Community Arts Grant
Cultural Collaborations - Voices Less Heard
The Community Arts Grant Program, described as Cultural Collaborations: Voices less Heard, is designed to use the arts to give expression to voices less heard within our community. The project will involve community based organizations, gathering culturally interesting and diverse stories, as contained within Edmonton’s very varied communities. Collaboration will then occur between the community and artists for the purpose of presentation and portrayal of these stories. It is anticipated that collaboration will occur between professional artists, curators, art historians and researchers.
The ultimate goal of the process is to promote understanding between members of a particular community, then to share that understanding with other communities in the city. This new understanding will form part of a process of social change, creating better conditions for the communities.
There are two possible strands to the Community Collaboration programme. One involves the collection of stories from a community. This could be in any tangible form such as interviews on video tape, acquisition of photographs, or the collection of artefacts. It is expected that communities would work on this with a professional collaborator such as an historical researcher, curator or art historian.
The second strand would involve the creation of a work of art in collaboration with the community. This can be in any artistic discipline including digital media and the written word. The community can be more or less directly involved in the actual creative process, although active participation is encouraged.
The aim of the projects will be to create an original public representation of the process. If the project focuses on the collection of stories, this might be an exhibition, a book or an on-line posting. If the project focuses on the artistic representation of the stories, this might be a work of visual art, a video or a play reading. Each project will have some form of public presence during a showcase in March of 2008.
In order to get this project off the ground five pilot projects have been approved. Several groups were identified and included in the original application for the Cultural Capitals of Canada bid. The groups, listed below, are at various stages of project development:
This project involves collecting oral histories on videotape from Black settlers and more recent immigrants. The focus is the influx from the Caribbean, 1950-1970. Edmonton based actor Pat Darbasie will be coordinating the project and, through collaboration, creating an original drama based on the interview material.
This project traces social trends and immigrant women over time. The Jeans plant opened in 1911 and closed in 2004. Throughout its working life it tracked the waves of immigrant women who came to Edmonton. Edmonton consultant Catherine C. Cole will be conducting interviews with former workers from the plant, and Edmonton musician Maria Dunn will create songs based on the interviews. Maria’s work will include collaboration with culturally diverse musicians.
Mennonite Centre for Newcomers:
This project involves working with newcomers to Edmonton.
Arts on the Avenue:
This project is in the early stage of development and involves working with artists in the Alberta Avenue area.
Regroupement artistique francophone de L’Alberta:
This French language project is in the early stage of development and involves collaboration with artists within Edmonton’s francophone community.
These projects will lead the way for what is possible in bringing to the fore front vital but often less heard voices within our community
Any community based organization interested in bringing culturally diverse stories forward may be considered for grant funding. The first deadline for receiving applications is June 29, 2007. There will be a second round of grants in the fall. The deadline for receiving applications will be September 17, 2007.
Interested organizations should contact project coordinator Don Bouzek at
(780) 420-1400 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org