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The Arts Express Program was established specifically for youth in the schools and community feeding into J.L.Ilsley High School in Spryfield order to allow for a stronger arts support within this unique family of schools. The program has been strongly supported by HRM, HRSB, the DOE and local councilors and MLAs over the past 5 years and has the following mandate:


  • Direct support for existing arts programs and development of new arts initiatives.
  • Coordination of arts partnerships between schools and community.
  • Access on external sources of funding through available arts grants to enrich school and classrooms programs, as well as arts scholarships for disadvantaged kids as well as gifted students.
  • Emphasis on ‘prevention and intervention’ by creating intensive arts initiatives for students with diverse learning styles and those who are otherwise disengaged from our public schools.


 The full time position of Arts Express Coordinator is being funded through supplementary and discretionary moneys by HRSB  and centers around developing a network of connections among schools, community arts organizations, universities, local artists, social agencies, HRM and corporate giving programs, classroom teachers, visual arts teachers and the provincial Department of Education.  Arts Express is collaborative by nature.

The current components for the Arts Express Program include:


  • Writing and coordination of a wide range of applications for arts funding from a variety of arts foundations, governments programs and private as well as corporate sources.
  • Scouting for artists suitable for ‘artists in school programs’ by forming close working connections with the local artistic community.
  • Teaching art units directly in classrooms ranging from grades Primary to Grade 12, to explore and demonstrate the possibilities of enhancing the curriculum through the arts
  • Offering leadership in visual arts, both at a regional and provincial level, by planning and implementing both mandated and optional PD for visual arts teachers of the HRSB and other school boards.
  • Planning and organizing the Provincial October Conference as the chairperson for the Art Teacher Association.
  • Development of school outreach programs and partnerships with local arts institutions, organizations, businesses and community centers.
  • Acquisition and distribution of used musical instruments, and finding sponsors for a variety of music workshop experiences for students.
  • Sourcing of revenues in order to purchase materials and supplies for the Arts Express Program, which currently has no annual operating budget.


For further information please email: Sabine Fels
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