Local musicians and visual artists are being invited to get on board the Belonging train.
The local Arts a la Carte initiative is spurring two new projects that aim to encourage conversation and exploration on the themes of inclusivity and what it means to belong.
Budding songwriters can register for workshops that will provide them with professional guidance on how song ideas can be put to paper. City of Red Deer Culture Services is offering separate songwriting courses for teens and adults, led by professional singer/songwriter Donna Durand.
Songs created in the workshops on the theme of belonging can be performed at a concert at The Matchbox in Red Deer in November.
The Where Songwriters Belong program was created from a partnership between the city, The Matchbox and Arts a la Carte, a local initiative that explores the connection between arts and wellness.
The belonging theme was chosen because a sense of community connection is tied to good physical and mental health.
Classes cost $63 and run for six weeks, starting on Thursday, Sept. 24. No writing experience is necessary, but basic piano or guitar skills are recommended. Registrations are accepted in person at the Collicutt Centre or Recreation Centre, or online at www.reddeer.ca/looknbook. For more information about the courses, call Teresa Neuman at 403-309-4757.
The theme of belonging will also be extended to a mail art exhibit. Anyone can create a painting, collage, drawing, photograph or stamped work on the belonging theme and mail it as a postcard (or put it in an envelope, if preferred).
Submissions should be received no later than Oct. 15 by Glynis Wilson Boultbee, Belonging Project Co-ordinator, c/o Red Deer Public Library, 4818 49th St., Red Deer, Alta., T4N 1T9.
The works received will be displayed at the Harris-Warke Gallery at the rear of Sunworks on Ross Street in December.
While most of the submissions have, so far, been local, mail art has also been received from as far as Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
For more information about the art project, call Wilson Boultbee at 403-342-5582.