Community-engaged art, music and theatre projects by Vancouver based Instruments of Change. Programs include: music in prisons, pedal power, bike power, pedal-powered stage, rehabilitation for women in prison, art for social change films , something collective, artrike, women rock, arts of conscience, giving room concerts, classical classroom, forbidden flutes

INSTRUMENTS OF CHANGE uses the arts as an educational tool to empower people to become instruments of transformative change in their own lives

Women Rock!

Our artists facilitate music programs in BC prisons, transition homes, and community centres, where women learn to play rock instruments, form bands, manage gear and write songs. Instruments of Change completed a highly successful pilot program at Fraser Valley Institute in June 2012. In 2013, they branched out to serve women at the Carnegie Centre and RainCity Housing, in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside where they continue to run monthly jam sessions. They also worked with women at Columbia Place Transition home in New Westminster.

This initiative was born out of a partnership between Instruments of Change director, Laura Barron, and singer/songwriter, Leah Abramson. Previously, as band coaches at Girls Rock Camp in Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC, they each witnessed the enormously positive impacts of this program when working with 8-18 year-old girls. Consequently, they are eager to share this powerful, rehabilitative experience with women in prison while teaching them team-building skills and cultivating their creativity.

Something Collective

This team of professional artists and activists have joined forces because they realize that they share the necessary aspiration, vision and creative skill set to effect social change through their art.

This like-minded group includes Natalie Gan (dance), Maggie Winston (puppetry, theatre), Juliana Bedoya (sculpture, performance installation), Laura Barron (flutist, writer) and Flick Harrison (media arts). Their interdisciplinary community art projects have reached at-risk youth, seniors, and immigrants. Projects have included artistic mapping initiatives with the Sunset and Renfrew neighborhoods; a visual art and text installation, Alphabet Stories, for the SouthHill Library; and Reflective Voices, a music, dance, and poetry performance with Richmond students, that celebrates diversity. In June 2011, they were selected for a two-year Incubator Residency, serving the Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre, as well as the Sunset Community Centre & Ice Rink. ...(read more)

Voice to Voice

Voice to Voice facilitates fertile exchanges between unlikely communities who engage in collabortive creative projects intended to give all participants the opportunity to understand the power and reach of their voice.

In 2014, we facilitated a partnership between the Carnegie Centre’s Thursday Writing Collective and UBC composers and performers, who transformed the Downtown Eastside writers' poetic texts into classical art song. And this year, 120, Grade 4-6 students in 4 diverse Vancouver schools (from the inner city to West Point Grey) are collectively writing a song about freedom, as they learn about relevant political issues during this election season.

Captain Creative

Captain Creative, is an arts advocacy fairy tale that uses puppetry, music, dance and print making to demonstrate the value of art in our society.

In this interactive performance, puppet theatre artist, Maggie Winston, and musician/writer, Laura Barron invite students to re-animate the theatrical world of Hueville, after it has experienced an Art Apocolypse. Captain Creative tours throughout BC schools, and the 45-minute production is appropriate for ages 8-13.

Stick Together

Instruments of Change launched this youth marimba band program for boys and girls, at Burnaby Youth Correctional Services, in July 2015. Stick Together provides a fun and accessible way to make music that allows youth the chance to build self-esteem while developing patience and good learning habits.

Stick Together was inspired by Executive Director, Laura Barron’s BC Arts Council-funded professional development trip to South Africa, during spring 2014. She co-facilitates this program with master percussionists, Robin Layne and Chris Couto. Initial instruments for the 2015 pilot program were generously provided by the Brittannia Community Centre. Then, in 2016, Instruments of Change secured funding to offer the youth at BYCS the opportunity to build their own fleet of 3 marimbas at their facility’s accredited high school. Currently, they are expanding their program to reach youth at alternative Vancouver secondary schools.