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Freda Diesing School receives $300,000 from Margaret A. Cargill Foundation to support First Nations art education at Northwest Community College

TERRACE- Today Northwest Community College announced a $300,000 grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation aimed at supporting the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art. It is very exciting for the school to be recognized for continuing the legacy of Freda Diesing, says program coordinator and instructor Stan Bevan. The schools goal is to support the vision, develop and set standards in First Nation fine arts across Northern B.C. and the Pacific Northwest. With this support from the foundation we can connect students with communities, elders, artists and museums where they can learn the rich cultural traditions that allow this art to live and flourish. It will also give opportunities for aspiring artists to have access to a formal education in art and continue the development towards a well-rounded visual arts education. The funding will be distributed to the school over three years and will support field trips to communities where traditional artists practice, the recording of those student experiences and financial support for students in the program with financial challenges. This is a milestone for the college and its school of art and design, said Northwest Community College president Denise Henning. We are so blessed to have received this kind of support and we hope this will shine a light on the incredible work that the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art does in maintaining and nurturing the culture of our region. In 2006 the Freda Diesing School was created in memory of the Haida artist for whom it is named. Diesing passed away suddenly in 2002, but is remembered for her determination to keep traditional Northwest Coast art alive by passing this knowledge on to future generations of artists and carvers. She was also one of the first female carvers on the modern Northwest Coast when she began working at the age of 42. Northwest Community College would also like to thank Terrace Framing Design owner Rod Meredith for helping to refurbish three of the framed Diesing prints that are on display today in the Freda Diesing Studio from 1 to 4 pm, along with a number of pieces from the college collection including masks, a blanket box and rarely seen cedar planks.

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