Animating Historic Sites: Return and Relearn at Zion Schoolhouse

Through February and March 2019, VIBE Arts teamed up the Toronto Arts Council to Animate the City of Toronto’s historic Zion Schoolhouse. This project took shape as four, day-long artist residencies culminating in three days of public March Break programming where VIBE Artists reimagined and re-constructed traditional subjects of the 1910 schoolhouse.

VIBE Artist Ruben Esguerra and Assistant Philip Estrada led a group of students in Arithmetic in the form of Latin percussion.  Artist Paddy Leung and Assistant Josephine Mwanvua worked together to rethink history through contemporary paper-craft. Igho Item was assisted by Ammarah Syed to reframe traditional reading and writing into spoken word, while Sandra Tarantino and Assistant Jason Julien turned traditional nature studies into a workshop where participants used found materials to draw with natural ink.

Photographs courtesy of Maggie Newell, Zion Schoolhouse

The program successfully drew a large number of participants to the schoolhouse, engaging them with hands-on, educational activities for three days throughout March Break. We thank the families, participants and school partners who participated in Return and Relearn, as well as Maggie Newell and the Zion Schoolhouse. This program would not have been possible without the Animating Historic Sites initiative of the Toronto Arts Council.