Zenith in Action Profile: Art Case
Each year, the Richmond Youth Foundation holds a competition in which teams of high school students with ideas for community projects compete for funding. It’s called Zenith in Action, and this year’s event was held April 6 at the Richmond Arts Centre. Over the next little while, we’ll be posting short profiles of the winning teams, so you can marvel, like we have, at their ingenuity and creativity.
Angela Xiao and RJ Gan should be mortal enemies, seeing as how the former goes to Richmond High and the latter to Burnett. As it turns out, our assumptions about high school rivalries were way off, and the two get along just fine. In fact, they share a lot in common, most notably a love of the arts. When Zenith in Action Co-Chair Brigitte Malana told Angela and RJ about the competition, they decided to create a project based on their passion.
Sometimes, the arts get a bad rap, especially when they’re mentioned in reference to a career path. Nowadays, it’s all about STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. For students, the pressure to go into to these fields can be immense, even if one’s skills and talents lie elsewhere. Acutely aware of this pressure, Angela and RJ came up with the idea for Art Case, an initiative that, in RJ’s words, will “promote alternative career paths for those with unique talents.”
The point isn’t to direct students away from STEM subjects; many students are naturally passionate about math and science, and find in these fields avenues through which they can express their unique talents. Rather, with Art Case, Angela and RJ want to get students who are artistically inclined to begin thinking practically about their career options. Galleries, museums, theatres, film studios, libraries – there are places where artists can work and find fulfilment, and perhaps even inspiration.
Artists have more options than making it in Hollywood or appearing on Broadway or having their work shown at The Met. Thanks to Art Case, they’ll know what they are.