For the past 15 years Chris Short has seen the good that comes from the Learning Through the Arts in Western Newfoundland program.
After 12 years as an artist with the program and serving as co-ordinator for three years, she has so many stories to tell of children, teachers, artists and even parents who have been impacted by the program that brings arts-infused workshops into classrooms around the west coast.
But sadly the program is in jeopardy of folding.
“Our funds have run out,” said Short.
The program had been funding by the provincial government to the tune of $40,000 through Cultural Connections. However, the Cultural Connections budget was cut last year and that resulted in the program not getting any money this year. It was able to continue on a smaller scale with money that had been left over, but that has now run out.
It also used to receive another $10,000 from the former Western School District, but as of yet no funding has come forward from the new Newfoundland and Labrador English School District.
Short has sent out numerous funding requests to try and continue on, but there’s been no response yet.
And to see the program end is devastating for her.
“When you go into the classroom and the kids are so pleased to see you, they enjoy the workshops,” she said.
“They don’t realize that they’re learning things like math and science, but they are. They’re learning about the outcomes that the teachers are trying to cover in a really fun and exciting way.”