Michelle Loughery Murals WAYFINDER CONNX
An innovative Community Mural Art based skills program that connects people of all ages and nationalities through art in action in partnership building strategies that leave behind sustainable bridging to foundation trades experiences, life skills and crowdsourcing digital family support. Finds a value proposition that connects Community needs with education, government, industry, community and people needs. The most prevalent challenges for government and industry in regards to providing skilled training and social license are finding relevant employment for people as they progress through skills -training/apprenticeships. Wayfinder and Michelle Loughery Mural Art in Action signature programs provide these relevant grass root connection strategies that are unique in the tourism,economic and social strategy legacies that are left behind.
Twenty five years of proven project and programming success, this unique P6 (TM) formula of inclusion and networking has created a new Culturism Industry and has created the artification of Industrial Arts into Foundation Trades certification programs. Duplicated in numerous government and educational and community systems, this visual bridging pathways program has been the catalyst for thousands of students life and career paths, numerous high impact global community infrastructure builds, generating millions of economic and social benefits, as well as hundreds of legacy large scale pieces of public visual murals around the world. As Wayfinder and Michelle Loughery Murals moves forward the programs have developed into digital story telling three dimensional tools to build national and global pathways to partnerships, skill paths, and relevant social change.
Loughery’s Murals are visual modern story telling cave drawings that preserve the past, tell the present while helping pave the way for the future. Trail blazing, brave and innovative since its inception in the early 90’s the story is really taking skills out of the box and onto the walls. People out of their boxes and onto the space between the wall and change.
The Wayfinder program is structured on employment skills and community engagement social skills, which are the number one missing link between skilled workers and the job market. Art trade based learning and partnerships will guide students directly into skills jobs, further education or entrepreneurship. Part of this program also has students enrolled in, The, “Passport to Employment Program,” (created 2001) A Michelle Loughery Murals designed program that gives youth a life skill and employment sustainability plan to move forward to empower and sustain a healthy lifestyle. Community benefits are huge as the community murals or events created, produces a historic or culture based tool to educate, engage and create tourism destinations a “Wayfinding” senses of place. Social media provides a story collecting and telling program that creates online dialogue murals that inspires national and international exchange and cross cultural learning.
The overall purpose of this program is to take youth-at-risk and to help them develop the job and life skills that they require to take control over their future to become law abiding and contributing citizens in their community. The program has been successfully duplicated in every community Michelle has worked in. The main reason that this project is successful is that participants are not placed in classic learning situations where there is generally only one set way of doing things. For many youth-at-risk, the standardized or institutionalized methods of learning are very threatening. Thus, although, Michelle and her administrators have high expectations for the youth, the participants are placed in an open, non-threatening environment and in situations where success is achievable. As well, the steps to learning a skill are gradual and participants are given the freedom to make mistakes and often repeat the same mistakes before success is reached.
Why the Program is Successful:
The youth learn basic job/work expectations ie. to show up on time and to work each day; language, dress and behavioural expectations etc.
The youth learn self appreciation through completing tasks that are acknowledged and rewarded
The youth learn to set personal goals and how to work to achieve those goals successfully
The youth learn to work as part of a team – they learn that in order for a team to be successful it is important to lead, and at other times to follow
The youth are continually mentored by a skilled and positive role model
The youth become the monitors of each others’ behaviours; rules of conduct are very important for the group, those who do not follow them are ostracized from the rest of the group until the rules are followed
The youth are placed in a work environment that allows them to find their own strengths ie. Artistic aptitude is NOT a requirement for this program – some youth will find that their strengths lie in the painting of murals; others in building of scaffolding; others in prepping walls; others in marketing and publicizing the program; others in working with children; others in working with seniors; others in public education etc. etc.
The youth are placed in public and high visibility work areas – so that the community is made aware of the changes that the youth are making inside and outside of themselves- this serves the twofold purpose of making the youth accountable to the community and the community becomes accountable to the youth who are helping to improve their city
The youth are expected to complete a number of certificate and non certificate courses that will help build self-confidence and job and life skills
The program work site and offices become a sanctuary of safety and acceptance for many. The program provides volunteer opportunities for other youth-at-risk to join; and they do.. Youth who take the initiative to volunteer, although not paid and not included in paid for certificate courses, will receive training from Michelle – in some cases this volunteer work has led to youth being hired in the next program and/or being eligible for recommendation from Michelle for other employment
The Youth-at-risk Mural Program, designed by master muralist Michelle Loughery and implemented in communities all over North America for over 20 years, is the epitome of economically viable Public Art. Although the core of the program is to work directly with displaced groups of youth-at-risk, by assisting them in gaining the job and life skills that they require to take control over their future and to become law abiding and contributing citizens, the program has far-reaching social and economic impacts.
Socially, the program acts as a restorative catalyst and a bridge between the youth-at-risk and the community as a whole, as it acts to increases community pride and ownership. Moreover, the community witnesses the youth-at-risk creating this revitalization, thus lowering the suspicious and negative attitudes that are often associated with these youth. Vandalism and crime tend to decrease as the peers of the youth participants, and the participants themselves, take ownership over the improvements made to the community.
Loughery Artworks -Community Education Programs are available with lesson plans and downloadable mural kits for teachers at the community level to use the murals as education tools to inspire and encourage learning through community art in their classrooms. New Immigrant art celebration inclusive programming is also a key component of The Sunflower Project. Looking at the planet as a whole community, we aim to bring together all nations. With British Columbia as the home base, we hope to help youth to promote a multicultural quilt of culture at the heart of Canadian identity.
Identifying social challenges in their communities, youth will develop community arts-based strategies for change, and encourage their peers to become involved in the implementation. Each community project will be overseen by a project coordinator, who will be tasked with working directly with youth, so that they can identify, plan and lead youth-driven projects that transform young lives and revitalize their communities.By taking an active role in implementing a Sunflower Project community art project, young people build capacity and a sense of community engagement. In this, the program encourages pride in aboriginal heritage, youth civic engagement, capacity building, mentorship and leadership skills. Particular attention is placed on ensuring that selected projects:
The overall purpose of this program is to take youth-at-risk and to help them develop the job and life skills that they require to take control over their future to become law abiding and contributing citizens in their community. The program has been successfully duplicated in every community Michelle has worked in. (Please see Historical Overview) The main reason that this project is successful is that participants are not placed in classic learning situations where there is generally only one set way of doing things. For many youth-at-risk, the standardized or institutionalized methods of learning are very threatening. Thus, although, Michelle and her administrators have high expectations for the youth, the participants are placed in an open, non-threatening environment and in situations where success is achievable. As well, the steps to learning a skill are gradual and participants are given the freedom to make mistakes and often repeat the same mistakes before success is reached.
-Support aboriginal youth wanting to improve the quality of life in their communities
-Build skills, leadership and capacity among youth participants
-Revitalize communities through the energy and initiatives of youth
-Incubate sustainable forms of youth community engagement
Encourage intergenerational connections through the power of the arts and their contribution to social change in Canada, particularly in the following areas:
Community Consultation –WayfinderCONNX |ARTWORKS project philosophy- Relevant needs in terms of social and economic needs. Wayfinder then transfers those needs into a viable “commodity” that provides employment and “PAID” training in skills that are transferable to other industries.
The underlying value proposition- Wayfinder project enters the communities, has dialogue within the community and includes the communities from the ground up.
Project Based Inclusion Paths are IMPERATIVE to INCLUSION and community social growth. Connected community paths are imperative to Economics and Tourism.
Common Ground- HIGHWAYS|ANCIENT TRAILS|PATH FORWARD-True reconciliation partnerships through:
Route BLUE – BC Wide Highway Art and Living Culture
A Wayfinding path forward for all cultures and
industries together as a Nation.
Innovative Strategies | Integrated Engagement Approach that is a groundbreaking initiative of skills and education in the form of “Wayfinder- Arts and Skills of the Trades”.
It is a community art based, physical & tangible environmental, multicultural journey linking humanity and blending our vastly related heritage beyond borders in a trades training, multiple site highway community art story telling movement.
Connecting /Routes /Trails/First Nations Territories as Communities/Logistics, Convergence Centre Hubs/Resource Workplace Hubs/
Conversational Engagement with in all nations Communities-Art Programs ties to Bands sustainability through business development and manufacturing.
“The feel of the trades through Community Art inclusions.”
A community-based art, foundation life skills and trades experience program that helps at-risk youth aged 15-30 gain fundamental skills, trades and multi-media experiences in order to explore education, self-employment or obtain sustainable employment.
- Conversational engagement between Bands, Immigrants, youth, elders and society from within communities.
- Art program tied to Band sustainability through Business and Manufacturing.
- High Success – Engaged 5,000 + at-risk youth, 80% of whom are Aboriginal.
- Infused over $50+ Million in Community-Based Art Infrastructure
The Wayfinder difference is …
- The Feel of the trades with applied arts and tourism through community real life art installations!
- Engagement where Life and Work are One
- Utilizing Art and Creativity to engage in Life and Work
- Foundation Life Skills and Elder Engagement
- Bridging to Trades, Education, Business
Is a art-based strategy of community art events through strategic art trades based programing in a community connection model.
Mining community born and raised visionary Michelle Loughery brings forward the wisdom of true community passed onto her by her immigrant Canadian roots. Coal mining dust in her veins the sense of community placement through all nations communication was vital for survival in the building of resource towns. Those roots have formed a base for her structures artistically, socially and economically in the innovative community arts programing she developed and the charity she fostered with her amazing team to perpetuate her legacy.
The Wayfinder Team of Advisors brings strong thought leader project skills including: Aboriginal and non aboriginal youth and cultural skills learning through ‘the people’ strategies, with art based socioeconomics, partnership procurement, tourism, business, community and project innovation.
Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame/Merritt Walk of Stars 2005 -2012
Created, designed and implemented a 40 Mural community art program that generated $8 million dollars in project development that compounded to become an immeasurable economic infrastructure.
Won several awards for employment art programs including BC Achievement 2005/ Innovation Business Award 2006/ Okanagan Art Educator Award 2013 Nisika Multi-Cultural Reconciliation 2014 Nomination
Downtown Vernon BC Mural Project
Created, designed and implemented a 30 Mural community art program that generated $6 million dollars in project development that compounded to become an immeasurable economic infrastructure.
Route 66 Mural City
Created and designed a multi- million dollar community art and tourism strategy that has created a 50 million dollar revitalization of an entire community.