Community Engagement Through Customized Arts & Film Based Programming
Who We Are
, is an award-winning artist and creative engagement facilitator who is passionate in her belief that art can heal and build connections. is an award-winning filmmaker and editor with international film and television credits to his name.
We are an award-winning artist/filmmaker team who have taught over one thousand at-risk youth and vulnerable young adults life skills through art and digital media projects.
Our mission is to now share our experiences and empower leaders, caretakers and educators to teach their own community members the power of storytelling through art and digital media.
Empower YOUth will awaken the artist within you, so that you can:
• Incorporate our simple but highly engaging art and digital media projects into your curriculum to help reach even the most withdrawn youth or members of your community.
• Run an entire program from start to finish (modeled on our own successful programming experience), using your newly discovered technical, artistic, and administrative skills.
Together Katarina and Fredrik have combined three decades of professional and teaching experience to inspire over one thousand at-risk youth as key instructors at various employability programs in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver, around the province, and as far south as Los Angeles.
Storytelling is at the heart of a thriving community, be it a classroom, a remote village, or any vulnerable population. We believe everyone should be able to tell their story and share it with the world.
"It's a bold statement but truly it changed my life. I had no confidence in myself or my abilities and my depression and anxiety had me struggling to get out of bed. With no idea what I wanted to do with my life, feeling completely lost, they helped me find what it was that could bring joy to my life. They showed me how I have the ability to learn and teach myself, that I can explore and rely on myself. They helped me find the courage to keep trying when I often wanted to give up. It was a safe space to explore my ideas and their encouragement helped me believe in myself. Today I am working as an editor fulltime, and I am as happy as I can be. The classes gave me the stability to build a routine. The training gave me transferable skills making me a more desirable employee and their kindness, generosity and patience helped me find my way and land my dream job."
- Chancellor, Student Participant
• Making short films and documentaries.
• Producing artwork, and publishing (and possibly selling) online.
• Becoming a photographer, and developing clients.
• Creating promotional videos.
• Write short stories, plays, even film scripts.
• Entering the film industry, or other creative industries.
The best part is that the skills learned are transferable to other industries. We emphasize self-reliance, independence, and professional reliability above all else. The simple act of completing and showing these inspires a feeling of self-confidence the students may never have experienced before, opening up the possibility of applying for jobs and embarking on careers they never dared imagine.
You will know how to:
• Sketch, draw, and paint
• Analyze stories
• Write scripts
• Shoot photos, with state-of-the art cameras, or with your cel phone
• Produce short film projects, such as PSA's or mini-documentaries
• Edit using state-of-the-art editing software
• Run an entire program, like ours (recruitment, curriculum, etc.)
• And much more...
The work we do changes lives; learning how to use art and digital media tools inspires confidence, self-reliance, and most importantly, hope. We help both young and old broaden their horizons by showing them that the tools already in their hands — be it a pencil, paintbrush, phone, or computer — can open up a world of previously unimagined possibilities:
"I am creating videos for a local business, a skill I had no prior knowledge! You helped me gain new skills, explore my creativity and discover new passions. It's an amazing program and I am so grateful I got to be a part of it."
- Abby, Student Participant
"The program allowed me to learn some great media skills. Most of all this program has given me confidence in my abilities and my value as a potential employee."
- Abby, Student Participant
"You've made my life magical."
- C.S., Grade 10 student, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School
"It has been an incredible pleasure to watch Katarina work with our youth, some of which were the more difficult youth to manage… She has an amazing rapport with all the kids and staff alike. In all my years in corrections I have never witnessed an individual with such a powerful connection with the clients we work with.
- Katherine Solkowski, Volunteer and Program Coordinator, Burnaby Youth Custody Centre
"Your work with teenagers should be the lead story of every newspaper! I am a Recreation Therapist on a Level IV prison located in Los Angeles County and a lot of these guys could have warded off the boredom and anger of being a teenager by making art. Thank you for changing lives- you are an inspiration!"