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CLN's projects at the Carnegie - Goals and impact

What follows is a list of projects CLN has been working on at the Carnegie Centre.  For each of the projects below we have listed the response we recieved when we asked the particapnats the quesions listed on our main community page.

DTES Community Play

Training of Trainers at the Carnegie

Carnegie Newsletter

100th Anniversary

Learning Centre Desk Top Publishing Course - Completed

The Carnegie's 100th Anniversary

Check it out online! Click here!

VISION: To contribute to the development and continuance of the Downtown Eastside as a viable, healthy community for people with low incomes and diverse lifestyles - a vision of hope.

MISSION: The anniversary is an occasion for Downtown Eastside residents to celebrate their community's history with all of Vancouver, to portray its present in all its variety, and to share their visions for the community's future.


GOAL: To work in partnership with local and civic organizations and groups elsewhere in the city to affirm recognition and support for the place of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, and to leave a legacy that will benefit the residents of the Downtown Eastside: A Downtown Eastside Community Arts Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund is to help sustain the arts in the community - to provide assurance that the "people's voice" will continue to be heard.


PROGRAM: The anniversary will be celebrated through the arts. The arts will be the "people's voice" for the celebrations. Poetry, prose, drama, music and the visual arts have always been important in this community - especially at the Carnegie Centre. Through community arts people give expression to their own stories. The arts are a power means for personal and community development.


This will be a highly participatory program, providing opportunities for volunteers to develop their skills in arts organizing and activities, for local artists to be given recognition and remuneration for their work, and for local residents and other citizens of Vancouver to experience community arts in all their dimensions.  The program will be highly collaborative, involving Carnegie Centre in partnerships with local arts groups and civic agencies.                                    


[…However] the legacy for the year is not just the Endowment Fund but the capacity built in the community through the various anniversary activities. Many resource people from within and outside the community are contributing their time and expertise and much is being learned as different, sometimes antagonistic, groups work together to plan and actualize a project. We hope that these capacities will remain in the community and be built upon beyond this year.


The internet and VCN's support of its use through training, mentoring, advocacy and programming input are an important aspect of this capacity building. The anniversary website is a very useful tool for information sharing and for training local residents in web design. It will also be valuable for information gathering and archiving --- an information base that can be used by the community beyond the anniversary year.


For the time remaining: Ongoing, regular web design workshops are very helpful. It is also good to have a staff person be in touch with anniversary activities, through attending some meetings or otherwise connecting with anniversary staff, so that s/he can offer input and advice on website content and design.

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CLN and desk top publishing at the Carnegie Learning Centre 

Check it out online! Click here!

1. Goals of the Learning Centre's DTP Project 

The Learning Center has done many publications and small booklets in the past, particularly following the annual learner event trips.  This year, a conscious choice was made to use computers rather than relying on the usual cut-and-paste methods.  This decision was motivated by the acquisition of the three Community Access Program computers and the desire to build the collective electronic capacity in the Learning Centre for producing their own publications.


The "Surviving with Grace" Carnegie Writers Workshop was even more successful than anticipated, and it was therefore very important to the Learning Centre to acknowledge the enthusiasm of the participants and the depth of their creativity by producing a booklet of their writing.


The publication, Surviving with Grace, is not the first writers workshop booklet sponsored by the Learning Centre.  However, because the workshop and publication are part of Carnegie's 100th Anniversary celebrations, both have a higher profile than those done previously.  The booklet highlights voices of those in the community and gives new writers who might not otherwise have an opportunity to see their work published.


2. Impact in the Community


The project has generated a great deal of pride, not only among the authors, but also those who participated in putting the booklet together.  There has been considerable energy in the Learning Centre around the project, and this is often contagious.  It functions to inspire others to do more of the same.


The booklet can also be used in the Learning Centre's literacy programs with adult readers, as the pieces are short and meaningful, and even more interesting to learners because they may know the authors.


Similarly with regard to the website, because the writing comes of the community, those who might not otherwise necessarily use the Internet will be drawn to the website, and this is expected to have an progressive effect and encourage more learners to share their stories and writing online.


3. How the Internet (and Internet Tools) Add to this Impact


The Learning Centre is just reaching "critical mass" in terms of using the internet as a communication tool.  From a core of very web-happy computer enthusiasts, internet use is expanding, and more and more learners have begun to use email for personal communication and search for information on the web.  Being able to produce local content on the web gives learners another reason to log in and use online tools.  As such, the potential for using the internet for literacy-building activities is increased.  Posting original content also allows learners to portray a more positive view of the Downtown Eastside to outside communities that might not otherwise be aware of the creativity that exists there.


4. Resources and Support Received from VCN


VCN played a critical role in supporting this project at the time when we were ready to move forward with it.  We are extremely happy with how the project progressed and what participants got out of it.  Had we known the limits to VCN resources more clearly, we might have done more creative preparation and decision-making for the booklet independently, and saved the technical work for VCN input.  We also would have arranged for mid-project evaluation to ensure the goals of each partner (VCN and the  Learning Centre) were being adequately met.  We look forward to opportunities to collaborate with VCN in the future.

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Carnegie Newsletter

Check it out online! Click here!

1. Goals of the Newsletter

The Carnegie Newsletter continues to provide a forum for different ideas , be they expressed through writing, poetry, graphic arts or letters. The goal is to provide a voice for members of Canada’s poorest urban community and to promote ideals of social justice.

2. Impact in the community

The Downtown Eastside community continues to be well-served through this publication, it having provided free announcements, promotion of and coverage within its pages  of such events. It is the most-read, consistent and generally respected publication in the area. The inherent dynamism and volatility of the community’s insistence on being given due respect has been reflected admirably in the Newsletter.

3. How the internet (and internet tools) will add to this impact

The Internet has proven to be a boon to what started as a typewriter to cut & paste to photocopy process.  The long-term goals of indexing the paper in archives and making same available to the myriad researchers and fascinated aids to building this community have been given light with the assistance of VCN. The current development of our website and the possibilities in connecting to the larger universe of alternative press is heartening. Email functions, sending and receiving submissions, consulting authors on edits etc. are infinitely easier than snail-mail and the lack of phones.

4. Resources and support you would need from VCN, an idea of the methodology for VCN in the project - i.e. training, liasing with various groups, tutoring, ongoing support

Coming to the present, the willingness and availability of  VCN in tutoring Newsletter volunteers is just the beginning. The whole gamut of utilizing internet capabilities is hindered only by the lack of knowledge in “how to”. VCN is essential in helping to design and instruct participants here on how to make the web and other applications fully accessible.   

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Training of trainers

For our presentation to the CLN spring forum, click here!

1. Goals of Training of Trainers


To encourage Learning Centre and Computer Room volunteers to gain skills to teach group classes for Community Centre members. The hope is that as they get experience in instructing, they in turn can train other volunteers to try instruction. The project is also beneficial for those who may not be interested in teaching larger groups but would like more tips on tutoring one-on-one.


2. Impact on the Community


From the first Training the Trainers course, one volunteer has agreed to try instructing a four-session course with the help of a VCN instructor. This helps to meet some of the demand for computer courses in the Centre. Those who took the course but are not ready to teach a group are using their new skills in one-to-one situations.


3. How Internet Added to the Impact


There is much demand for learning how to use the internet. This course has given an opportunity for local volunteers to gain skills and confidence to teach in their own community.


4. It would be great to have at least a couple more courses of Training of Trainers given by VCN instructors so we can have a core group of volunteers who could take on teaching the public or other volunteers. If there is not enough demand amongst the Carnegie volunteers, we can spread the word to other organizations in the community. I like the structure of the training as it is: 4 week course, and for those interested in teaching, support with curriculum development and with the first couple of sessions.  I'm also interested in following up with those who took the course but are not ready to teach to the public.

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Check it out! Click here!

1. Goals of the Play

          To create a theatrical event that will celebrate the cultures, history and peoples of the DTES

          To promote the arts as a powerful tool for community development

          To promote to the outside world the tremendous skills, culture, and people

          that of the DTES

          To counter the negative portrayal of the DTES in the media


2. Impact in the community

          To build bridges and relationships between the many fractured communities that make up the DTES- between organizations, between individuals

          To create a shared and powerful community building experience for the residents and organizations of the DTES

          To promote the Carnegie Centre's Arts and Humanties Fund


3. How the internet (and internet tools) will add to this impact

          Serve as a means to document the play and to create a permanent legacy

          Access information about the play, its goals and purposes to the general public

          Serve as working tool for play staff to share and track information

          To serve as resource centre for other organizations, individuals interested in researching about community plays


4. Resources and support you would need from VCN, an idea of the methodology for VCN in the project

          Provide training, liasing with various groups, tutoring and ongoing support

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