Art and Communities Network
AIF Professional Development Workshops
Featuring International VIVA! Project Partners
October 27-31, 2011
“The VIVA! Project is a transnational exchange that involved educators and artists from four universities and four NGOs from Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada in a SSHRC-supported participatory action research project between 2003 and 2007. Each partner undertook research of a community arts project; annual transnational workshops (Toronto, 2004; Panama, 2005; Mexico, 2006) allowed them to reflect critically and creatively, collectively and comparatively, on their diverse educational and artistic practices.
Friday, Oct. 28, 6:30 – 9 PM, Book Launch and Celebration
Native Canadian Centre, 16 Spadina Road
The VIVA! Project exchange culminated in a book, VIVA! Community Arts and Popular Education in the Americas (SUNY Press and Between the Lines), that includes a DVD with nine videos that bring the projects to life. (http://www.btlbooks.com/bookinfo.php?index=227)
The launch is taking place at the Native Canadian Centre where the VIVA! Project was initiated exactly eight years ago with a conference, “Harvesting Stories: Popular Education in Social Movements in the Americas.” The book was edited by Deborah Barndt, professor in York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, coordinator of the VIVA! Project, the Community Arts Practice (CAP) @ York, and the AIF Arts and Communities Network projects.
Hosted by York University’s Community Arts Program and local VIVA partners, Jumblies Theatre and the Catalyst Centre in collaboration with Canadian co-publisher Between the Lines, the launch will include an opening ceremony, performances, poetry, and video screenings at 7 PM and 8 PM. There will be displays of VIVA partner organizations and local community arts groups. Refreshments will be served.
Co-sponsors: Between the Lines Press, York University: Academic Innovation Fund, Art and Communities Network, Community Arts Practice (CAP) @ York, Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, Faculty of Environmental Studies
Five of the international partners of the VIVA project coming to Toronto for the launch will facilitate professional development workshops as part of the Arts and Communities Network cross-faculty initiatives, funded by York University’s Academic Innovation Fund (AIF).
Thursday, October 27, 6 – 9 PM: Sharing Lives and Cultures: Community Media on Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast
An evening dialogue with Margarita Antonio
Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre, 38 Regent Street (lower level)
Margarita Antonio is a Miskitu journalist, a leader in regional Indigenous women’s networks, and the UNESCO Officer on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. Founder of the Institute for Intercultural Communication of URACCAN University, she helped develop BilwiVision, a youth-run community television program. As a partner in the VIVA! Project, she co-authored “With Our Images, Voices and Culture, Bilwivision: A Community Television Channel”. Margarita will share Central American experiences and open up a dialogue with Toronto community media activists.
Academic partners: York University Academic Innovation Fund, Art and Communities Network, Community Arts Practice (CAP) @ York, Centre for Research on Latin American and the Caribbean (CERLAC)
Community partners: Regent Park Focus, Digital Storytelling Toronto (DSTO)
Friday, October 28, 1 – 4 PM – Movement and Poetry Workshop with Amy Shimshon-Santo
West-Side Arts Hub, York Woods Library, 1785 Finch Avenue West
Amy Shimshon-Santo is a Los Angeles based performing artist (capoeira), educator, and researcher. As ArtsBridge Director for UCLA’s School for the Arts and Architecture, she prepared arts educators, built arts education infrastructure, and cultivated K-20 community partnerships; she reflects on ArtsBridge in her VIVA chapter, “Connecting the Dots: Linking Schools and Universities.” She recently edited Art = Education: Connecting Learning Communities in Los Angeles (UC Press), and has published poetry and short stories in addition to social research on arts education, urban schooling, and community development.
Academic partners: York University Academic Innovation Fund, Art and Communities Network, Community Arts Practice (CAP) @ York, Dance Dept.,York University TD Community Engagement Centre
Community partners: West-Side Arts Hub, Toronto District School Board
Saturday, October 29, 10 AM – 4 PM Community Mural Production Workshop with Checo Valdez
Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre, 1900 Davenport Road
Checo Valdez is a well-known graphic artist, political cartoonist and muralist who teaches at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City. He has recently developed a training program in community-based mural production, and has coordinated mural projects all over Mexico, in particular with Indigenous communities in the south, as well as in Europe and North America. His method is elaborated in his chapter in the VIVA book, “Painting By Listening.” He has exhibited widely and has trained many people in participatory community mural production throughout Mexico and internationally. In recent years, this has resulted in more than forty murals in Indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico.
Academic Partners: York University Academic Innovation Fund, Art and Communities Network, Community Art Practice (CAP) @ York, Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC)
Community Partners: Latin American Art Centre Collective, Canadian Latin American Art Projects, Mural Routes
Sunday, October 30, 2 – 5 PM “The Arrivals Creation Process: Recovering the Lost Body” with Diane Roberts
West-Side Arts Hub, York Woods Library, 1785 Finch Avenue West
Diane Roberts is a Caribbean Canadian theatre artist working from an AfriCentric perspective, which has informed the development of The Personal Legacy Project and The Arrivals Project in the past five years. She is currently artistic director of urban ink productions, that develops and produces aboriginal and diverse cultural works of theatre, writing and film, integrating artistic disciplines, and bringing together different cultural and artistic perspectives and inter-racial experiences. Her chapter in the VIVA! book, “The Lost Body: Recovering Memory – A Personal Legacy” reflects on the process she has developed to help actors explore their ancestral histories, through both archival and embodied research.
Academic partners: York University Theatre Dept, Academic Innovation Fund, Community Arts Practice (CAP) @ York, York University TD Community Engagement Centre
Community partners: West-Side Arts Hub, Nomanzland Theatre and Young Peoples Theatre
Monday, October 31, 6- 8 PM, Public seminar on “Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way” with Monique Mojica, José Angel Colman Pérez, and Alberto Guevara
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham Street
VIVA Project partner José Colman, Monique Mojica and Alberto Guevara will speak about the collaborative and intercultural creation process in producing the ground-breaking play “Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way” at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse in May of 2011.
An established senior artist, José Ángel Colman Pérez is a master storyteller and oral historian and was the first professionally trained theatre artist of the Kuna people in Panama. Best known for his work in cultural recovery through theatre, José was a major leader in the Kuna Children’s Art Project and contributed to the chapter in the VIVA! book, “Planting Good Seeds: The Kuna Children’s Art Workshops.” He was brought to Canada by Monique Mojica to direct “Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way.”
Monique Mojica (Kuna and Rappahannock nations) is a Toronto-based actor, playwright and artist-scholar spun directly from the web of New York’s Spiderwoman Theater. Her first play Princess Pocahontas and the Blue Spots was produced in 1990 by Nightwood Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille, on radio by CBC and published by Woman Press in 1990. She is the co-editor, with Ric Knowles, of Staging Coyote’s Dream An Anthology of First Nations Drama in English, vols. I & II published by Playwrights Canada Press. Monique is the catalyst for the exploration of devising a dramaturgy specific to Guna cultural aesthetics, story narrative and literary structure through the production of “Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way”. Her collaboration with VIVA Partner José Colman represents a deepening of the intercultural exchange around epistemological issues.
Alberto Guevara is an associate professor in the Theatre Dept at York University, is the coordinator of the Community Arts Practice (CAP) certificate for Fine Arts, and was the assistant director of the play “Chocolate Woman”. Originally from Nicaragua, he integrates performance and politics, and his research has focused on the theatricality of violence in Nicaragua and Nepal. He is the creator/editor of InTensions, bringing together scholars and artists on themes related to the theatricality of power.
Academic partners: York University Theatre Department, Academic Innovation Fund, Aboriginal Studies at University of Toronto (TBC)
Community partner: Centre for Indigenous Theatre”
- submitted by Deborah Barndt, Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies; Coordinator, Community Arts Practice (CAP).
Please visit their event page for more info on the book launch and to RSVP!
Read more about York University’s Community Arts Practice certificate program here.