Y A L P copy

Youth Arts Leadership Program (YALP) with Ambassador Kayley Dixon

    With over 15 million views and an abundant amount of press, Kayley Dixon, YALP’s new ambassador, has received recognition for her Spoken Word standing up and speaking  against Sexual Violence, and what we can do as society to prevent this. Dixon, only 14 years old and born in Nova Scotia, spoke with wisdom beyond her years about sexual violence and since, her video has gone viral.

    The Title of her poem was labeled as “A Touch of Sexual Assault”. Dixon performed this at the Youth Arts Leadership Provincial Funding Announcement on Monday, (May 9th,or 2nd) of this year.

    Since the video went viral, she has made comments about reaching people, and how above and beyond thankful she is that people are reaching back to her to thank her for being brave and speaking words of truth and wisdom to people who do not have the voice to talk about the issue of sexual violence.

LINKS to Kayley Dixon:



What is YALP About anyways?

    YALP is the Youth Arts Leadership Program is series of events that is hosted by YAC (Youth Art Connection). Youth Art Connection (YAC) has partnered with Schools Plus and John Martin Junior High School to create a youth arts & leadership program in the Dartmouth North Community. This project (YALP) is a response to community discussions hosted by the ‘Between the Bridges’ group about the need for more recreational activities for youth in the area. Arts and creative activities were identified as a particular need and effective approach to engaging youth in the area. Dustin Ellsworth of Schools Plus established the partnership with Youth Art Connection to set up this project.

    Senior Programmer and Co-founder of YAC Ryan Veltmeyer, is working with youth leadership groups in the community to:

a) identify artistic areas of interest amongst the youth community

b) support the development of a founding youth arts leadership team

                                c) bring in local artists to facilitate skill building and self-expression workshops in areas of artistic,cultural and social interest to youth in the program

       d) facilitate group discussions about personal and community social issues

                             e) work with professional artists to support youth to create art that gives youth a voice and helps to educate peers and the wider community about pertinent social issues.

    Within the first 5 years, YAC has been working with youth and professional artists facilitating creative leadership programming. Having such talented professionals on board with us, we sought out four issues have emerged as a priority amongst youth:

1. Bullying

2. Sexual Violence

3. Gender Identity

4. Race/Cultural Identity

    With support from the Sexual Violence Prevention Initiative YAC and Schools Plus will build on what we have started, and use the Dartmouth North Youth Arts Leadership Program to support youth to discuss, learn about and take action on the above social issues with an emphasis on Sexual Violence Prevention through art making and public storytelling about the above issues

    This project (YALP) will be lead by the interests, passions and concerns of youth with experienced youth engagement facilitators. We believe this to be innovative rather than having a pre=constructed curriculum delivered to youth. We are allowing youth to lead in tackling social issues by building on their passions and strengths, and by surrounding them with supportive adults, inspiring professional artists that reflect their interests, cultural background and gender identity, and by providing community-based access to the artistic equipment and supplies needed to create powerful art projects to be shared with their peers and community, YAC and Schools Plus will use an innovative approach to create meaningful and lasting change in Dartmouth North.


Art Builds Futures