Be a part of Making Space for Culture!

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City of Toronto Cultural Services launches another round of ward consultations starting October 4 and running throughout the month.  What kind of space does your neighbourhood need to make art, music, dance? To film, play, practice and perform? We’re coming to your neighbourhood to hear your thoughts. We want to know what’s needed, who needs it, and how we might work together to help make space for culture in your community.

More information regarding the consultation schedules can be found here, and the complete schedule is attached.  We encourage you to attend a consultation in your ward, and be sure to pass it through your networks!

Have your voice heard by taking our survey!

Making Space for Culture is a major recommendation of the Creative Capital Gains report, unanimously adopted by Toronto City Council in May 2011. Finding, building, and sustaining cultural space requires partners from all sectors, private, non-profit, and government. In order to make wise, long-term plans, Toronto Cultural Services has embarked on a ward-by-ward consultation and planning process to determine local priorities.

Questions? Contact makingspace@toronto.ca or 416-392-7367

Spotlight on Regent Park: Dancing with COBA

On August 1, 2012, Collective of Black Artists (COBA) moved to a new home on the main floor of the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre. Nicole Griffith-Reid, Executive Director of COBA, and Dammecia Hall, a company member, discuss the new space and COBA’s evolving role in the Regent Park community.

Dammecia Hall and Nicole Griffith-Reid prepare for COBA’s move to the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre.

Noting the community-engaged focus of other organizations in the neighbourhood, Nicole is excited for COBA to “be part of somewhere that’s already a destination.” Combining performance and rehearsal space, the RPACC studios provide fantastic infrastructure that is customized to COBA’s needs. The new location also offers improved accessibility and visibility for COBA’s programs. From a programming perspective, Regent Park is a ‘very young community’, and that fits with COBA’s mission and mandate. COBA has already created inroads to the community, participating in Sunday in the Park for the past three years, performing for Artscape  and partnering with Pathways to Education.

For Dammecia Hall, packing up twenty years worth of costumes and instruments is a learning experience in itself. Dammecia has been dancing since she was five, and has just finished her first year with COBA. Although she started learning ballet at a young age, she discovered West African Dance at age 13. Excelling in both hip hop and West African Dance, Dammecia describes herself as “not just a one-type dancer.” For Dammecia, the two kinds of dance complement one another because “a lot of hip hip has originally come from West African dance.” In fact, Dammecia points out that skills and techniques “bleed into each genre, so that West African Dance helps hip hop and hip hop helps West African Dance.”

With its emphasis on both contemporary and traditional dance forms, COBA offers Dammecia a diversity of artistic choices. She explains, “It’s rare to find a place that hold all those disciplines at the same time; COBA has that path.”

Nicole agrees that COBA is “speaking to different dancers out there.” Just as Dammecia explores the relationship between hip hop and West African dance, Nicole says that “COBA tries to reflect how dance has evolved and make it relevant to contemporary urban students.”

Reflecting on her own development as a dancer, Dammecia contrasts her experiences in Toronto and Winnipeg. She moved to Toronto from Winnipeg in order to audition for and join COBA. Although Dammecia found that Winnipeg offered opportunities in certain kinds of dance, such as ballet, there was “not much in the way of African dance.” Coming to Toronto was “intimidating,” but Dammecia asserts that “the passion of the dancer usually outweighs that; you want the challenge.” She is energized by the resources available in the city. At COBA, Dammecia hones her skills as both a teacher and a learner. She attends sessions and rehearsals as well as leading a drop-in hip hop class. Among all of the dance activities in Toronto, Dammecia says the trick is “finding your pocket.” In her case that means teaching at a local gym and dancing in music videos, in addition to working with COBA.

COBA creates opportunities for audience members as well as dancers. Nicole explains that traditional dance is rooted in “lived experience” of “something as simple as washing, life in the village.” Dance recreates lived experience so that “people feel like they are there.” Because the emotional impact of COBA’s performances breaks down barriers between dancers and audience members, “you are not just a spectator.” Instead, the power of creative movement encourages audience members to think critically about the cultural traditions of Africa and the African diaspora. As Nicole points out, this is central to COBA’s mission to highlight and celebrate history.

Even offstage it is clear that COBA is “more than dance.” Speaking with Nicole and Dammecia I can feel the passion of this talented group of artists. The boxes and drums that fill the studio are tangible evidence of COBA’s vision of bringing  the past and the present together through the lived experience of dance. With a long history of working with other organizations and connecting with diverse audiences, COBA is well positioned to take full advantage of its new space in the heart of Regent Park.

Emily Macrae is the Neighbourhood Arts Network 2012 Summer Intern

Spotlight on St. James Town

This past April, Toronto Arts Foundation and the Neighbourhood Arts Network sponsored workshops for artists living in St. James Town. The initiative was part of the Foundation’s Arts Impact Study, a research project to better understand how Toronto residents interact and engage with the arts at a local level.

Art City in St. James Town Mural

Extending from Sherbourne to Parliament and Bloor to Wellesley, St. James Town is a neighbourhood at the heart of Toronto. In the 1950s the area was transformed into Toronto’s first community of high rise apartment buildings. Today, St. James Town is one of the most densely populated areas of Toronto with 19 residential towers in a 32 acre area. In addition to the spatial density of the neighbourhood, St. James Town is also an area of incredible diversity: the 15 000 tenants speak more than 50 languages and are twice as likely as other Toronto residents to have come to Canada within the past five years.  The density and diversity of the area creates unique challenges for people in St. James Town but also offers opportunities for community engaged arts.

Several arts-focused programs have made an ongoing commitment to the neighbourhood. Art City is a not-for-profit organization committed to providing free and accessible, multidisciplinary art programs to the children and youth of St. James Town (check out our previous post on Art City). Similarly, UforChange combines skills development with an exploration of the arts. Working with new Canadian and low-income youth living in and around St. James Town, UforChange uses  arts-based programs to inspire youth and give them the tools to succeed by providing support and resources to pursue higher education, volunteering, job shadowing and/or employment opportunities.

Alejandra Higuera is an artist who has lived in the area for almost five years. She is currently studying film and animation at OCAD, and works primarily in the west end. Despite the range of programs for children and youth she finds it difficult to connect with other adult artists in St. James Town:  “There are a lot of art programs available here for youth, but nothing for adults. There’s tons of potential for community projects though…there’s such a rich history here, and so many different stories to be told.”

Community Café is one example of a meeting place for artists and other residents of St. James Town.  This project started in the summer of 2011, when local residents and organizations began working toward a vision of forming a community-based social enterprise to promote social inclusion and food security in the neighbourhood. Community feasts are organized every couple of months and usually include an arts component, from performance to art classes. Miguel Camacho is an artist and NAN member who contributed to a recent event.

Community Matters is also working to create arts opportunities for adults through their Artists of St. James Town Initiative, run by local resident and artist Neudis Abreu. The St. James Town Banner Project invited residents to submit their artwork and 25 entries were chosen by a panel of local artists. They are displayed as banners attached to lampposts along Rose Avenue.

Lisa Simpson’s Banner on display in St. James Town

Banner creator Lisa Simpson is a graphic designer and painter living in the area. As a graduate of UforChange and volunteer at Art City in St. James Town she is aware of the connection between art and community development. “St. James Town needs to be upgraded: people deserve better than the current conditions. It needs more colour, it needs to feel safer…Arts events and projects would help with that, something to bring us together and showcase everything we have to be proud of.” Local artist and Banner Project judge, Iftikhar Ahmed, confirms the potential of creativity in St. James Town: “Art links us as a community, and adds colour and warmth to the neighbourhood.”

In addition to several community-engaged arts organizations, St. James Town is also home to many individual artists. Learn more about how NAN members are active in their community as winners of the Community Matters Banner Contest and as artists in a variety of disciplines.

Raj Sandesh recently emigrated from India where she worked as an Ayurvedic doctor. Now living in St. James Town, she pursues her passion for art while raising her children. Art is central to Raj’s impression of her community. “When I first moved to St. James Town, I saw a wall sketch of a dog right off of Wellesley towards the Food Basics. I just loved it.” The neighbourhood continues to contribute to her artistic practice. “I like finding different combinations within my drawings, find inspiration here (in Toronto).” Although Raj says that “I don’t have many friends who have the same interest,” she recognizes that community connections can enrich her work as an artist. “I would like to see more art classes and shows take place in the library and community centres. I would also like to have a chance to show my own artwork somewhere in the city.” Raj participated in the St. James Town Banner Project.

Paul Byron’s Banner Design

Paul Byron is an emerging artist, educator and writer whose large scale paintings straddle the line of representation and abstraction. He submitted the winning entry in the St. James Town Banner Project. He is originally from Hamilton and has been living in St. James Town for the past three years. The diversity of St. James Town intersects with Paul’s interests as an artist. “I am very interested in the diversity in this building. I am very interested in language. It is really great when you can engage with all of the cultural, linguistics and different kinds of things going on…I think it has had a lot to do with my interest in presenting a more complex and specific narrative moving away from traditional portraits.” However, Paul also feels isolated as an artist in St. James Town. “I know fewer people here and there is more of an anonymous feeling. It is difficult to make acquaintances. I have a circle of associates who are active in the artistic and academic community in Hamilton.” Even without the kind of network that he was familiar with in Hamilton, Paul is interested in connecting with arts organizations and contributing to art programs in the neighbourhood. “I have been involved with the Cabbagetown Art Community Centre. I will give a workshop here or teach a class at the library…these kinds of things. There should be more art classes. I don’t even know if there are places in the neighbourhood where this service is available. I was even speaking with the people at Community Matters about workshops or even volunteering time.”

Binod Dhungana, Musician and NAN Member

Binod Dhungana is a singer in the Eastern classical music tradition who participates in a Nepalese community in St. James Town. The active Nepalese music community influenced Binod’s decision to move to the area. He explains: “We get together quite often and have cultural events every two months. There are three or four groups and they perform a variety of songs and dancing…The group was actually one of the main reasons why I moved over here. I knew most of the people from back home in Nepal. There are not a lot of Nepalese people in Mississauga.” Binod’s activities as an artist build on his training in Eastern classical music however he is generally optimistic about the arts in St. James Town. Discussing his dreams and hopes for the neighbourhood he says: “There is such a diverse community and everyone can come together for these community events.”

Banner Design by Iftikhar Ahmed, one of the judges of the St. James Town Banner Project

Iftikhar Ahmed is an established artist who is passionate about making a name for himself in the Toronto arts community. He has been practicing mixed media, collage and painting for over thirty years. Iftikhar finds that the gallery system in Toronto is limited. “There are so many artists, including myself, who are underrepresented. I just think it’s a shame that the AGO is not representing the culture within its city. Artists need freedom to create and this is impossible if the system is not supporting them.” However he is encouraged by community projects and participated in a show at the nearby Strong Communities Gathering Place.  “They really take an initiative to exhibit some local artists, which is great. It’s a small gallery in the Daniels Learning Centre.” Moreover, Iftikhar thinks that the arts play a positive role in St. James Town. “I have seen many murals on the wall. I think that there is a lot of art happening in the area. We just have to search a little bit harder than in other places. This area is very suitable for me and it would be great to do something for the community.” Iftikhar was one of the judges of the St. James Town Banner Project.

Laya Mainali’s Banner Design

Laya Mainali is an established artist who recently emigrated from Nepal. Laya has an MFA and Ph.D in sculpture and has been teaching sculpture at fine arts colleges for 25 years. He has made more than 24 portraits and busts of distinguished persons and has exhibited his paintings and sculptures around the world. Laya won fourth place in the St. James Town Banner Project. Laya’s banner shows his sculpture “Internal Peace.” Laya hopes that this image will encourage people to find peace inside themselves.

 The Arts Impact Study is a project of the Toronto Arts Foundation, in partnership with Art Starts, OCADU and York University. Funded by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Arts Impact Study researches how arts are created and enjoyed in neighbourhood settings. The study is part of TAF’s Creative City: Block by Block Program designed to advocate for the arts and to support and foster collaboration between artists, community organizations and local residents.

Written by Amy Goudge and Emily Macrae

Emily Macrae is the Neighbourhood Arts Network 2012 Summer Intern.

How and Why It Is: Arts-Based Research in Community Engaged Public Visual Art

CTCHC Community Mosaic Project is a partnership between Red Dress Productions and Central Toronto Community Health Centres.

Image: Four Directions Turtle

In community-engaged art contexts, we’re often asked: How do community consultations connect with the design? What is the relationship between you (the artists), contributors, and communities?

The answer – or, more accurately, the answers – are layered and nuanced. This narrative attempts to retrace and distill the collaborative process that we call “arts-based research”, or alternately, community consultation (of which arts-based research is the major component, and the foundation of our work in and with communities).

The backstory: In February 2011, Red Dress Productions was approached by CTCHC to partner on the CTCHC Community Mosaic Project. We spent the next year fundraising, imagining, and planning the project. In January 2012, we began.

Image: Research Workshop

Contribution stations with images and project information, along with flipcharts and markers and a suggestion box were installed in the centre’s lobby and the primary care area on 2nd floor to welcome ideas. Extensive promotion and outreach was done both within the health centre itself, and beyond through grassroots networks and with community partners[1].

We met with more than 150[2]  project contributors to: inquire and listen; brainstorm ideas, themes, and motif; and experiment with visual expressions using accessible approaches to art making. We facilitated a total of 12 community consultations with program participants, community members, staff and board members at Central Toronto Community Health Centres – home of Queen West Community Health Centre and Shout Clinic.

Pastel City

At each consultation, we assume little or no prior knowledge of the project, who we are, or our approach to community art. We begin at the beginning: introductions and welcomes, a review of the project’s path and development process, where we are in the project at the time of the consultation, what we’ve heard from contributors at previous consultations, and where we were going.

Food, drink, art materials, and project handbills were laid out, and a projection system was set up. Transit tokens were made available to increase access, and, at two consultations, we had the support of an Anishinabe Elder, and a Cantonese and Mandarin interpreter. We worked hard to thread the voices of contributors from previous consultations.  On a practical level, we did this by recording discussion points and ideas (without personal identifiers), and photographing contributor-generated artwork at each consultation, which we shared these ideas and images at subsequent consultations.

Most of the consultations took place in specific programs at the centre including Four Winds, TRIP, Sketch, the Perinatal Program, Primary Care, an all staff meeting, and a Harm Reduction Open House. We also held three public consultations, which were open to anyone interested in being a part of the project.  Each consultation was designed to meet the needs of contributors, with the time amount of time available (from one to three hours), depending upon the program. We brainstormed in large and small groups, and had many one-to-one conversations. We made art with a range of materials including oil pastel, foam plate “carving” and printing, and collage.

Collage

Essentially, we invited contributors to move from spoken language into visual language. Many contributors said, “I’m not an artist,” or “I can’t draw.” We offered materials and encouragement: Try experimenting with colour, with shapes. If you move your pastel across the sheet, something will show up. We returned to our anchor questions: If there was an artwork on the CTCHC building that welcomed you and the communities you’re a part of, what might it be? What creates healthy communities? What does this look like?

 We also talked about the wall that the artwork would ultimately live on (at the front entrance of the building on Bathurst Street), and discussed public space, and other site-specific environmental and architectural elements. At the end of each consultation, we reviewed our findings from this participatory arts-based research – notes, brainstorm maps, sketches, prints, and collages – and together, we identified key words or phrases, themes, and visual motif.

Survivor Drawing

The great volume of material produced through the consultation process – more than 200 small solo and multiple artworks, 20 pages of notes, and 15 flipchart brainstorm maps  – draws clear lines between the social determinants of health including access to safe and affordable housing, nutritious food, non-judgmental health care, and community engagement. Certain images and motif repeated; however, accompanying stories and perspectives carried distinct and often multiple meanings.

Let’s look at water, as one example. Water was drawn as lake, river, stream, and ocean. Water was also suggested by canoes, kayaks, and boats; sea and freshwater birds, beavers, fish, turtles, and Turtle Island itself. There were stories of selkies, merfolk, water spirits and sprites; deep water, still waters, and still waters running deep.

Magazine collage

Water was cited as the foundation of all life: 75% of our planet composition is water, as is true for most plant and animal life. Direct connections were drawn between water, nutrition and sustenance, and environmental health and justice. Many contributors associated water to birth, motherhood, and parenthood. Some spoke of rushing waters carrying the voices of ancestors. Concerns were voiced for rising waters, diminishing shorelines, and the impact on Indigenous peoples. Others spoke of migrations across oceans to Canada.

As lead visual artist, it’s my job to produce a design that reflects contributors and the communities that intersect at the centre, and that threads visual motif, themes, stories, and nuances therein. The design must also be technically and artistically achievable in an open and inclusive studio environment, and have an aesthetic relationship to the neighbourhood – in this case, the Queen West neighbourhood. So, how is this done?

First, I don’t consider myself to be external to a process; I’m not a third party observer who translates. We exchange ideas and goodwill; the learning and sharing is mutual. I reviewed and reflected on all the ideas and notes and images in their totality – all voices, whether a community member contributed to one or three consultations. I looked for related elements, echoes, and threads. I listened closely to the quietest voices, and attributed value to those voices. I recognized differences in perspectives and lived experience. This recognition speaks to our mission as community artists: To produce original artwork that strives for innovation, technical excellence, and that elicits dialogue and creative exchange across difference.

I looked for related elements, echoes, and threads. I listened closely to the quietest voices, and attributed value to those voices. I recognized differences in perspectives and lived experience. This recognition speaks to our mission as community artists: To produce original artwork that strives for innovation, technical excellence, and that elicits dialogue and creative exchange across difference.

Inspired by contributors, I also conducted more text-based research on subjects including native and drought tolerant flowers and shrubs; tree physiology; Mississauga First Nations unceded territories (upon which Greater Toronto is built); the Law of Conservation of Energy; sky lanterns (also known as Chinese lanterns); Atlantic and Pacific salmon; migratory birds in the City of Toronto; and archival footage of Queen Street West from Trinity-Bellwoods Park to Augusta.

Mosaic: Writer

CTCHC Community Mosaic, 2012, detail

Finally, I walked about the Queen West neighbourhood, and took many photographs. This field-research was inspired by a young self-identified homeless contributor who said: “Look up. Look down. A lot of people forget to look at their environment. A lot of people don’t want to see me.” I allowed this contributor’s voice to guide me:  to enable me to see more, and differently. I saw: cranes and condominium towers; grasses and Eastern Red Columbine growing out of concrete; shoes strung on hydro lines; discarded coffee cups, feathers, and cigarette butts; sewer grates and birds nests; weathered paint, vacant storefronts, and many new home décor boutiques; and a lot of graf art and tagging.

Closeup of Dog

CTCHC Community Mosaic, 2012, detail

Through the consultation process, contributors shepherd Red Dress Productions’ artistic leadership team, and I steward the progression of this arts-based research into a cohesive design – one that makes room for multiplicities, difference, and echoes.

We presented my first-draft design to 60+ contributors at our final public consultation on April 4, 2012. We invited feedback, which was offered and incorporated into the final design. Shortly thereafter, the studio was opened.

Fish

CTCHC Community Mosaic, 2012, detail

Consultation, of which arts-based research is the anchor element, is a collaborative dynamic process. It’s not a linear here to there event. It’s cumulative and circular. It loops, doubles back, and stretches forward to make room for more of us.

It is cultural democracy at work. It is how we make real our belief that all people should have opportunities, access, and tools for shaping their neighbourhoods and communities.

– Anna Camilleri

Lead Visual Artist for CTCHC Community Mosaic Project

Red Dress Productions, Artistic Co-Director

Postscript:

More than 350 community members contributed to the creation of the CTCHC Community Mosaic Project, which was unveiled on Wednesday June 20, 2012.

The CTCHC Community Mosaic Project has been made possible through the support of the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Toronto: Public Realm, Transportation Services, and the TD Bank Group.

CENTRAL TORONTO COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTRES’ (CTCHC)
(Queen West Community Health Centre and Shout Clinic) mission is to act as a resource to improve the health and quality of life of the people and communities we serve. CTCHC achieves this through health promotion, harm reduction, education, community outreach, engagement, development and advocacy, as well as through the provision of innovative primary health care, counselling, support and dental services.

To find out more about CTCHC (168 Bathurst, south of Queen St. West), visit http://ctchc.com or call 416-703-8482

RED DRESS PRODUCTIONS (RDP) is a Toronto-based, not-for-profit, professional arts company that creates and disseminates interdisciplinary art and performance projects and works with/in communities on community-engaged public artworks. Since 2005, RDP has: directly engaged 2000+ contributors in the conceptual development and building of 7 community engaged public artwork projects; produced 5 original interdisciplinary stage performances; toured to more than 8 urban and rural Canadian communities; and created 17 paid apprenticeship positions for youth under the age of 25.

To find out more about Red Dress Productions, visit us online at http://reddressproductions.blogspot.com

All images are courtesy of Red Dress Productions and project photographer Katie Yealland.

[1] Community partners include: Sketch, Meeting Place Drop-in (St Christopher House), Scadding Court Community Centre, YMCA House Residence, Youthlink, Supporting Our Youth (Sherbourne Health Centre), and Bleecker Street Co-operative Homes

[2] The 150 contributors cited here are specific to the consultation phase, which informs the conceptual development of the artwork.

ArtHeart Community Art Centre

Aside

ImageArtheart is a community arts center operating in Regent Park; its mission is to provide youth and adults with arts programs, resources, materials, and education. The programming they offer aims to build creativity, life-skills, and self-esteem within its participants as well as empowering the community. They are using art to combat issues affecting the Regent Park community, such as homelessness, poverty, and lack of employment.

Artheart’s programming runs all-year and encompasses a variety of artistic mediums and practices. They offer 470 arts workshops that take place after-school, in the evenings, throughout the summer, and on weekends to over 250 youth and 100 adults.

Outside of its regular scheduled programming, Artheart plans many engaging events throughout the year. Art contests, exhibits, computer labs, and events all make up a large part of Artheart’s outreach and participatory art making, one of which includes their studio workshop opportunities.
Recently, ArtHeart hosted its Family Fun-Raiser along with Havergal College staff, students, and families. The event included a plethora of activities, some of which included a craft market, live music, refreshments, and movie screenings. The proceeds of this event went to benefit ArtHeart and its programming. It was a great success and much fun was had by all participants.

Images: ArtHeart ‘Family Fun-Raiser’, Sandi Wong

Currently, ArtHeart is the process of moving to their new home at the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Center, Artscape’s newest venture into sustainable space and community arts practise. For now, their summer programming is on hold, however they will be coming back soon with a new schedule to fit their new space, location, and participants. Visit them in their new studio in September!

To learn more about Artheart and their programming and events, or how to get involved with them, visit them online:

Website: http://artheart.ca Tumblr: http://artheartblog.tumblr.com

Take Part in Culture Days at the Toronto Public Library

The Toronto Public Library (TPL), the Neighbourhood Arts Network (NAN) and Culture Days are pleased to continue Culture Days @ The Library for a second year. This exciting partnership was created to help artists and arts groups share their creative work with the public. Now in its third year, Culture Days is a pan-Canadian celebration of arts and culture. For more information, visit www.culturedays.ca.

Kir Stefan the Serb Choir; Photo by Christian Badanjak

CALL FOR ARTISTS: CULTURE DAYS @ THE LIBRARY

The Toronto Public Library is offering free venues to Toronto-based artists and cultural groups wishing to be part of Culture Days on September 28-29, 2012. This partnership enables artists to take their practice out of their private studios into the accessible spaces of library branches so that the public can discover and engage with their work. Past participants describe Culture Days @ the Library as a great opportunity to connect with new audiences and to build strong community relationships. From Etobicoke to Scarborough, North York and downtown, some 40 TPL branches spanning the city will provide venues at no cost.

Toronto-based individual artists, small and medium-sized professional arts as well as volunteer-run cultural organizations, collectives or groups that wish to organize their events at a TPL branch are invited to submit to the simple application by April 30, 2012. Activities in all artistic disciplines are encouraged as well as those that appeal to families and to audiences of diverse ages. To be considered for a space, the arts activity must be free and interactive.

TPL staff will make their selections from among the applications and contact activity organizers for further information. Decisions will be based on the suitability of the activity for the branch’s venue space and the interactive nature of the activity. This program cannot provide any financial assistance for supplies or equipment; however, participants do receive administrative, marketing and promotional support for their activity via the joint efforts of Culture Days, TPL and NAN.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

A simple application form is now on-line. Applications will be accepted from now until April 30, 2012.

Applicants will be matched with the appropriate library branches based on the suitability and interactive nature of the activity. Those applicants who meet the criteria will be contacted by Toronto Public Library Branch Heads in the latter part of May to discuss in detail their activity and may be required to submit further information related to space requirements, equipment, etc.

NOTIFICATION AND CONFIRMATION

Branches will send out confirmation notifications by May 30, 2011.

 The following branches have committed to hosting Culture Days activities. The majority of activities will be scheduled on Saturday, September 29, with a limited number scheduled on Friday, September 28. For location and other details about each branch, go to http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/hours-locations/index.jsp

PARTICIPATING BRANCHES

Agincourt Evelyn Gregory Mount Pleasant
Albert Campbell Gerrard/Ashdale North York Central Childrens’ Dept
Amesbury Park Guildwood Northern District
Annette Street High Park Pape/Danforth
Beaches Humberwood Parliament Street
Bendale Jane/Sheppard Queen/Saulter
Brentwood Kennedy/Eglinton Riverdale
Bridlewood Leaside S. Walter Stewart
Centennial Lillian H. Smith Sanderson
College/Shaw Main Street Spadina Road
Don Mills Malvern Taylor Memorial
Downsview Maryvale Weston
Dufferin/St. Clair McGregor Park York Woods
Eglinton Square Morningside

ABOUT CULTURE DAYS

Culture Days is a collaborative, Canada-wide volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Launched in 2010, the annual Culture Days event takes place in more than 800 Canadian cities and towns during the last weekend of September, generating an extraordinary amount of enthusiasm in the process. This year’s Culture Days weekend will take place on September 28, 29 and 30, 2012. Once again, the event will feature free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind the scenes”—and to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers at work in their community. To learn more, please visit www.culturedays.ca

Culture Days in Ontario is supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Ontario in recognition of Celebrate the Artist Weekend. 

ABOUT TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Toronto Public Library is the world’s busiest urban public library system. Every year, more than 18 million people visit our 98 branches and borrow more than 32 million items. As cornerstones of their neighbourhoods, our libraries connect people to each other and to their community, inspiring the spirit of exploration, the joy of reading and the pursuit of knowledge for people of all ages and backgrounds. To learn more, please visit www.torontopubliclibrary.ca or call Answerline at 416-393-7131.

ABOUT NEIGHBOURHOOD ARTS NETWORK

Neighbourhood Arts Network is the place where arts and community engagement meet. NAN helps artists and community organizations do what they do best: enrich Toronto and transform it into a more vibrant, beautiful, and liveable city. We catalyze new relationships and conversations, collect research and share information. We envision a Toronto where all residents are empowered to discover and shape the cultural life of their communities. Neighbourhood Arts Network is a project of the Toronto Arts Foundation. To learn more, please visit www.neighbourhoodartsnetwork.org

Culture Days contact:

Aubrey Reeves,  Culture Days Ontario Manager

(416) 646-7469 aubreyreeves@culturedays.ca

Toronto Public Library contact:

Anne Marie Aikins – Manager, Community Relations

Toronto Public Library Communications, Programming and Customer Engagement

(416) 393-7212    aaikins@torontopubliclibrary.ca

For more information about Culture Days, please visit www.on.culturedays.ca

Plays to Playgrounds

Invitation to attend
Community Arts: Plays to Playgrounds Symposium

Community Arts: Plays to Playgrounds

      don’t miss the chance to see JumbliesTheatre’s production – Like An Old Tale

December 11th to the 14th, 2011

Join artists and allies from across Canada as we share our evolving ideas, practices and unfolding stories of engagement and transformation on the other side of a community play, when the show stays in town – or in the park.

Together we’ll explore the diverse outcomes and evolutions of the Community Play Movement in Canada, with a special focus on the legacy of community play projects. We’ll share perspectives on projects that continue after the play wraps up, and discuss the ramifications of staying or leaving once the play is done. We’ll invite artists and allies from across Canada to share their work related to community arts and outdoor spaces and hear the perspectives of veteran community arts project participants from Toronto, Vancouver, North Bay and beyond.

Check out http://symposium.mabellearts.ca/ to find out more about our contributors and the companies they represent and to see our schedule of events, including public panels, community workshops. In addition to this, there will be a chance to see Jumblies Theatre’s latest community play Like An Old Tale – a Scarborough Telling of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale for the Wednesday evening show. This is an exciting opportunity to see the work that Jumblies Theatre has been creating for over three years in Scarborough- Kingston Galloway.

For pricing information or to register, please visit http://symposium.mabellearts.ca/register-now/

For more information about tickets to Like An Old Tale visit http://www.jumbliestheatre.org/upcoming/tickets/

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating and sharing the art the builds community.

With love from MABELLEarts and Jumblies Theatre