The arts are a critical venue for adolescents to process their experiences and development. Adolescents are highly expressive when provided a safe environment and professional mentors.
In the e2 program, students have a number of ways to participate in the arts. They can take a credit course in visual arts, music, dance, drama or integrated studies, audit a course rather than taking it for credit, be exposed to the arts through the interdisciplinary assignments of other courses or use The Element facilities to explore the arts without the directed intent of a course.
The Arts courses can be offered in a number of different ways – non-semestered, semestered, or compressed even further into six or seven-week sessions which allows both students and teachers great flexibility.
The Element has a dedicated Art/Design Studio. Guest artists are an important component of the program as young people respond to adults who are passionate about their work. With the flexibility of The Element’s scheduling, students are also able to go out into the community to work alongside artists in their studios. A faculty member works with students to find appropriate mentors.
Grade 9 students collaborate with the e1 students (grades 7 and 8) to produce a 40 to 60 minute play in a five-week period, alternating each year between a French and an English production. All the students work as a team to cover everything from learning lines, blocking, costuming, make up, stage design, music lighting, marketing, etc. under the direction of a professional director. The grade 9 students act as leaders and do additional work to meet the requirements of the open Grade 9/10 Drama credit (ADA10). This type of production allows all students to choose between a diversity of arts – drama, music, fine art, design, and the role of technology within and around these. Students can indulge a passion or explore an aspect that has hitherto been unknown to them.
Beyond grade 9, students have a choice of art elective courses. These courses will be offered different years based on student interest. Most of the art courses do not have prerequisites which means that students may take them as they are offered rather than by grade.