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We’re thinking about the last year and narrowing in on
what there is to feel grateful for.
A young person sites in a small room on a tiny bed with a small pale blue chair, looking up through a VR headset. Photo credit Charles Lafrance
Violette - Joe Jack et John
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Connector Weekly

In This Edition
Creative Users News
Highlights from the Community
Accessing the Arts Listings

We are midway through the end of the bleak tunnel that is 2021 and with the recent rise of cases, the light, unfortunately, appears to be farther away than we had hoped.

On top of that, I’ve been torturing myself over a recent miscommunication that in hindsight, I could have done a better job of navigating.

I think it’s good to reflect on things you can do better, however, I’ve discovered after a few restless nights, that it’s not always helpful to make a stew out of it and drown out what’s actually going well.

If you’re like me and you find yourself thinking more often about what is going wrong, join me in reflecting on what has gone well this past year and write down 5 things you feel good about or that you’re grateful for.

Here are mine:
  1. Artists are being discovered on Network Connector!
    Today, there are 107 members on Network Connector being discovered by producers, curators, and artists, and every week, we’re delivering information about new opportunities to their inboxes. Arts curator and director, Sean Lee at Tangled Arts + Disability had this to say: “We couldn’t possibly know all the artists in our community, but Network Connector has been an invaluable tool for us to find and recommend artists in or just beyond our orbit!”

    We're excited going into the new year, to explore features that will help members manage their own profiles, make connections and access more opportunities.  If you haven’t joined us yet, become a member here!

  2. We’re designing strategy to mobilize accessible cultural practice
    I tend to be both intimidated and skeptical around any mention of standards and policies for 3 reasons. Do they work? Who decides what those standards are? And why do the resulting documents always have to be so boring? We’re asking these questions and gaining no small amount of creative confidence with Inside Out Film Festival and a committee of disability advocates and industry leaders as we work together to define a set of accessibility standards and strategize on how to make them actionable. Keep tuned for upcoming developments in the new year!
     
  3. Our community is helping us shape the future
    I couldn’t be more grateful for our members, our readers, our fans and even our skeptics who have sat with us in many zoom meetings, workshops and ideation sessions to share their stories and help us see the gaps between what we’re doing and what our community actually needs. This is a long and at times, uncertain journey, but every step forward feels momentous and only possible because of the contributions of each of these individuals.
     
  4. We’re staying open to risks and new possibilities
    As we continue to explore sustainable models for the future of Network Connector, the tech team at Hypha Worker Cooperative has been invaluable with their generosity of spirit, their knowledge, and their patience as we ask them a gazillion questions about what social justice looks like in digital spaces, how to create safe communities online and, what on earth is a cooperative platform?! We’re looking forward to continuing these conversations with Hypha and sharing with you what we’re learning in the new year.
     
  5. Our team is growing
    Every milestone on this list has been the result of the passion and grit of our team: Connector operator and wrangler of angles, Emily Servais, sense makers, and mind mappers, Sonal Pala and Stacey Morton, accessibility tech guru Alex Tait, start-up coach, and mentor/cheerleader Eyra Abraham.

    Our partners who continue to help us understand the lay of the land: Tangled Art + Disability, ReDefine Arts, Inside Out Theatre, Deaf Spectrum, Vocal Eye, Superior Description Services, KG Inclusion, Access and Disability Justice in Arts & Culture, Inside Out Film Festival, and many others.

    Our board (Rob Tu, Tristan Whiston, Alex Bulmer, Sean Lee, and Deirdre Logue) who are there when shit hits the fan and encourage us to keep going!

    And finally, The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council and The Toronto Arts Council - their generosity and their belief in our vision means that we can eke out a sustainable path while building something that will ultimately help Deaf and disabled artists do the same in a world that's transforming to digital.


Thank you for reading and happy holidays! If you enjoyed this email, you'd be doing us a big favor by forwarding it to someone else who might like it. If you got this from a friend and would like to subscribe yourself, please do so here!

Warmest,
Lindsay

Creative Users News

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Happy Holidays!
We're taking a break and unplugging the next two weeks for the holidays but not to worry, Connector Weekly will be back in your inbox on January 14th.

Until then, please stay safe, be kind to yourself and check in on your friends - we will get through this. A happy new year from all of us and we’ll see you on the other side!

Highlights from the Community

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PuSh International Performing Arts Festival 2022
The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival takes place January 20th to February 6th, presenting work that is visionary, genre-bending, multi-disciplined, startling, and original.

Accessibility at the festival will include ASL vlogs, ASL interpretation at select performances, with ASL available by request for other non-performance events, captions or surtitles for select performances, live audio description by VocalEye at select performances, and relaxed performances.
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Grant Writing for Disabled Artists
On January 29th, Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture presents a grant writing workshop for artists who identify as disabled residing in British Columbia. Grant writing can be incredibly daunting! 

ASL and closed captions will be provided.
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Opportunity: Accessibility Coordinator
Public Energy Performing Arts is seeking an Accessibility Coordinator for their upcoming Erring at King George Festival, a multi-arts festival that will be presented in the now-closed King George Public School in Peterborough in early May.

The Accessibility Coordinator is charged with coordinating accessibility programs, infrastructure, and requests during the festival. The deadline for applications is January 13th at 2pm EST.
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Holding Space for Disabled & Chronically Ill Opera Artists in Canada: Session 3
Join Loose Tea Music Theatre and Opera Mariposa on January 20th for the third of four sessions in their #HoldingSpace series for disabled and chronically ill artists in the Canadian opera industry

ASL interpretation is available upon request.
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Call for Submissions: Being Scene 2022 Annual Juried Exhibition
Being Scene is Workman Arts’ most anticipated show spanning over 20 years. Covering a wide range of artists practicing in many conceptual and material approaches, the exhibit gives voice to diverse life experiences. Artists at early, mid, and later points in their career are invited to submit completed artwork for an opportunity to exhibit in-person and/or online. Both physical and virtual-only artwork are encouraged. Eligibility is open to Workman Arts members and/or artists who have accessed CAMH services only.

The call for submissions for Being Scene’s annual juried exhibition is open until January 24th.
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Describing Visual Art Workshop
Learn practical techniques for describing visual art to people who are blind and partially sighted in this 2-part workshop, hosted by VocalEye on January 15th and January 22nd.

This online workshop is recommended for audio describers of all levels, access providers, artists, users of Audio Description, and anyone interested in making visual art more accessible to people with sight loss.
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BIPOC Apprentice Stage Manager
Vertigo Theatre is seeking to hire a BIPOC Apprentice Stage Manager for their upcoming show Sherlock Holmes and the Vanishing Thimble. This position is open to people who identify as Black, Indigenous or as a Person of Colour. No previous experience is required, however curiosity about working in the performing arts, and a keen interest to learn are encouraged. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
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No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics
Based on the extraordinary stories of five queer comic book artists who eventually achieved worldwide fame, No Straight Lines reveals a celebratory arc from which queer comics emerged from a parallel universe, appearing only in gay newspapers and gay bookstores, to create a fascinating window into everything from the AIDS crisis and workplace discrimination, to the search for love and a good haircut.

The film screens digitally through January 7th via Inside Out's online screening room. Captions are available.
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Young Playwrights Unit
Tarragon Theatre's Young Playwrights Unit is a paid training experience for young artists (aged 16-29) who are curious and passionate about playwriting. This program offers a group of dedicated young creators a rigorous and supportive context in which to develop some of their first works.

Tarragon Theatre particularly encourages people who come from Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color experiences, 2-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Agender and other gender and sexuality diversity experiences (2SLGBTQIA+), d/Deaf, Mad, Disabled, and Neurodivergent experiences, and people of working class, poor, and overexploited communities to apply. The deadline for applications is January 5th.
NB Disability Art Collective Group Show
Formed in 2021, the NB Disability Art Collective is a group of New Brunswick artists with lived experience of disability who are interested in Disability Arts and advocating for accessiblity to arts. Their work will be on display from January 3rd to February 28th at the Fredericton Playhouse.
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Artist Boot Camp: Accessing Visual Art through Image Description with Amy Amantea
Image descriptions are an artform. They are designed to provide information and context of the visual to a blind/partially sighted person. Explore the importance of image descriptions and remove the intimidation factor in creating them with Amy Amantea, who will present a framework and lead you in putting it into practice. Presented by Mentoring Artists for Women's Art and Creative Manitoba on February 3rd.

ASL interpretation will be provided.
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2022 Next Stage Theatre Festival
Toronto Fringe presents the Next Stage Theatre Festival from January 19th to January 30th, offering you the best of the best live theatre in digital and in person. In their new venue, the Ada Slaight Hall at Daniels Spectrum, they are sharing six shows, plus two digital on demand shows, and two digital real-time interactive shows to round out the group.

Access measures across the festival include auto-transcribed captions or closed captions for all video, transcripts, and relaxed performances, closed audio description, ASL and Deaf interpretation at select performances.
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Open Studio Residency Program
Struts Gallery welcomes applications from Canadian visual and media artists to participate in their annual Open Studio Residency Program. Artists-in-residence can continue their practice, develop new projects or site-specific work and are encouraged to creatively engage with the community through screenings, talks, workshops, or events.

Recognizing the impacts of colonialism, white supremacy, and all forms of systemic oppression, applications from artists with lived experience as Black, Indigenous, racialized, deaf, disabled, neurodivergent, and Queer/LGBTQIA2S+ will be prioritized throughout the selection process. The deadline is January 7th.

Accessing the Arts Listings

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Connector is a newsletter highlighting accessible arts in Canada. In each edition, we connect artists and audiences with different organizations in regions across the country to get the word out about programming that has been curated with different bodies in mind. Our goal is to foreground Canada’s accessible arts culture by getting information out!

Please feel free to share this newsletter with a friend.

If you have an event you'd like to include on our events listing or in a future newsletter, please visit our online submission form!

You can update your subscription preferences at any time. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information and updates!
 
We acknowledge that inclusion in the arts relies upon listening, communication, and being responsive. We also acknowledge that lived experiences of exclusion, discrimination and oppression are real and unique to each individual. For these reasons, and because we do not organize the events we list, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of information provided, nor can we guarantee the quality of accessibility at events. Our goal is to make accessibility in the arts easy to find, and to provide you with as much information as possible, so that you, the user, can make informed choices based on your needs. Our hope is that, in doing this, we can put inclusion at the forefront of Canada’s arts sector.
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Accessing the Arts
Thank you to our funders:
Logos: Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council and Government of Canada
Copyright © 2021 Creative Users Projects, All rights reserved.


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