Is Supporting Youth (ages 15-29) Important to You? Paid Professional Development Opportunity for Teaching Artists!

ELAN’s ArtEd team is excited to announce the second year of our 3-year Youth Mental Health Initiative! 

Artists working with youth ages 15 – 29 are invited to participate in paid professional development ELAN ArtEd learning communities facilitated by Teaching Artist and Social Worker Alyssa Kuzmarov. Payment at a minimum of $75/hour will include 4 or 5  interactive zoom sessions and submission of feedback for reporting purposes. 

As Alyssa writes,

“… As Teaching Artists we are often alone, carrying deep emotional experiences the youth share with us, or dealing with conflicts or complicated group dynamics. This is a very meaningful part of our work and yet it is vital to have a space to process those experiences, and to explore enhanced ways of responding to youth. These workshops create a community for Teaching Artists so that we can support each other to learn and grow in our work with youth and as artists.”

The goal of the project is:

“ to improve access to mental health resources and services for young English-speaking Quebecers ages 15 -29 in order to better meet their needs, especially those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Criteria for Interested Artists:

How it will work:

Prior to the first session, Teaching Artists who do not have recent professional certification that includes youth mental health education (i.e. art therapy, psychology, social work, etc.) or have not participated in previous ELAN ArtEd mental health professional development are required to view 2021’s YMHI introductory session.

Learning Communities: Artists will participate in a minimum of four of the five learning community sessions facilitated by Alyssa Kuzmarov. Sessions will focus on sharing experiences and developing knowledge and skills. These 1.5-2-hour sessions will take place between November 2022 and March 2023. 

Interested? Please complete this form by October 18th at 5 p.m. We will contact you regarding participation.

Questions? Please contact Louise Campbell at for details.

This project is funded by the Fondation Lucie & André Chagnon  and the Government of Quebec’s Secretariat à la Jeunesse, and managed by the Community Health & Social Services Network (CHSSN). 

Bio: Alyssa Kuzmarov, social worker by profession, using theatre and writing with youth before discovering her passion for film, was inspired by her work as Story Writer, Consultant and Assistant to the Producers on the feature film, THE POINT (2006), to pursue the dream of producing, directing and writing her own films. THE POINT traveled the festival circuit, enjoyed a theatrical run at the AMC Forum in Montreal and was broadcast on The Movie Network and HBO Canada, a co-production with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Silo Productions, distributed by Seville Pictures.

Following that experience and motivated to create opportunities for those without a voice, Alyssa founded Productions Oracle with Jean-Michel Sauri in 2006. Passionate about making film accessible to people rarely represented in the media, Alyssa, along with Jean-Michel Sauri, has produced and directed over 40 film projects with schools, community organizations and youth and families of all backgrounds, several of which were supported by the National Film Board of Canada and one through a community and arts grant with the Canada Council for the Arts. Since 2017, she has been directing RESILIENCE, a docu-fiction based on the real life experiences of youth in the Youth Protection System and youth under the jurisdiction of the Young Offender’s Act, with the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Resilience is currently being featured in several festivals and has won the prize for Best Short Film on Social Justice in the Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift. The Montreal Premiere will take place in October 2022.

High School Activity with Alyssa Kuzmarov
Options High School students explore film making with Alyssa Kuzmarov, Teaching Artist, Social Worker and facilitator for the Youth Mental Health Initiative
Secrétariat à la jeunesse
Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon