#MonsterArts for Youth returns: from Mississauga and Brampton to Toronto and Oakville

Reaching over 15,000 students, MAY provides youth with an opportunity to explore various cultures through workshops in South Asian arts


Mississauga, ON: #MonsterArts for Youth (MAY) returns for its seventh year. The program is created by MonstrARTity, a not-for-profit arts organization in Mississauga which strives to bring professional artists into each classroom to teach students about South Asian culture. The focus of the MAY program is to build an all-inclusive environment for students from different backgrounds and transcend cultures by using the creativity of various South Asian workshops in dance, music, visual arts, poetry and film. This year the MAY program will be focusing on mental health as arts are proven to promote mental health and act as a therapeutic agent to individuals, allowing them a greater chance to feel inclusive while also aiding them to discover their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. 

“Incorporating the Arts for Youth program workshops as part of the school curriculum has a lasting and long-term positive impact on students as they learn to innovate and create something within the context of a culture that may be new to them,” says Arts Curriculum Coordinator for the Peel School Board, Tara Burt. “These programs bolster student creativity, provide access and break down cultural barriers, creating a more inclusive environment within our schools.”

This year MonstrARTity will be implementing special paid packages to offer to all institutions within Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, Toronto, Oakville and Markham. Schools that are interested in participating in #MonsterArts For Youth will be able to pay a special subsidized fee of $300 for their first workshop, and $75 for each additional workshop on the same day. This is in comparison to the regular pricing of $600 for the first workshop and $150 for each additional workshop that occurs on the same day. This special offer is for a limited time period only, until 31st January 2020.  

“The beautiful thing about education and creativity is that it has no borders, it’s inclusive and accepting to all, no matter what age, gender, race or culture an individual identifies as or comes from,” says Executive Director of MonstrARTity, Vikas Kohli. “That is the very purpose of our MAY program. Our message is that we live in such diverse communities that celebrate various cultures, and we should be able to not only learn from them but also celebrate them. Our goal is that every student that goes through the MAY program receives that understanding and is able to walk out and accept, familiarize and learn from each different culture.”

Curated by professional artists, the #MonsterArts for Youth program is the perfect way to get kids excited about the arts and to learn about their own culture and the cultures of their classmates in a fun, approachable environment. Teachers looking to book a workshop with one of our world-class artists can visit www.monsterartsforyouth.com/.

For more information on the MAY program, or teachers who have questions about booking a workshop can contact MAY@monstrartity.com 

Check out the promo and some pictures below to see what the #MonsterArts for Youth is all about! 

 Watch #MonsterArts for Youth Promo

Harold Brathwaite  students participating in a MAY dance lesson

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Students at James Grieve public school partake in art activities

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Art activities at David Suzuki Public School

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Erin Centre Middle School students discover new dance moves

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Morningstar MIddle School creates magnificent t-shirt art

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Erin Centre Middle School students dance along with a MAY professional artist

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About MonstrARTity

Born in 2011, MonstrARTity is a not-for-profit organization, based in Mississauga and committed to providing arts for the young and old alike. Ever-expanding our productions, MonstrARTity is the producer of #BollywoodMonster Mashup, which is the largest South Asian festival in Canada, chosen as the #1 festival at Celebration Square by City of Mississauga, and MARTY award-winner for the Festival of the Year. MonstrARTity’s projects have grown to include the #MonsterArts for Youth program, which brings professional artists into classrooms to teach kids free South Asian art workshops.

About Vikas Kohli

Award-winning film composer and music producer, Vikas Kohli is the Artistic Director of MonstrARTity and is known for his expertise fusing together genres as varied as punk, classical and Bollywood pop. He has received the Trailblazer Award from the ReelWorld Film Festival, Voice Achievers Award and a MARTY award from the Mississauga Arts Council. Kohli sits on the Board of Directors for Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (OCAF), the Mayor’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee for the City of Mississauga and has been profiled on ET Canada, CBC The National, The Globe & Mail, The Hindustan Times and Zee News. Born in Ottawa, Kohli attended fine arts school, received an Honours Degree in Mathematics & Philosophy from the University of Toronto, his MBA from the Schulich School of Business and his CFA.

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