the project set-up and clean-up. He began to build more open connections with Antyx Staff and project artists. He began to connect socially and work cooperatively with the the other youth working on the project. Curtis invited his mother and sister to some of the mural painting sessions. He helped them paint parts of the mural and proudly showed them his work.
Once his community service hours were completed, Curtis continued to work on the mural. He was the only project participant to attend every project session. At the mural unveiling celebration he received recognition and compliments from community members thankful for the mural the youth had created. During the celebration, Curits connected with each of the Antyx staff and project artists thanking them for the opportunity help create the mural and enthusiastically volunteering for the next mural project.
Antyx uses the Arts to provide youth, especially youth who are marginalised, with the means to understand themselves, connect with others and make a positive difference in their communities.
Antyx’s community-based art projects and programs foster critical thinking, encourages creative problem solving, promotes youth leadership and inspires collaboration. We support youth and community groups in Calgary in using the arts to address social issues that prevent youth from being safe, included and successful.
“To put it simply, art takes flight. Each art piece, theatre creation or photo captured is a direct result of youth identifying an issue that they relate with, understand and connect with. They recognize the imbalance of power, or oppression that each belief/stereotype/myth/action/ inaction holds to their lives and the lives of people around them. Then they create a piece of art that questions, challenges and hopefully brings social change by choosing an audience that can be inspired to take action or challenged to break an unhealthy belief system.” (Antyx Staff)