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NSCAD President launches I.D.E.A. Fund for Mi’kmaw, African Nova Scotian, and underrepresented students

The new funding initiative aims to empower students with the funds needed to pursue their creative ambitions.

Credit: Keely Hopkins

NSCAD University’s President, Dr. Peggy Shannon, is launching The I.D.E.A. Fund to financially assist students from Mi’kmaw, African Nova Scotian and underrepresented backgrounds that want to pursue an education in art and design. 

The initiative was launched by Shannon in March 2024, with the mission to cultivate creativity, foster innovation, and nurture talent—which embodies NSCAD’s values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism (I.D.E.A.).

Specifically designed to support Mi’kmaw, African Nova Scotians, and youth emerging from foster care, this fund aims to support students with financial need and lighten their educational costs. In the spirit of enriching NSCAD’s creative community, Shannon has pledged to match every donation up to $25,000 in contributions to the fund.

“The I.D.E.A. Fund represents our unwavering commitment to creating a more equitable and inclusive environment within our NSCAD community,” says Shannon. “At NSCAD, we firmly believe that diversity is our greatest strength and that by investing in the next generation of creative minds, we are paving the way for a brighter and more inclusive future.”

Jude Gerrard, NSCAD’s Ombudsperson and Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Consultant, says this fund will go a long way in diversifying the wider creative sector in Nova Scotia.

“Initiatives like the I.D.E.A. Fund not only foster diversity in the creative industry but also serve as pathways to amplify voices that have historically been underrepresented,” he says. “By investing in the education and opportunities of Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian students, as well as students who have been part of the foster care system, we can continue to grow the creative industry and have it truly represent the social and cultural landscape of Nova Scotia. Diverse perspectives, experiences, and talents will help to create a more vibrant and inclusive industry for all.”

The I.D.E.A. Fund will be available as entrance scholarships for eligible students, starting in the Fall Semester of 2024.

Dr. Jacqueline Warwick, Interim Dean at NSCAD, says for students, the fund will make a difference between living their dreams or putting them on hold—sometimes, permanently.

“As higher education across Canada strives to be more inclusive, we need to create pathways for students who might not otherwise see themselves in an art university program,” she says. “The I.D.E.A. Fund will help NSCAD train students who will go on to share their talents and brilliance professionally. Through these pathways, the fields of art and design will benefit enormously, and the art world will be more vibrant and diverse.”

Donate to The I.D.E.A. Fund today and help students get one step closer to achieving their dreams. Your contribution, no matter the size, will directly support talented individuals at a pivotal moment in their lives.