Hitting ‘Unmute’: Staying Connected in WAG’s Virtual Sessions
While galleries and museums have had to adapt during worldwide closures caused by the pandemic, WAG–Qaumajuq had already developed the tools to offer high-quality virtual tours and art-making sessions thanks to supporters like you, and these programs are expanding exponentially with the opening of Qaumajuq.
From the early days of our partnership with Connected North and Taking IT Global, WAG Learning & Programs staff are now heading into their fifth year of offering virtual sessions to classrooms across Canada, providing students the opportunity to learn about art while creatively responding with artwork of their own. Through the generosity of donors, while the WAG was closed to the public, our virtual programs have been able to continue. Children connect to the WAG virtually from their classrooms or home computers, allowing us to share the WAG with students before, during, and after the pandemic.
Like so many of us, kids have experienced a year of online meetings, classes, and education. We can all appreciate the value of engaging, exciting programming that makes you forget you’re on Zoom at all!
Colleen Leduc, WAG Learning & Programs Coordinator, is able to see firsthand the benefits of students connecting through the language of art. During a virtual art-making session with a grade 5 class from Fort Frances, Ontario, one student in particular was eager to share with his classmates, holding up the artwork he made and making valuable connections to the work. Colleen noticed that the teacher’s camera and microphone were turned off. Though it was unusual, she continued her session with the students and encouraged them to share their art creations with one another.
After the session, Colleen received an email from the teacher, apologizing for turning off her camera. The teacher explained that she had become overcome with emotion during the class and had needed to excuse herself. Unbeknownst to Colleen, the student who was so eagerly sharing his artwork had never engaged or participated in other lessons or class activities. He always kept his microphone turned off and kept to himself. The fact that he had pressed ‘unmute’ on his microphone and was discussing his artwork with his classmates was a significant breakthrough.
These moments happen every day at the WAG. “This is just one of many stories I could share from my virtual sessions,” Colleen shares. “It’s only because of the generosity of donors that we are able to create transformative experiences like these for children in the community.”
Your support is directly connecting kids with art and the stories that inspire these works – from anywhere in the world. You can help create a meaningful experience for a child or an entire classroom today.