The 2015 Fall term is off to an impressive start. On Wednesday, September 23rd Graduate Assistants (GAs) from several major arts collectives met for the first time to co-ordinate their organizing work and build future partnerships. A week later the official follow-up to Rad-Art Talkback built on this momentum by bringing MES activists, PhD students and faculty together to discuss next steps and concrete workplans. Read below for summaries, contact information — and ways for you to get involved.
Collective GA Meeting – Wednesday, September 23rd
Two weeks ago, representatives from Wild Garden, Xroads and Las Nubes met face-to-face for the first time and began the work of discovering common interests and potential collaborations. Using a simple mapping exercise participants were able to “cluster” their interests and involvements in the arts, which provided a useful road map for the scope and distribution of present arts interests at FES.
There was also agreement on the need to provide email contacts for each arts organization, to encourage better communication and collaboration.
Wild Garden Media Centre
Chris Cavanagh — email@example.com
Xroads Art Gallery
Bernadette Wycks — firstname.lastname@example.org
Las Nubes Project
Adlar — email@example.com
UnderCurrents: Journal of Critical Environmental Studies
Sarah Ianicello — firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Music Collective
Mark Reese — mreece09
(Don’t forget that the Wild Garden Art Park Facebook page is also a resource for communicating with peers.)
Rad-Art Talkback 2 – Thursday, October 1st
This past week, students and faculty gathered to discuss the progress made since our first meeting in May, and to sort out the next steps for arts organizing at FES.
Here are some of the action items we discussed:
- Wild Garden’s Brown Bag Thursdays could organize further presentations and workshops for the Winter 2015-16 term, by reaching out to PhD students via the PhD listserve.
- Organizers with “Work in Common” could pursue a collaboration with the environmental music collective on ambient music playlists.
- GESSA could collaborate with Cinema Politica on a documentary series in HNES 109.
- Art Park will be changed from a Facebook page to a group, to better promote member postings.
- FES could partner with the Faculty of Education on a conference centred on arts and education.
- A WordPress tag cloud could be organized for the Wild Garden site, to visualize the various arts interests of faculty and students.
- A research methodologies workshop is needed, to offer practical skills and guidance to students.
- Organizers with Wild Garden will meet to discuss last month’s podcast workshop with Amanda di Battista, with an eye to adapting her talk for future demos.
- Wild Garden can offer artists exhibiting work in Xroads a “virtual gallery space,” in the form of a WordPress webpage, where they can offer photo examples of their work, artist statements, etc.
There was also discussion of upcoming arts-related programming and opportunities at FES.
- In the next few weeks, Maloca will be hosting a Harvest Festival, featuring musical performances, storytelling and chalk poetry writing. Stay tuned for details!
- The first Work in Common is scheduled for this coming Tuesday, October 6th, in HNES 109, 11:30-2:30. WIC will be a weekly event that attempts to create a collective space for study and academic work. Materials from Wild Garden will still be made available for arts practice, and there will be a kick-ass soundtrack of evocative, ambient music.
- Xroads currently features “The Vibrant Inside” by The Red Wagon Collective / Monday Art Group, a social practice arts project which takes place at a women’s shelter in a gentrifying Toronto neighbourhood.
- PhD student Andrew Zealley has organized This is Not Art Therapy, an artist residency/internship program that provides an arts practice-led research environment for both practicing artists and graduate level artist-researchers seeking residency and/or internship requirements, creative experience within an ASO space, and with the issues and fields of study presented by HIV/AIDS and its intersectionalities — including health, race, gender, LGBTTI2QQ orientations, disability, poverty, harm reduction, social determinants of health, social justice, biopolitics, and queer ecology.