AROBA: A Room Of Black Artists

AROBA: A Room Of Black Artists

A Black Mental Health Podcast Documentary Series

March 7 - April 8 2022

Black Artists have and continue to play an essential role as leaders in building communities and producing hallmarks of cultural expressions and yet continue to face a plethora of blatant to insidious forms of anti-Black racism and mental health discrimination. AROBA believes and works towards encouraging Black artists to have open discussions about Black mental health, to learn more about their own mental health, and to acknowledge the stigma of mental illness and addiction.

For this year, AROBA’s new podcast documentary series will feature a total of six unique episodes, each candidly focusing on experiences of addiction and resilience of Black Artists. Episodes will be released weekly starting Monday, March 7, 2022.

To view last year’s AROBA Symposium and Action Even you can do so here.

“The intention of shifting from a symposium to a limited podcast format is to shed more light on the day-to-day realities of mental health issues in the Black community. In the podcast series, Black artists and harm reduction workers candidly speak towards the causes and impacts of addiction on Black lives. It is the hope that the AROBA podcast series generates a greater understanding and inspires meaningful compassion towards those who struggle with mental health and addiction” says AROBA podcast writer and host Lana Lovell.

This project is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council for the Arts Response Initiative program.

Ontario Arts Council Logo
  • Black Mental Health Day
  • March 7 - April 8 2022

Content Warning:

This podcast series contains discussions around topics such as but not limited to; addiction, substance use, relapse, mentions of suicide and other similar topics which may be triggering to some audiences. Audience discretion is advised.

Click the button below to access our complete mental health resources list.

Click the button below to receive email updates about AROBA

QUESTIONS? CONTACT:
Kais Padamshi
Communications and Development Manager
kais_padamshi@workmanarts.com

BROWSE CURRENT EVENTS

CHANNEL 2400

6 NOVEMBER 2021 - ONGOING

FILMLIVE PANEL/Q&A

HOW WE CARED

HOW WE CARED

Three video stills ontop of blueprints and maps

HOW WE CARED
Saroja Ponnambalam & Rupali Morzaria

How can we create our own architectures of liberation? How we cared (3-channel video installation) is a return to Pandi Kumaraswamy’s archives, reinterpreting the multiple systems of care in his life, over which he had varying levels of autonomy. This expanded schematic of forced care, natural forms of care and creative care. The three sites operate within a fluid and undetermined ecosystem spanning the healthcare/medical world to the spiritual/natural based on family experiences. The schematic attempts to move away from finite solutions to healing medically diagnosed disorders. It prompts viewers to take a step back from conventional architectural practices that use speculative methods to conjure up imaginary built environments for those receiving mental health care.

Saroja Ponnambalam is an Ontario-based filmmaker. Her art practice involves working with a variety of documentary mediums – animation, photographs, family video archives and interviews. Her more recent work explores intergenerational mental health experiences through an intersectional lens.

Rupali Morzaria is a designer and film programmer currently based in Tiohti:áke/ Montreal. She is moved by storytelling and movement—in film, dance, and advertising—and uses design as a way to indulge in this fascination. Her work is based in traditional forms of print media and finding new forms of expression within contemporary media arts.

 

Keywords: BIPOC Experience | Bipolar Disorder(s)| Depression | Family | Psychiatry

IN-PERSON VIDEO INSTALLATION
CAMH (ground floor window)
1025 Queen Street West
Oct 28 – Nov 7

This piece has an audio component that will need to be accessed through a personal mobile/cellular device onsite. If data is unavailable, access to Wi-Fi is available upon request.

Headphones/earphones are also recommended to bring to experience this installation, though not necessary if mobile/cellular device has a speaker. Workman Arts will have extra headphones available onsite upon request.

If accessing this in-person installation is a barrier and to find out alternate ways to experience this piece, please contact Paulina Wiszowata at paulina_wiszowata@workmanarts.com or at 416-583-4339 ext 6. 

WORKSHOP – MOCA PARTNERSHIP:
FROM SCRAPBOOK TO SCREEN
Sun, Nov 7, 1 PM ET

Join artist Saroja Ponnambalam for a virtual workshop that responds to MOCA’s GTA21 exhibition.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Made with funding support from Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council

Toronto Arts Council - Funded by the City of Toronto
Ontario Arts Council Logo

SZEPTY/WHISPERS: DIALOGUE

SZEPTY/WHISPERS: DIALOGUE

Collage of a graph, lung drawing, portrait with flowers for a head

SZEPTY/WHISPERS: DIALOGUE

Through the voices of various artists, this web-based experience explores the relationship between mental health, language, and lineage. Many awareness campaigns urge us to “break the silence”. But the question of whether – or how – to speak is complicated. Mental health discourses are shaped by particular histories, which reverberate in the present. By juxtaposing multiple perspectives, Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue aims to expand the possibilities for how we communicate about madness, trauma, and neurodivergence. The content is offered in the form of audio files, transcripts, and ASL videos.

The process for Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue began when artist Veronique West invited seven collaborators to make audio recordings in response to open-ended questions about mental health, language and lineage. The collaborators were: mia susan amir, Kagan Goh, Maya Jones, Constantin Lozitsky, Jivesh Parasram, Kendra Place, and Manuel Axel Strain. A digital platform was developed to host the recordings, through collaboration between the Cultch Digital Storytelling Team, Sound Designer David Mesiha, Inclusive Designer JD Derbyshire, Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty, Deaf Interpreter Ladan Sahraei, Production Coordinator Brian Postalian and Veronique West. Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue was first presented at the 2021 rEvolver Festival.

Consultants: Amy Amantea, June Fukumura, Simran Gill, and MariFer Rios.

For a full list of the Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue team’s biographies, please follow the link below:

CREATIVE TEAM BIOGRAPHIES
Keywords: 2SLGBTQIA+ | BIPOC Experience | Community | Disability | Family

COLLABORATOR ARTISTS TALK
Recording available online Oct 28 – Nov 7

Accessibility

For Artist Talk:
ASL and Closed Captions

For work in exhibition:
ASL, Transcripts, Audio Playback

Content Warnings

Brief references to colonization, war, genocide, child abuse, suicide, and psychiatric hospitalization. Detailed description of ableism, depression, mania, trauma, and a parent’s incarceration. The content does not play automatically and can be paused or skipped.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Digital Platform Realization by: The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team

Developed at Playwrights Theatre Centre as part of the Associates program.

The project has also been supported by:
Upintheair Theatre’s rEvolver Festival
The National Theatre School of Canada’s Art Apart initiative

The parallel in-person performance has been supported by:
the Canada Council for the Arts
the BC Arts Council
the Province of British Columbia
Playwrights Theatre Centre
Rumble Theatre
Progress Lab 1422
Chimerik似不像 Collective
Boca del Lupo and Rice & Beans Theatre’s DBLSPK series
Mentorship with Boca del Lupo’s Artistic Director Sherry J. Yoon
Universal Limited’s Horizontal Help program
The Arts Club Theatre Company’s LEAP Playwriting Intensive

The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts

UNBREAKABLE

UNBREAKABLE

Woman in red in front of wall of graffiti

UNBREAKABLE
Amplify Collective

Amplify Collective loudly and proudly presents the performance experience
UNBREAKABLE.

People in positions of power and their systems of oppression exert intense pressure on historically oppressed individuals and communities. Still we rise! We will not crumble in the face of this Intergenerational Trauma. Instead we continuously challenge racism, sexism, poverty and injustice. United we push back against these oppressive systems, the patriarchy and inequity. The strength that exists within our communities and the weight of injustice is woven within this performance through the use of symbols, body movement, music, distressed textiles and elaborate, wearable sculptures. Individually we endure, but collectively we are UNBREAKABLE.

Together we continue to heal!

Performances by Kayla Ross-Jackson, Caitlin Marzali, KJ McKnight, Matt Eldracher, Sebastian Marzali, Chy Ryan Spain, Scarlet Black, Sze-Yang Ade-Lam, Aryana Malekzadeh, Jaz Fairy J & more!

CREDITS
Curation & Costuming: Allie Amplify
Lighting Designer: Sebastian Marzali
Set Assistant: Jack Comerford
Makeup: Elene Seepe
Hair: Dmitry Komendant

Amplify Collective is a Toronto-based wearable art, performance and advocacy company. They create one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces, as well as host community classes and live experiences. Founder Allie Amplify has an extensive background in fashion, marketing and events. Her designs have lit up the stages of Fashion Art Toronto, the MMVA’s, PRIDE, the ROM and more!

Amplify Collective is a community of individuals with lived mental health and addiction experiences. Despite these challenges they have prevailed and hope to share a message of resilience and growth.

Turn up the volume with Amplify!

 

Keywords: 2SLGBTQIA+ | Activism | BIPOC Experience | Community

OPENING NIGHT & RECEPTION
Reception + The Meaning of Empathy (with panel) + UNBREAKABLE
Starting at 5 PM at CAMH Auditorium

IN PERSON PERFORMANCE
Thurs, Oct 28, 9:30 PM
CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen St W

VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE
The recorded live streamed performance is available to view in the In(site) virtual exhibition:

Content Warnings

Loud sounds
Nudity

CO-PRESENTER
The Dance Current Logo
"Performance on opening night."

WHAT EVERYONE GETS

WHAT EVERYONE GETS

WATCH ONLINE
Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

VIRTUAL PANEL DISCUSSION
Thurs, Nov 4, 5-6:30 PM ET

ACCESSIBILITY

Guest curated by Shahbaz Khayambashi and Clare Samuel / 97 mins

Death holds a paradoxical place for us: we understand our own death is inevitable, at the same time as it feels utterly inconceivable. Recently, death has felt closer than ever as millions of people have died of COVID-19 and the deadly effects of global warming accelerated in earnest. This collection of films explores dying in relation to ritual, spectacle, care, love and the traces we leave behind.

As included in this program, Thanadoula and Season of Goodbyes intimately grapple with the loss of a loved one, and engage on a journey of mourning and paying homage to the dearly departed. Digital Traces explores the circulation of death in digital spaces, informing contemporary practices of mourning, and expressing grief. Similarly, She’s Not Gonna Get More Dead consists of excerpts of Black women vampires appearing in commercial media, and highlights Black femininity being constrained within therealms of invisibility and hypervisibility. Three Metres and a Few Centimetres portrays the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ahvaz, Iran, as “dead-washers” volunteer at a cemetery to cleanse and prepare the corpses of deceased persons for burial in accordance to Islamic customs and ritual. You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born is a fictional portrait that tenderly balances loss, grief and humour, and embraces the definite truths of life (such as death) as what makes a life worth living.

 

DIGITAL TRACES (April Lin | 2019 | United Kingdom | English with English subtitles | 18 min)

SHE’S NOT GONNA GET MORE DEAD (Ariella Tai | 2018 | Canada | English | 6 min)

THANADOULA (Robin McKenna | 2020 | Canada | English | 6 min)

THREE METRES AND A FEW CENTIMETRES (Mostafa Salehi Nezhad | 2020 | Iran |
Persian with English Subtitles | 18 min)

SEASON OF GOODBYES (Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann | 2018 | Kenya | English | 14 min)

YOU WERE AN AMAZEMENT ON THE DAY YOU WERE BORN
(Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby | 2019 | USA | English | 33 min)

 

Keywords: BIPOC Experience | Death | Existentialism | Grief | Healing
CO-PRESENTER
Pleasure Dome
nfb

JOIN THE CONVERSATION:
WHAT EVERYONE GETS

Please join the filmmakers for a conversation where the prompt is death and all the grief
that comes with less life; moderated by Lee Henderson, a Toronto-based artist and educator who’s practice investigates association networks of human intellectual-emotional investment, more commonly known as “meaning”.

This is the Inspiration You Need Right Now - Toronto Edition

This is the Inspiration You Need Right Now - Toronto Edition

Based on a 2021 Digital Workshop Series that Lisa Anita Wegner created for Yuri Araj for KickStart Disability Art and Culture in Vancouver, Workman Arts presents the Toronto Edition. You will hear from Apanaki Temitayo M & Lisa Anita Wegner, two extraordinary artists who live with multiple invisible disabilities and have made it a priority to not let that stand in the way of achieving their creative and life goals. Join us for an hour and a half long presentation of art, films, stories and inspiration. Talks will be followed with a Q&A period.

Where: Zoom
When: Thursday, April 8, 2021, 6 PM – 7.30 PM EST

This is a free event for Workman Arts members and the general public.

ASL interpretation and live captioning will be available.

  • APRIL 8, 6-7:30 PM

ON ZOOM

Questions? Contact jessica_jang@workmanarts.com.

Two standing figures. Figure on left wears a green outfit and holds a fan against a dark background. The figure on right is in black & white and holds film canisters.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Born in Toronto and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Apanaki Temitayo M is a single mother of three. She is an author, spoken word poet, actor, multimedia artist and teacher. Her canvas compositions are an expression of her Trinidadian heritage and spirituality. Apanaki is currently the CAMH 1st Artist in Wellness. She is currently an Art Facilitator with Workman Arts Art Cart Program and the Textile Museum of Canada, Community Voices Outreach Program. She was the Workman Arts Artist-in-Residence for 2017 – 2018. She has been featured at Workman Arts, Being Scene 18th Annual Juried Exhibition 2019 at the Toronto Media Art Gallery. She has made her international debut at the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, 9th Annual African American Fibre Art Exhibition: Maya Angelou, with her original artwork, Mama’s Watching in South Carolina. Her New York debut at The Amazing Nina Simone Documentary Film by Jeff Lieberman, with her piece Nina Simone Fragmented.

She was honoured to be the first woman of colour to be in the Room Magazine: Woman of Color Issue for 2016 and her commissioned artwork Oshun Blooming was the face of Grow Room Feminist Literary Art Festival, 2018. Apanaki teaches her art practice at Workman Arts Encore Program for Inpatients, with experience as a facilitator CAMH, Gifts of Light, Workman Arts Art-Cart Program, Toronto East General Hospital, Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, Drop-In Art Class and at Workman Arts, CAMH. Rise Asset Development, helped to support her in becoming the Sole Proprietor of APNKI Designs. Her handcrafts and fine artwork merchandise, soft furnishings and accessories, are all made in Canada. She received an Honourable Mention in 2015, and received the Rise’s Peer Powered EnterpRISEr of the Year Award at the Dr Paul E.Garfinkel Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement, RISE Asset Development, from Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto.

To see more work please visit: https://apanaki-temitayo-m.pixels.com

 

Lisa Anita Wegner a MAD and disabled public artist. Lisa is a filmmaker, performer, curator, producer and art project consultant at haus of dada. Lisa is the creative producer of Mighty Brave Productions, an award-winning multi-media production company and a founding member of the Akhilanda Collaborative, Zebra Pictures Inc and Haus of Dada.

Her work has been shown at the Phoenix Art Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Mayworks Festival, Nuit Blanche, ReelAsian Film Festival, Long Winter, Gallery 1313, Toronto Art Fair, Buddies in Bad Times, The Black Cat Artspace, TIFF and NXNE Festival. Her ventures into large-scale performance installations include the 26-foot “Queen Of The Parade,”; a 10-foot version of The Queen was commissioned by Partners in Art, for ARTrageous In Motion. Lisa is pushing further with the Ubermarionette movement, performing in venues like Anandam’s Body Break at Theatre Passe Muraille, PROCESS at Artscape Youngplace, Buddies in Bad Times, Fringe and Rendezvous with Madness Festival. Lisa exhibited writing and photography in Yoko Ono’s ARISING exhibition at The Phi Centre in Montreal and has two photographs in a group show Shame Radiant, with East Window and Red Line Contemporary Art Centre in Denver Colorado. Lisa is proud to co-produce with Tangled Art + Disability.

Lisa has brought over 200 full-scale projects to completion over three decades, ranging from professional theatre to film & television, to large-scale art installations, immersive theatre projects and social experiments. In addition, Lisa has mentored over 30 film and art interns from various universities, colleges and art schools, many of whom are working in creative industries today.

To see more work: www.mightybraveproductions.com

BROWSE CURRENT EVENTS

CHANNEL 2400

6 NOVEMBER 2021 - ONGOING

FILMLIVE PANEL/Q&A
AROBA - A Room of Black Artists logo

AROBA: A Room Of Black Artists

AROBA: A Room Of Black Artists

A Black Mental Health Symposium and Action Event

March 1, 2021, 11 AM - 7 PM

See Schedule Below

Black Artists have and continue to play an essential role as leaders in building communities and producing hallmarks of cultural expressions and yet continue to face a plethora of blatant to insidious forms of anti-Black racism and mental health discrimination.

AROBA: A Room Of Black Artists, in association with Workman Arts, brings to you a Black Mental Health Symposium and Action Event. It is the first of an annual symposium that promotes Black mental wellness in the arts community. AROBA advocates wellness in Black communities by increasing awareness and reducing stigma around Black mental health issues. In this first symposium, AROBA will facilitate discussions around anxiety and depression experiences that Black Artists face as they navigate their lives and careers in the arts sector as a whole.

The AROBA panels explore the experiences of Black artists’ creative and mental wellness journeys.  A series of peer-based trauma-informed discussions with Black artists explore critical paths to healthier realities, not limited to:

  • Black artists moving beyond trauma within their art practice and life
.
  • Discussion about the arts increasing public awareness of anti-Black racism, anxiety and depression.
  • Navigating the ways that microassaults, microaggressions, and microinvalidations lead to anxiety, depression, and impacts work
.
  • Artists accessing mental health counselling and education to support their wellbeing and creative output
  • Confronting anti-Black racism and its impact on mental wellness within Black communities
.
  • Black artists’ creation for their community, that reduces the stigmatization of mental illness.

This symposium for Black Artists and Arts Workers is also open to the wider Black community. Non-Black Artists and members of the wider community are welcome to attend but are reminded to be mindful, respectful of the conversations, and the privilege of being able to witness the experiences openly shared by our participants.

We want to thank the following collaborators for making this first annual symposium possible:

Keynote speaker: DR. Araba Chintoh.

Panelists: Apanaki M Temitayo, Mosa McNeilly, Gordon Shadrach, Keosha Love, Victor Stiff, Louis Taylor, Kevin Ormsby, Nicky Lawrence, and Amanda Vil.

Artist Activators: Fimo Mitchell, Kay-Ann Ward, and Yvonne Francis

  • Black Mental Health Day
  • March 1, 2021 11 AM - 7 PM on Zoom

LATE MORNING SESSION
PAY WHAT YOU CAN

EARLY AFTERNOON SESSION
PAY WHAT YOU CAN

LATE AFTERNOON SESSION
PAY WHAT YOU CAN

If you have any accessibility requests or questions, please contact Justina Zatzman at justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com. ASL interpretation is available by request; if you require ASL interpretation, please let Justina know by Monday, February 22, 2021.

Questions? Contact Kais Padamshi at kais_padamshi@workmanarts.com.

Click the button below to receive email updates about AROBA.

AROBA SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE

The symposium is divided into three sessions, which will each have a separate Zoom link. You may register for all sessions or only specific ones, but you will need to register separately for each session you would like to attend. Click on the plus symbol (+) to expand and view details for each session. Panelist bios are included below the schedule.

We believe it is important to engage in honest, direct discussions about mental health and/or addictions, but acknowledge that this material can be difficult or triggering for some. In line with a commitment to being trauma-informed, active listeners will be available to help provide self-care and emotional support during this event.

11:00 – 11:10 AM

WELCOME:  Lana Lovell

11:10 – 11:40 AM

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Araba Chintoh
“Mental Health is Health – that’s the conversation I have with people day in and day out.”

11:40 AM – 12:00 PM

OPENING GUIDED MEDITATION: Fimo Mitchell
Join a meditation for racialized and marginalized people that offers contemplation, connection and healing.

12:00 – 1:40 PM

PANEL DISCUSSION: Re-claiming and Re-imagining Spaces
The Performers: Panel members share how they re-claim and re-imagine performances and physical spaces to make sense of their craft and enhance their mental wellness in hostile environments.

Panelists: Nicky Lawrence, Kevin Ormsby, Amanda Vil; Moderator: Lana Lovell

1:40 – 2:10 PM

LUNCH BREAK

Click the button on the right to register for this session.

2:10 – 2:15 PM

WELCOME: Kais Padamshi

2:15 – 2:35 PM

WORKSHOP: Guided Dance with Kay-Ann Ward
Learn to let go and have fun while dancing in an environment that is safe for everyone.

2:35 – 2:40 PM

BREAK

2:40 – 3:00 PM

WORKSHOP: Guided Drum Circle with Yvonne Francis
Come to an African polyrhythmic drumming session, the only requirement is the desire to make irresistible music and feel good.

Click the button on the right to register for this session.

3:00 – 3:05 PM

WELCOME: Lana Lovell

3:05 – 4:45 PM

PANEL DISCUSSION: Telling Beyond the Trauma

The Storytellers:  In this panel, you’ll learn the ways artists empower stories, make relevant connections with Black communities, and navigate past mental health issues that impact the creative process.

Panelists: Keosha Love, Victor Stiff, Louis Taylor; Moderator: Kais Padamshi

4:45  – 4:50 PM

BREAK

4:50 – 6:30 PM

PANEL DISCUSSION: Affirming and Amplifying Visions

The Visual Artists: This panel discusses the pathways that affirm and amplify an artist’s vision and mental wellbeing.

Panelists: Mosa McNeilly, Gordon Shadrach, Apanaki Temitayo M; Moderator: Lana Lovell

6:30 – 6:40 PM

CALL TO ACTION: Lana Lovell

6:40 – 7:00 PM

CLOSING AFFIRMATION + GUIDED MEDITATION: Fimo Mitchell
Join a meditation for racialized and marginalized people that offers contemplation, connection and healing.

Click the button on the right to register for this session.

PRESENTERS & PANELISTS INFORMATION

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Dr. Araba
Chintoh
Keynote Speaker

Dr. Araba Chintoh is a psychiatrist with clinical roles at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Inner City Health Associates, Across Boundaries – Mental Health Services for Racialized People and the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus. Her clinical and research interests focus on schizophrenia and include psychopharmacology, metabolic dysfunction and ways to improve the health and care for patients with chronic brain illnesses. She has an honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, a Masters of Science from McGill University and a PhD from the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. She attended medical school at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and returned to University of Toronto to complete her specialty training and a Fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry. Her education continues every day while navigating what it means to be a racialized woman in mainstream spaces. Away from work, she is developing her leadership skill set in not-for-profit and corporate governance as well as consulting on player welfare issues for international sports federations.

MODERATORS

Lana
Lovell
AROBA Event Producer & Moderator

AROBA creator and producer, Lana Lovell is a writer, producer and director whose career has spanned three decades. Some of her projects include: the CBC series The George Stroumboulopoulos Hour, the Omni television documentary Resilience, the Bravo musical documentary The Incomparable Jackie Richardson, the award-winning documentary Underground, and the Bravo documentary series Caribbean Tales. More recently Lana wrote and produced the theatrical play Elbow Room and wrote the digital media theatre production of The Sophia Pooley Years.

Kais
Padamshi
Workman Arts Staff & Moderator

Kais Padamshi (He/Him) is the interim Public Programming & Partnerships Manager at Workman Arts. He is a Black East African settler living in Toronto and a practicing artist, writer and yoga instructor. His personal and professional practices are centred on exploring and reclaiming identity or creating a sense of belonging, using visual art, writing, yoga and reiki as tools of healing. His community work focuses on mental health awareness and advocacy, emphasizing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities through programming creation and art exhibitions.

PANELISTS

RE-CLAIMING AND RE-IMAGINING SPACES: THE PERFORMERS PANEL

Nicky
Lawrence
Panelist

Nicky Lawrence is a moody, tender, tour de force of a performer and vocal artist. Moved to sing by the black women who sang before her and who continue to sing within her, Lawrence’s voice will grab you by the throat with the force of its pain, beauty, rage and ultimately—love. The writer and creator of two original works Key Change (Globe Theatre, Regina) and Ugly Black Woman (Hart House, Paradise on Bloor) Nicky has performed on national theatre stages in countless productions to critical acclaim. With several television and movie credits to her name; Anne with an E, Workin’ Moms, Schitts Creek, Killjoys , In the Shadow of the Moon, she continues to advocate for better treatment of Black actors working in the field.

Kevin
Ormsby
Panelist

Artistic Director of KasheDance and Program Manager at Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO), Kevin A. Ormsby has performed with companies in Canada, USA and the Caribbean. The Canada Council for the Arts’ Victor Martyn Lynch – Staunton Award recipient and TAC Cultural Leaders Fellow, has been a Guest Artist at the University of the West Indies (Mona),  Philip  Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts,  University of Wisconsin – Madison and Northwestern University.  Kevin’s research and creative practice through his company’s technical approach to dance exists in a space of constant interrogation and navigation of Caribbean cultural nuances towards, a methodology of understanding space in creation, research, and presentation. He is on the Boards of Dance Collection Danse, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts and has served on the Boards of Canadian Dance Assembly, Prologue to the Performing Arts and Nia Centre for the Arts.

Amanda
Vil
Panelist

Amanda Vil is a social service worker with a background in somatic trauma therapy, and a passion for emotional and mental health. She is an influential creative innovator with a flair for the arts. Amanda mainly operates from the art form of dance/movement. For over six years, Amanda has used her dance/healing movement gift to uplift, encourage, and bring healing. Not only is she a dancer, but an Emotional Health movement coach under her business Amanda’s Healing Services. She helps black women learn how to process and express emotions, heal holistically, and optimize their full potential through movement and coaching.

TELLING BEYOND THE TRAUMA: THE STORYTELLERS PANEL

Keosha
Love
Panelist

Keosha is a multi-disciplinary artist, activist and educator that intersects art & wellness to promote positive health & mental wellness in BIPOC communities and empower women. As a writer and film director, Keosha is notable for promoting healing, social justice and social change in her work by exploring the diverse narratives and identities of Black folk and people of colour. Keosha has graced many stages as a public speaker, host and spoken word poet to tell vulnerable stories, empower communities & bring them together. Keosha is also a trauma-informed educator that has facilitated several creative writing & wellness workshops using a holistic approach for radical care & healing. Her passion for art & advocating for accessible and inclusive health-care in her communities has led her to work with diverse companies such as Nike, Converse AllStars, Knixwear, Art Gallery of York University, CBC Arts and more. In 2016, Keosha founded Our Women’s Voices, a non-for-profit based in Toronto focused on amplifying marginalized voices and making social change with and for women using community, arts & education. Keosha is a storyteller and driven change-maker who has become a well-recognized voice that inspires others to use theirs.

Victor
Stiff
Panelist

Victor Stiff is a Toronto-based film critic who has written for POV Magazine, The Playlist, Film School Rejects, Screen Rant, and the Canadian Academy. He hosts the YouTube series Dope Black Movies, is the current news editor and senior critic at That Shelf, where he has covered TIFF, Sundance, and Hot Docs. In 2020, Victor received the Toronto Film Critics Association’s Emerging Critic award.

Louis
Taylor
Panelist

Louis Taylor’s career in the arts and entertainment field has spanned over 40 years. He has worked as a producer, actor, acting coach, dancer, writer, director (both in theatre and film), assistant director, casting director, outreach coordinator and script consultant. His award-winning short films have screened at over twenty-five film festivals world-wide. In 2020 he and his kid, Altair Pflug-Taylor completed their first web series, Spawn and Geezer. It will launch February 2021 on Seeka TV. The two are planning a second season and are developing a slate of projects through their production company, Shining Trauma Pictures.

AFFIRMING AND AMPLIFYING VISIONS: THE VISUAL ARTISTS PANEL

Mosa
McNeilly
Panelist

Mosa McNeilly is an interdisciplinary artist, working in Canada for thirty years. She sees her work as part of a canon of Black women artists, scholars, and activists concerned with social justice and freedom. In her visual art and performance work, she centres the Black female subject, working through hybrid iconographies, and exploring themes of memory and memorialization. In her Black healing and wellness work she leads webinars, workshops, and ceremonies fostering African cultural literacy and Black selflove. A recipient of the 2019 Toronto Acker Award and a 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women 2020 Honouree, Mosa holds a Master’s degree from York University.

Gordon
Shadrach
Panelist

Toronto-based artist Gordon Shadrach was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario in 1966. Gordon started painting in 2013 and paints in oil and acrylic on wood. He has exhibited in solo and group art shows in Canada and the United States. He works from photographs at his in-home studio. He received his B. Des. (MAAD) from OCAD University and has a Master of Education degree from Niagara University. In the Spring of 2018, Gordon’s painting, “In Conversation”, was included in an exhibit developed by the Royal Ontario Museum titled, “Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art”. Later in 2018 the exhibit went on tour and was presented at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in 2019. Aside from his portraits, Gordon is known for his insightful artist’s talks and has appeared as a panelist on TVO’s the Agenda and CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.

Apanaki
Temitayo M
Panelist

Apanaki Temitayo M is a Toronto-based multi-disciplinary artist. She is the 1st Artist-In- Wellness for CAMH. Was the 2017/2018 Workman Arts Artist-In-Residence. As part of Workman Arts Art Cart Program at CAMH, she teaches participants with mental health and drug addiction.  She has pieces featured at Workman Arts, Being Scene 18th Annual Juried Exhibition 2019 at the TMAC Gallery. Oju Olurun: Eye of God I is currently a part of CAMH Corporate Collection. The Amazing Nina Simone Documentary Film by Jeff Lieberman, with her piece Nina Simone Fragmented.  The first woman of colour to be in Room Magazine: Woman of Color Issue for 2016. Oshun Blooming was the face of Grow Room Feminist Literary Festival 2018 in Vancouver, which is part of the private collection of Donna Slaight.

ARTIST ACTIVATORS

Yvonne
Francis
Guided Drumming Activator

Yvonne Francis is an independent freelance musician who delights in exploring her talents in a variety of artistic arenas. This multi-talented musician performs music, which encompasses African derived idioms from classical, contemporary, jazz through to new wave. Yvonne obtained a musical education with the Royal Conservatory of Music and a Specialized Honors B.F.A in Music from York University. Yvonne’s virtuosity on the saxophone, trumpet, steel drums, African drums and other percussive instruments enables her to perform with a variety of groups and teach music within the education system of the GTA. She has performed in West Africa, Caribbean and the USA.

Fimo
Mitchell
Opening & Closing Meditations

Fimo Mitchell is a meditation guide, a writer and a podcast host. He began meditating in 2009 during his first trip to India. Since then, he has spent thousands of hours in meditation and completed two mindfulness courses. Last summer he founded When The Village Meditates, a nonprofit dedicated to offering meditation programs to members of racialized and marginalized communities. In March, Fimo will release a collection of short stories titled Pastel Remembrances. Every Tuesday, he hosts the “We Are Home” podcast featuring ten minutes of meditation followed by five minutes of insightful speech. He lives in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal), but remains on the lookout for a home far away from the oligarchs, plutocrats, and all their eager supporters.

Kay-Ann
Ward
Guided Dance Activator

For well over a decade Kay-Ann has been shaping the lives of individuals throughout the Dance, Wellness and Social Services Industries.  She is well known for her creativity, energy, knowledge of her craft and the nurturing space she provides for individuals to flourish. She has performed on many stages with top artists and has coached 200+ men and women helping them to embody the fullest expression of themselves. She has worked with both small and large social services organizations ranging from The City of Toronto, Tropicana Community Services, The Healing Project, Harbourfront Centre and Nia Centre for the Arts just to name a few.

BROWSE CURRENT EVENTS

CHANNEL 2400

6 NOVEMBER 2021 - ONGOING

FILMLIVE PANEL/Q&A

Neuroelastic

Neuroelastic

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

Headshot of a person facing the camera with vividly colored stretchy paper strips wrapped around their head.

Creator: Laura Shintani / A/V: Grant Padley

Neuroelastic is a self-activated artistic performance. Taking a cue from the well-known concept of Dr. Norman Doidge’s neuroplasticity, it is inspiring that the mind can adapt in new ways. The artist imagined an idea; by wrapping oneself in streams of coloured synaptic “bandages” this symbolic act can allow thoughts and feelings to show on the outside. Using photography as documentation, a capture of the moment reveals what is hidden. This artwork of self-permission reflects on not only the unseen being seen, but that it can be changed. This collection of images I hope can read as a zany family album of the mind. Neuroelastic is an interior selfie and an invitation to an altered way of being.

Laura Shintani is a Toronto-based multimedia artist who creates work in order to provoke questions in artistic forms. Shintani represents a hybrid of work, art making, study and teaching. She is interested in seeing people embrace the cycle of creativity: playing, problem solving and reflecting. Raised in small-town Ontario, Shintani later studied fashion design at Ryerson University and received a degree from the University of Toronto. After personal discovery she made art a vocation and earned a Master of Fine Art from the University of Windsor. Shintani’s most significant exhibition was at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2019.

This artist has interactive materials which will be provided in the RWM swag bag in order to interact with their virtual content. All ticket holders will be invited to receive RWM swag bags available for free curbside pickup during festival hours.

Images of the Neuroelastic installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all ticket purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.

untitled ({not} always like this)

untitled ({not} always like this)

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

A photograph depicting a wire wastebasket in the corner of a room, overflowing with crumpled tissues covered in a smooth, hard yellowish or grayish substance.

Creator: Kassandra Walters

untitled ([not] always like this) is an ongoing artwork created by collecting the artist’s used tissues and dipping them in porcelain, adding worth to an otherwise worthless object. The piece is a response to the society we live in and the importance placed on doing: you must make, you must work, you must grind. Our opinions of ourselves are tied to a quantifiable output rather than how we feel. Instead, we should spend time listening to our bodies, allowing ourselves to take things slow, being intentional with the way we move through the world and giving ourselves permission to heal from the everyday. These tissues hold the memories of going against the grain, of days stuck in sickness and hours lost crying.

Kassandra Walters is a multimedia artist currently practicing in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal. Her art tackles mental health, all that it encompasses and all that encompasses it. With a strong desire to normalize speaking about the unspeakable, Kassandra’s work is honest and raw. She finds solace in the act of making through repetition.

This artist has an item in the RWM swag bag to go with their piece in the exhibition. All ticket holders will be invited to receive RWM swag bags available for free curbside pickup during festival hours.

Images of the untitled ([not] always like this) installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.

ALSO OF INTEREST

The Anatomy of a Home

The Anatomy of a Home

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

A line drawing of a two-storey house on the top half of the page and a bee with its wings spread on the bottom half of the page.

Lead Artist: Saba Akhtar

The Anatomy of A Home is a multi-media installation exploring a person’s relationship to home. Audiences are invited to walk through a blueprint of a house etched into the floor and observe the artifacts placed within. This is part of a larger performance project that explores Saba’s relationships to home and isolation, in her past and during COVID-19.

Special Thanks: Tijiki Morris & Jules Voderak-Hunter

Saba Akhtar is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto and raised in Houston, Texas. Her arts practice is focused on intergenerational trauma and grief. She exhibits this through multimedia design (installation, video, photo), playwriting and performance. Saba’s education has been heavily influenced by mentorship from peers and elders in her community. She has a deep passion for helping others share their story as well and has established a career in community-engaged arts as a facilitator and mentor in multiple organizations.

CONTENT WARNINGS

Violence

Images of the The Anatomy of a Home installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.