Testimonial quotes and videos for the community-engaged arts for social change programs by Instruments of Change

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


What are participants are saying...

"I am writing to inform you how much the Women Rock program has changed my life for the better.  Before I took the program, I was a broken woman, spiritually, as I endured relentless prejudice treatment and, unfortunately, carried those hurtful actions/words throughout my life.  This hateful attitude towards me did a number to my psyche where I actually began to believe what others were telling me, to the point where I didn’t think I was worth anything. At 17, I entered a pageant, and with low-self esteem, I failed miserably in one category - music. I really love the song by Bette Midler, “The Rose”.  However, when the time came to sing, I choked.  I remember how embarrassed and humiliated I felt because I forgot the words.  I cried after that show. Fast forward to me at the age of 49.  I faced my fear when I entered the doors of the theatre to take a 13-week program  (with Women Rock). I remember how nervous and scared I felt.  When I was learning the elements of how to sing, play the drums, and strum a guitar, I felt a surge of accomplishment, my confidence was raising, and I felt so very proud of myself.  In fact, at one point, during my training, I burst into tears telling Geetha that I wished the program had been offered at the residential schools so my people would not have had to go through years of torment."

Taninli Wright, participant in Women Rock! Fall 2015 (subsequently, Taninli sang at our year end show, all smiles, and in full voice, for her long-awaited, unrequited performance of "The Rose")


"I had always thought that maybe I wasn't talented, couldn't hold a tune, or keep a beat, but I learned that actually I CAN do those things !!! So naturally that improved my confidence !!!"

Anna Larrain, participant in Women Rock! Fall 2015.


"Captain Creative was a wonderful performance which captured our students and inspired our teachers. Dust off those old projectors and re-use them with shadow puppetry and story writing. Our students (late primary and intermediates) were fully engaged and really enjoyed the end of the show activity where they were able to wear costumes and, act and interact with Laura and her team. Watching this show reminded us yet once again the importance of the arts in our every day lives - something we truly need to be mindful of, in the busyness of today to day lives."
Monika Saft, member, Principal of Nootka Primary School, where Captain Creative was presented in Spring 2015.

"Your performance and command of the our (very young) audience was outstanding. The staging was really fun for the kids to see and be part of. I am sure it was the 1st time for them
to experience this type of art. Your messaging throughout the play showed alot of caring and mindfulness which is something that we all strive to value every day."

Willa Kriebel, PAC member, and mother of student from Queen Elizabeth Annex, where Captain Creative was presented in Spring 2015.

"Captain Creative was highly engaging for all of our students. It made a lasting impression on many students as they were inspired to create and make up their own plays many days later!."

Valerie Stevenson, Princal of Eagle Harbour Montessori School in West Vancouver, where Captain Creative was presented in Winter 2015.


"I learned that it is important not to extinguish your flames because people are telling you what to do. The creativity is going to help you some day in the world. And one moment you are going to need that creativity to get you through some problems and choices."

Sanjana AnanthKrishnan, Southeast Vancouver students participant, on lessons learned from Trash Talk Recycled music and puppetry project


""Before going to prison, I knew nothing about guitar playing. I learned a few things from beginner guitar teacher there and had written 28 songs. I then formed a band and played 4 shows in the institution. We were good, but after the Women Rock organization came I took my songwriting to the next level. They also taught me different strumming techniques, how to transpose my songs from acoustic to ele3ctric guitar, and even recorded a 3 song demo. I got all of this out of only 2 sessions! I would recommend these awesome women to anyone just starting out or more advanced musicians. What they taught me was priceless knowledge. Now I'm out starting a new band and in the process of recording my first single. Thanks for the time you spent with me Laura and Leah.."

Natasha, Women Rock participant from Fraser Valley Institution


"What Voice to Voice has done for me is open many, mnay doors. Doors to reading my poetry. And every time that I read somewhere I get invited to read somewhere else. Just this afternoon, it led to reading at COOP radio. And as a result, I've been invited to other poetry gatherings. So, it's just created numbers of possibilities, opened doors, given me confidence and basically launched me as a writer in Vancouver."

Gilles Cyrenne, writer from Thursdays Writing Collective and Voice to Voice participant


"The thing that I find most valuable about Women Rock is the fact that it is sort of the anti-class for music. There is no stern teacher yelling at you, telling you what to do. People are allowed to explore and express themselves to their heart's content, without the fear of being wrong, or shot down, or put down. So, natural play occurs and learning occurs, and through that, people really improve themselves.."

Geetha Subramaynam, Carnegie Centre Women Downtown Vancouver Women Rock participant



Video Testimonials