Profile: Miscellaneous Productions (Vancouver)

7 02 2011

Photo credits: MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ Stock Characters: The Cooking Show – Directed by Elaine Carol, photo by Chris Randle, Youth ensemble performing the World music composition Stock Pot Cooking by Bonnie Soon and Jason Overy. November 2007.

Mini Profile: MISCELLANEOUS Productions
Status: non-profit charitable organization, community-engaged interdisciplinary arts organization
Community served: mostly youth, some adults and seniors
Arts focus: interdisciplinary
Location: City of Vancouver and some suburban areas in the Lower Mainland

About Us: “Our aim is to empower culturally diverse and marginalized youth, using art as a tool for personal transformation and social change. We focus on working with culturally diverse, multi-barriered youth who have perpetrated violence and/or have criminal records, are active in gangs or have been victims of violence, racism and bullying, or all of the above – teaching that “your art is your weapon.”  For more than 95% of participants, MISCELLANEOUS Productions is the first and only access that they have had to professional arts training.  We encourage them to think creatively and critically; we assist them in acquiring the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to tell their own stories, to speak out about the issues that concern them, and to engage in productive, creative dialogues to use art as a tool for personal transformation and social change.

MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ activities include a wide range of interdisciplinary and community-engaged artistic practices with a focus on artist and community collaborations with culturally diverse, multi-barriered youth (at-risk and experiential youth).  Our artistic productions including the creation of new issue-based plays, performances, hip hop and World music, public art, publications, digital media, documentaries and video adaptations of our performances.  We bring in teams of professional artists, educators, social workers and technicians to engage in a long-term process with culturally diverse, multi-barriered youth and present our work in a combination of professional artists’ venues and community-based spaces.  We work very hard to make our work accessible and inclusive.

We focus on interdisciplinary performance and media art works, and have a large culturally diverse audience of all ages. Please see the attached short DVD photo collages as both will give you a solid idea of our work or you can find these on the following pages on our web site: <http://www.miscellaneous-inc.org/power/> <http://www.miscellaneous-inc.org/stock-characters.htm> To get a strong idea of the look and sound our our company, please scroll down and turn on your speakers. You will hear and see the strong, vibrant and youthful sounds and images of MISCELLANEOUS Productions.

Language: We have worked in more than 25 languages and dialects including English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Urdu, Punjabi, Eritrean, Japanese, Gaelic, Spanish, various Indigenous languages including Cree, Musqueum, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh.
Contact: Elaine Carol, Artistic Director
Phone number: 604-873-6522
E-mail: elaine-c@mdi.ca
Website: www.miscellaneous-inc.org
Facebook: Miscellaneous Productions Facebook page
Twitter: ElaineCarol3

-submitted by Elaine Carol, Artistic Director of MISCELLANEOUS Productions

Please see ArtBridge’s Google Map for contact information.

Photo credits: MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ Stock Characters: The Cooking Show – Directed by Elaine Carol, photo by Chris Randle, Youth ensemble performing the World music composition Stock Pot Cooking by Bonnie Soon and Jason Overy. November 2007.

Mandate:
ARTISTIC MISSION AND PROFILE OF THE ORGANIZATION

  1. to educate and increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the arts while providing performances of an artistic nature,
  2. to educate the public and professionals about prevention of and responses to societal problems through various artistic works.

Artistic Objectives

  • To explore interdisciplinary art and community-engaged artistic practices with diverse artists and allies in the Lower Mainland of BC, as well as in other urban, suburban and rural contexts,
  • To make art that deals with relevant and engaging issues, with an emphasis on works that celebrate diversity and employ an anti-racism, anti-violence, anti-poverty and anti-homophobia educational framework,
  • To pioneer innovative approaches to performance art, theatre, new media, video, political art and public/community art, as well as both solo and collective art events,
  • To educate culturally and racially diverse people with an emphasis on young people age 14 – 24 years old about new and emerging approaches to art and the creative process, and to facilitate access to those innovative art forms,
  • To integrate culturally diverse mainstream and multi-barriered (at-risk and high risk/experiential young people) directly into our artistic works and create original pieces that authentically reflect their lives, and
  • To investigate and push aesthetic boundaries employing and melding various mediums including but not limited to performance, theatre, new technologies, visual and time-based art, public art and community-engaged art.

Brief History
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTIONS is a community-based, charitable arts organization that acts as a vehicle for diverse artistic projects including live performances, production of media works, publications, public art and visual art exhibitions. The company was incorporated in July 2000 as a B.C. non-profit society. All our interdisciplinary and issue-based work to date has fused high art, community development and popular culture. We have worked with culturally diverse professionals and non-professionals aged 13 – 70 years old, who find their roots on 6 continents and speak more than 25 languages and dialects. We bring teams of professional artists and culturally diverse, multi-barriered youth together to collaborate on interdisciplinary artistic projects.

The company’s first major work, THE REENA PROJECT/Outcasts and Angels was produced in September 2001 in Richmond, BC. This was followed by What You Carry With You… (2003)  and e-race (2005 – performance and 2006 –video adaptation), and Stock Characters: The Cooking Show (November 2007 – performance; 2009 – documentary). Our current project (2008-ongoing) is POWER, in which multi-barriered youth participants ages 14 to 21 are trained and mentored by our team of professional artists, technicians, social workers and diversity consultants in the creation, rehearsal and public presentation of solo, duo and ensemble performance art pieces.

In the course of our current project, POWER, 32 youth participants have undergone a wide-ranging, rigorous process of diversity education and artistic training in theatre skills, performance art, world percussion instruments, singing, hip-hop dance, film-making and technical theatre. They have developed and rehearsed a series of solo, duo, trio and ensemble performance art pieces, and have presented them publicly at open rehearsals and a sold-out/over-sold 3-night run of cabaret-style performances at the Rhizome Café in early June 2009 (a second run of open rehearsals, community forums and free public performances is planned for October and November 2009 at the Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre in Southeast Vancouver – statistically most youth, especially immigrant youth in BC reside in Southeast Vancovuer).  POWER has been captured on film at every stage by a team of professional filmmakers working with youth technicians and assistants. The footage will be edited into a feature-length documentary in the early part of 2010.

All MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ work features new hip hop and World music and dance.  The feel and sound of the work is youthful, soulful, funky and popular and is very appealing to our young audiences.  We have a history of commissioning new works by composers as wide-ranging as hip hop artist Ndidi Cascade, Bonnie Soon & Jason Overy of Uzume Taiko, World Music specialists Ganesh Anandan and Paul Bray as well as youth that have come through are program such as Kaoru Matsushita (21 years old) who has been on our professional team since 2005 and Natasha Pheko (15 years old), currently featured as a performer/writer/composer in POWER.

The artists and other professionals (including technicians, a social worker and diversity consultant/educator) involved in POWER are not simply occasional consultants; they work closely with the youth on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis in rehearsals, workshops and performance situations. They use art as a vehicle to empower these young people to practice civic engagement and leadership.   All professional team members have significant experience with engaging youth in artistic collaborations in various styles and genres that appeal to them:  hip hop, spoken word, experimental theatre, performance art, new media, etc.

MISCELLANEOUS Productions is currently developing a commission for the Vancouver International Children’s Festival entitled “Kutz & Dawgs” (May 2012) and another event for the Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre – “Raincity Rap: The History of Vancouver hip hop” (October 2011).

The Canada Council for the Arts Inter-Arts Section has determined that MISCELLANEOUS Productions is the only group of its kind in Canada because of the level of our professional training of youth, inclusion of World music, hip hop music and dance, exceptional quality of our productions, “interdisciplinarity of our work,” size and diversity of our culturally and generationally diverse audience and the long-term commitment to communities, i.e. we work directly with community members longer than any other group in the country.

Our projects always challenge artistic boundaries of genre and aesthetics, and always work towards integrating different artistic disciplines and community development into a creative whole. This kind of work teaches participants to think and act outside of established categories that may have marginalized them in the past, both in art and in other spheres.”


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