London Free Press - Brooks shares his talent

Scores of London region students will learn Wednesday how to fire up their songwriting from one of Canada’s top folksingers. 

Award-winning folkie Jon Brooks works with students at a Thames Valley District board conference at UWO affiliate King’s University College. Brooks’s session at the board’s SPARK! conference is about power of song as a form of social media. 

“The idea of singing about wherever there is violence and social inequity in the world, that to me is the essence of folk songwriting, and yet, it’s not that common. There’s a lot of people uneasy about it,” Brooks has said of his commitment to creativity and activism. 

The conference offers seminars to “spark” interest in the students. 

His appearance is part of the Home County Folk Festival artists in schools project. 

Wednesday’s collaboration brings Brooks back to London. He spent a week in February on songwriting workshops. 

Home County received support from TD Bank Group and the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s cultural strategic investment fund to present Brooks. 

“Arts education can thrive when a school board, a non-profit arts organization, the provincial government and a financial corporation such as TD Bank Group share the same arts education mandate,” Home County artistic director Catherine McInnes said Tuesday. 

May 30-June 2, the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council funded Metis Fiddler Quartet will work with aboriginal students as the Home County project continues. 

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May, 2011