What does it mean to lead with a mindset that embraces the fact that we don’t always have our shit together?
Tetsuro Shigematsu reaching into a dollhouse to place an object on a small table
1 Hour Photo (The Cultch, May 28th - May 30th)
Photo of of Tetsuro Shigematsu by Raymond Shum

Connector Weekly

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

Last weekend, I decided I’d finally do something with the pile of dirt behind my house and plant a little flower garden.

What started out with what was supposed to be a fun and relaxing project turned into a 24-hour self-induced anxiety attack.

First of all - it is mid-May and the nurseries, one of the only places open during a global pandemic, are having a hard time following the 2-meter-distance-protocol.

Secondly, the sheer number of plants to choose from is paralyzing.

Then there were the needs to consider, like what kind of soil do they require? How much sun do they need? How often would they need watering? What are their preferred companions?

I spent two hours walking around in circles, my heart rate getting faster with each name tag I read out loud to my friend, who was providing moral support on the phone: Firetail, Bee Balm, Black-Eyed Susan, Joe Pye Weed, Japanese Spurge, Boneset, Yarrow, Cranesbill, Scarlet Lonicera, Rose of Sharon, Lavender, and on and on.

“I can’t do this!” I cried out loud. “I have no idea what I’m doing?! How do I decide? What if I kill them?”

“Listen”, she said. “Just put them in the ground and see what happens.”

The wisdom in this advice made me pause and laugh and I started to calm down.

At what point did I suddenly think I had to be a flower expert?

It made me wonder why I let myself default to this mindset, the one that tells me I have to have everything figured out all the time.

This last year has been precious to me. It’s given me the opportunity to pause and reflect on what leadership means to me in a culture that teaches us that we’re supposed to have our shit together, a culture that teaches us that we're not supposed to ask for help.

If we take this year as an opportunity to think differently, what can we learn from the values of disability culture that embraces interdependence, slowness, community, and unconventional ways of relating to and communicating with each other and our environment?

I want to be the kind of person who can say, for instance, (thank you Marsha): “I don’t have my isht together either”.

At the very least, I want to be able to say that I’m comfortable putting things in the ground and seeing what happens.

Speaking of things in the ground, let’s hear it for the recent uprising of the cicadas!

Thank you for reading. Please share with your friends if you liked this email. If you’re seeing this newsletter for the first time, you can read previous issues and subscribe here.


ps. the plants are still alive.

Creative Users News

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What is "cripistomology"?
Our friends at Bodies in Translation and many more brilliant contributors are using the word "cripistomology" to explore doing, thinking, being, studying with and across disability in the recently published Studies of Social Justice issue titled Cripistomologies of Disability Arts Culture.

Check it out if you want to revisit the amazing art and ideas that came out of Cripping the Arts co-hosted in 2019 with Harbourfront Centre, Ryerson University, British Council, Tangled Art + Disability and Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life.

Highlights from the Community

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Featured Event: 1 Hour Photo
The Cultch, May 28th - May 30th

Written and performed by Tetsuro Shigematsu, ​1 Hour Photo​ is the story of Mas Yamamoto, a man whose life was swept up by the major currents of the 20th century. From growing up in a fishing village on the banks of the Fraser River, to being confined at a Japanese Canadian internment camp during World War II, to helping build the Distant Early Warning Line in the Canadian Arctic during the height of the Cold War,​ 1 Hour Photo​ is a moving portrait of an incredible life. Captions will be available for all performances.
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Residency Dedicated to d/Deaf Artists, Researchers, and Curators
In search of fresh perspectives on moving images, Vidéographe is offering a research residency aimed at d/Deaf artists, researchers, and curators. This research and curatorial residency will be shaped according to the needs of the successful candidate. Artists may use this opportunity to carry out research to create new artwork or to nourish their practice more generally. We invite researchers and curators to explore a theme or an area of research using our catalogue as a point of departure. This residency is intended for d/Deaf residents of Montreal. The deadline is May 23rd.
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Magic of ASL + LSQ
On June 3rd, Deaf Arts Manitoba is hosting Magic of ASL + LSQ: The Covid-19 Edition, a free, family-friendly online event. This is the first time they are presenting this annual event online, with the inclusion of LSQ for a Canada-wide premiere event. Both sign languages will be translated and embedded into the video. There will be a Q&A session on Zoom after the show where the audience will meet the performers online and ask questions.
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Call for Applications: Good Host Program Lead
Inside Out Theatre is seeking a full-time Program Lead for their Good Host Program. The Good Host Program strives to create and nurture an informed, accessible cultural community, and equips partners with the tools to form deeper commitments to the communities they serve on an individual and organizational level. To do this, The Good Host Program offers comprehensive engagement services that can deepen understanding of Deaf and disability culture from the inside out. The deadline to apply is June 1st.
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Last Tuesdays: Unapologetic
On May 25th, join JAYU for a special presentation of Ashley O'Shay's Unapologetic. After two Black Chicagoans are killed, millennial organizers challenge an administration complicit in state violence against its residents. Told through the lens of Janaé and Bella, two fierce abolitionist leaders, Unapologetic is a deep look into the Movement for Black Lives, from the police murder of Rekia Boyd to the election of Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The screening will be followed by a live Q&A with Janaé Bonsu and Bella Bahhs. The film screens with open captions and ASL interpretation will be provided. Active listeners will be available.
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Accessibility in the Arts - A Panel Discussion with Deaf and Disabled Artists
What does access mean? What can access look like? On May 31st, join Adriana Alarcón, Jordan Sangalang and Cheryle Broszeit as they discuss their experiences within the art world. Learn more about the types of accommodation that artists who are Deaf and disabled need to participate in the arts and how their lived experiences reflect in their artwork. This panel discussion is part of Creative Accessibility, a series of online webinars and panel discussions, presented by Creative Manitoba and Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba, that will explore disability art, the experiences of artist with disabilities and how to make art accessible. ASL interpretation will be provided.
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Canadian Artists and Content Creators Economic Survey
The Department of Canadian Heritage is inviting all artists and content creators to participate in the Canadian Artists and Content Creators Economic Survey. The purpose of this survey is to help create an updated portrait of the artistic and creative community in Canada. This data gathering is important to help ensure policies and programs continue to be responsive to the sector’s reality. The survey will help develop a better understanding of the realities and experiences of artists and content creators in Canada prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey closes June 18th.
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Tangled Art Talks: Aislinn Thomas
Catch this artist talk video on May 28th with interdisciplinary artist Aislinn Thomas, part of the Tangled Art Talks series in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario. The series presents videos by six artists from Tangled’s community that showcase their artistic practices in response to artwork in the AGO Collection.
Onwards and Upwards
Join Propeller Dance for their Recreational Program end-of-year celebration and experience where dance and imagination will take you! Your ticket gives you access to watch their Onwards and Upwards dance presentation between May 27th and June 2nd, and to dance at the Zoom Dance Party on May 30th with DJ Sylvain, to songs around the theme of balloons, flying, floating and travelling. Closed captioning will be provided.
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Adapting Comics for Blind and Low Vision Readers
Check out this roundtable discussion on YouTube, hosted by the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability. A panel of experts in access, blindness, and comics explores creative and technological approaches to open up this historically visual medium to blind and low vision readers. With panelist Chancey Fleet, Darren DeFrain, Daniel Fontaine, Scott McCloud, Sky McLeod, Joshua Miele, and Aaron Rodriguez. With ASL interpretation and closed captions.
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Call for Submissions: Video Pool Learning Laboratories Workshops
Are you interested in engaging artists about technology-based arts through online discussions, lectures, or workshops? Video Pool Media Arts Centre seeks to partner with innovative artists, educators, activists and technicians interested in furthering the capacity of media artists through a range of creative concepts focused on technology. Submit your proposal is June 1st for workshops beginning in October.
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Disability Justice Transformations: Overlaps and Tensions with Climate Justice
On May 27th, join Sins Invalid and the Paul K. Longmore Institute for Disability Justice Transformations: Overlaps and Tensions with Climate Justice. The discussion will be moderated by Patty Berne and will feature speakers Jen Deerinwater, Mordecai Cohen Ettinger, and Maria Palacios. This event will be presented in English with ASL and Spanish translation and English/Spanish live captioning.
Lost Together
From May 25th to June 5th, Nightwood Theatre presents UnSpun Theatre’s Lost Together by Shira Leuchter with Michaela Washburn. In this micro-multi-disciplinary art piece, audience members digitally enter one at a time to share a story about something they’ve lost. Once shared, Michaela and Shira build and present a small object that encapsulates their guest’s story, which is added to an ever-evolving exhibition, reminding us that loss doesn’t have to be a solitary reckoning. Two time slots with ASL-English Interpretation are available on June 5th.
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The Walrus Talks at Home: Resilience
On May 26th, join The Walrus for a discussion about our ability to overcome systemic societal and physical barriers. Four speakers will discuss and answer your questions about how we cope with adversity and cultivate resilience individually and as a society. This event features five-minute talks and Q&A with Vinita Srivastava, Jeff Adams, Philomina Okeke-Ihejirika and Justin Many Fingers. Live captioning will be provided.
Panel Discussion: The Possibilities of Performance in Physical Distance
Presented by Volcano Theatre on May 29th, The Possibilities of Performance in Physical Distance is a panel on how live performance artists are contending with the moment we're in through their works. Join Alex Bulmer, Lisa Karen Cox, Leslie Ting and Adrienne Wong as Nikki Shaffeeullah moderates a discussion on how to unlock the potential of digital works during these times. ASL Interpretation will be provided.
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How to Talk About Your Art with Joyce Rosario & Dani Fecko
Have you ever struggled to talk about the show you’re working on? Find it hard to put your creative practice into words? Does writing about your art in a grant or talking to a presenter about your newest show in development make your palms sweat? Do you talk in circles, ramble, or just shut down? Join curator Joyce Rosario and agent Dani Fecko on June 1st for this artist workshop presented by Intrepid Theatre, where they will give you practical tips, tricks, and skills for eloquently and succinctly talking about your art. Real-time live captioning (CART) will be provided.

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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Logos: Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council and Government of Canada
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