Darkspark programming relies on collaboration and partnerships. We work with communities and organizations on projects that increase experiential impact for participants. Our programs are portable and can compliment existing campaigns to increase engagement, and produce high value content for our partners. Our approach builds individual capacity and confidence through engaging arts programming. The process of creating songs, and presenting them online and at community gatherings empowers participants and expands the reach of our partners.
Arctic Expedition 2017
In Summer 2017, Darkspark was invited to partner with the Students On Ice Foundation to join their two-week Arctic expedition. Alongside 125 youth and 80 educators, artists, Elders and scientists from all over the world, we traversed the northwest passage. On board, Darkspark built a mobile recording studio in the sauna of the ship and ran a songwriting and recording project with select participating youth. The songs created provided an invaluable outlet for students to process this life-changing experience. When shared, these songs extended the impact of the learning that took place on board. The songs and videos created were widely shared on social media channels, empowering participating youth and engaging their own communities in dialogue about important social issues.
Jasmine Keogak - Sachs Harbour, North West Territories CANADA
Jasmine is a resilient, amazing young Inuvialuit woman from Sachs Harbour (Ikaahuk), NWT, which has a population of approximately 95 people. We first connected with Jasmine because of her awesome style and sly sense of humour.She truly is one of a kind.
At first, Jasmine confessed she wanted to write a happy song. We spoke about her happiest memory, which involved a family member who had since passed away. Jasmine decided to create this song as a memorial. Within it, there are so many other powerful stories that reveal themselves about Jasmine, the place she lives and the impact of history on individuals, families and community.
Kiersten Williams - Iqaluit, Nunavut CANADA
While on the 2017 Arctic Expedition Kiersten approached us passionate and prepared with lyrics, ideas and a powerful message. Kiersten wore her heart on her sleeve, and openly discussed her personal battle with depression and anxiety. Having found her way through this darkness into a happier and more supported place, she wanted to write a song for her peers going through something similar.
In her words: "I wrote this song this summer to show that it’s totally okay to speak up when you’re having a hard time. It’s easy to feel scared when you’re going through depression/anxiety so i wrote this to hopefully help people to get out of their comfort zone and get help because that help is so important. The suicide rates are extremely high in Nunavut. I wrote this to find a healthy way to express how most teenagers feel living in such an isolated place.”
Nunavut's rate of suicide is 10 times greater than any province or territory in Canada. Those statistics are startling enough — but in the case of Inuit boys 15 to 19, the suicide rate is 40 times higher than those of their peers in the rest of Canada.
Latarick Foreman - Chicago, Illinois USA
Latarick is one of two students from Chicago who participated in the Students on Ice 2017 Arctic Expedition. Latarick found his way to SOI through an amazing program in Chicago called Embarc that brings experiential education to marginalized students in Chicago.
On board, Latarick was the ship comedian. He would go out of his way to keep us all laughing. However, when writing and recording with us, Latarick let his full story shine through. Like many in his neighbourhood and school, he’s lived through a lot. We learned so much about the experience of inner-city Chicago youth by working with Latarick, mainly how much gun violence impacts their lives and experience daily. An important topic now more than ever…