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March 5, 2021
A digital collage by Wit López, with multiple photos of Wit with different expressions in bright green braids
Disruptions 06: Wit López on Radical Softness and Tactile Disruptions
Carleton University Art Gallery

Connector Weekly

In This Edition
Highlights from the Community
Accessing the Arts Listings

So, the saga continues - an angry and lengthy epic is playing out inside my ear.

While I write this, my head is affixed to a hot water bottle that’s propped up on pillows and I’m eating pills like it’s popcorn. I’ll spare you any further details except to chime that pain is a remarkable bitch.

Lucky for me, the world has finally come around to view the bed as essential working space and I’ve had some good books to keep me company, including Alice Wong’s recently published Disability Invisibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty First Century.

I thought I'd leave you with an excerpt that I like - it’s from Unspeakable Conversations by the late disability rights champion Harriet McBryde Johnson in which she describes her encounters with Professor Peter Singer and the pro-euthanasia movement.

Her description of those encounters makes me think about how knotty and precarious our relationships are in this moment as we reconcile with a fraught and stubborn past and rebuild a better future.

“If I define Singer’s kind of disability prejudice as an ultimate evil, and him as a monster, then I must so define all who believe disabled lives are inherently worse off or that a life without a certain kind of consciousness lacks value. That definition would make monsters of many of the people with whom I move on the sidewalks, do business, break bread, swap stories, and share the grunt work of local politics. It would reach some of my family and most of my nondisabled friends, people who show me personal kindness and who sometimes manage to love me through their ignorance. I can’t live with a definition of ultimate evil that encompasses all of them. I can’t refuse the monster-majority basic respect and human sympathy. It’s not in my heart to deny every single one of them, categorically, my affection and my love.”

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Highlights from the Community

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Featured event: Disruptions 06: Wit López on Radical Softness and Tactile Disruptions
April 1st at 1pm EST
Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG) invites you to join a free online performance and talk by Philadelphia-based multidisciplinary and performance artist Wit López. This is the sixth event in CUAG’s “Disruptions: Dialogues on Disability Art” series, curated by Michael Orsini to generate dialogue about contemporary art as a force for challenging ableism. López will share how they utilize radical softness and speak to disrupting the social expectations of audience as tools for disability justice. Live captioning and ASL interpretation will be available.
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Companions & Earthbound paired anthology
Companions & Earthbound, a 2-in-1 anthology, collects writing by nine authors (Alexandra Box, Olivia Dreisinger, Sophie Helf, Bára Hladík, Cypress Marrs, Koyote Moone, seeley quest, Vanessa Santos, and George Wu Teng) about disability, animals, and the environment. A werewolf with PTSD and an environmentally ill AI are featured alongside human characters living with brain injury, chronic pain, neurodivergence, and more. Edited by Olivia Dreisinger.
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Kripping Cabaret with Aggie Panda
Part of the PUSH.PULL series by Aluna Theatre & Buddies in Bad Times Theatre,  Kripping Cabaret with Aggie Panda is a workshop on March 10th aimed at producers, venue managers, event planners, and performers alike to help define disability needs within theatre space and beyond.  Learn how to write an accessibility statement, how to attract and welcome disabled talent into your pool, and how to best pivot into a digital space while holding space for disabled creators. Closed captioning and ASL interpretation will be provided.
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Opportunities at imagineNATIVE
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is accepting applications for the positions of Fundraising Administrative Assistant, Institute Administrative Assistant, Programming Administrative Assistant and Social Media + Communications Assistant. All applicants must meet requirements for employment as determined by Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training. The deadline to apply is March 12th.
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Building Access Into Your Art
Are you a local artist wanting to learn about how you can make your shows more inclusive and engaging? If you’re unsure where to start, join Building Access into your Art, a 3-hour educational workshop on March 13th with Disability Arts Consultant, Drea. She will share some practical tips and best practices that you can implement starting day one of your artistic process. This workshop is part of undercurrents, Ottawa Fringe's annual winter festival.
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Article: Art and Accessibility Amidst a Pandemic
melannie monoceros is a poet and interdisciplinary artist exploring polysensory production and somatic grief through text/ile and film. Their work considers a collective qrip (queer+crip) consciousness by connecting to marvellous bodies living with complexity as sick or disabled. In Art and Accessibility Amidst a Pandemic, they pose an inquiry: "How are you going to show care and welcoming to all the non-normative ways of being a body in our increasingly distanced and virtual world?"
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Golden Touches: A Conversation on Queer Curating
Hosted by The Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies' inaugural Artist-in-Residence, Michèle Pearson Clarke, Golden Touches: A Conversation on Queer Curating is part of the process-based research she is undertaking into queer and feminist curatorial strategies during her year-long residency. Framed by current discussions happening at the intersection of contemporary art, social transformation, activism and care, this online panel discussion will invite participants to reflect on the politics and practices of queer curating in Canada. The conversation on March 18th will be moderated by Michèle, with guest speakers Blair Fornwald, Vanessa Kwan, Sean Lee, and Adrienne Huard and Lindsay Nixon.
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Futures Barren/Futures Abundant
Martha Street Studio presents Futures Barren/Futures Abundant, a solo exhibition of work by April Dean. This work builds a connection between the regenerative qualities of plants through propagation from clippings, the generosity of the printmaking medium through disbursement of the multiple, and the potential for humans to better understand themselves as a multiple and regenerative part of a much greater and abundant whole. The exhibition runs March 12th - April 16th, and there will be a virtual artist talk on March 20th. ASL interpretation is available by request for the artist talk before March 17th.
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The ACCESS Festival
The ACCESS Festival is a free community arts and social awareness festival that typically marks BC Access Awareness Week in early June. Due to COVID, the 2020 festival was postponed, but has now been relaunched on YouTube. This years festival consists of three video programs of music and poetry performances, a visual art exhibition and interviews with the artists, dialogues on ACCESS and short films. Videos are captioned.
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Disability Justice Through Indigenous Ceremony
No More Silence has partnered with the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto on a Disability Justice project. Their hope is to engage with Indigenous community members who experience challenges and barriers when attempting to access cultural and ceremonial spaces in order to develop guidelines to increase the accessibility of these spaces. They are seeking Indigenous participants with a variety of accessibility needs to attend a Zoom meeting later in March to discuss their experiences and share ideas on how Indigenous community spaces can address ableism and improve access to culture and ceremony. The March 20th meeting will include ASL interpretation.
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Call for Applications: Digital Studio Facilitator
BEING Studio invites applications from disability-identified candidates for the position of Digital Studio Facilitator. This is a remote job and does not require travel to Ottawa. Eligible candidates from anywhere in Canada are welcome to apply. The deadline to apply is March 17th.
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Podcast: Down to the Struts
Down to the Struts is a podcast about disability & design by Qudsiya Naqui, a lawyer and activist living in Washington DC. She identifies as a blind, South Asian woman, and is dedicated to making spaces and systems more inclusive of disabled people through public education, storytelling, and amplifying the voices of disabled people. She created Down to the Struts to elevate the importance of thinking about disability to build more inclusive systems and structures that acknowledge the breadth of human diversity. Transcripts are available.
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Describing the Arts for Young Audiences
VocalEye is hosting a series of professional development workshops for audio describers of all levels via Zoom. This month, Describing the Arts for Young Audiences will focus on audio description for young people with guest instructors Anne Hornsby and Jenny Stewart-Cosgrove from the UK. This two-part workshop takes place on March 13th and March 20th.
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Opportunities at Inside Out Toronto
Inside Out is seeking a Digital Producer to support the delivery of digital promotional content creation at the 2021 Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, and a Social Media Coordinator to assist with management of social media content, accounts, and systems. The deadline to apply for both positions is  March 12th.
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Call for Participation: Disability Performance and Pedagogies Working Group
Attention Deaf, disabled, mad, crip and allied scholars, artists, theatre-makers and theorists! You are invited to submit an abstract or expression of interest to take part in the 2021 Disability Performance and Pedagogies Working Group (DPPWG) gathering, part of the Canadian Association of Theatre Research (CATR) annual conference. Founded in 2017 by Jess Watkin and Ash McAskill, DPPWG has gathered once a year to explore, question and challenge ideas around Deaf, disability and mad+ performance practice and scholarship in Canada. The deadline to submit your proposal is March 12th.
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Toronto Fringe: Digital Play Contests
Because of COVID-19, the Toronto Fringe has decided to move forward with a digital festival this summer, taking place in July. During the festival, Fringe companies will present pre-recorded video, audio, and written pieces for audiences to enjoy as part the Fringe On-Demand series. Toronto Fringe is offering artists the chance to have some fun, practice their craft, and win some prize money by applying for the Digital New Play Contest, Digital Adams Prize for Musical Theatre and Digital 24 Hour Playwriting Contest. Applications for all three contests are due on March 19th.
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Panel: Supporting Artists by Closing the Margins
As part of Being Scene 2021, Workman Arts presents Supporting Artists by Closing the Margins, an online panel discussion addressing how art-based organizations and funding bodies currently support Mad, QTBIPOC and Deaf artists, and identifying areas in which more support is needed. The panel on March 18th will also discuss accessibility in regards to program creation, outreach initiatives to evaluation and assessment processes of artist proposals and applications, and explore disclosures of mental health and addiction personally and within art practices. ASL interpretation is available by request by March 8th.
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Mentor in Residence program
Neighbourhood Arts Network developed the Mentor in Residence program to assist artists with developing community arts practices by providing mentorship support in career planning, project development and entrepreneurial skills through virtual consultation sessions with industry professionals. Sign up to meet virtually with a mentor, including Sean Lee, Emily Gillespie, Jaene Castrillon and Syrus Marcus Ware!
Catalog: The Missing Culture of ECUAD
Are you a student, alumni, drop-out, staff, non-regular, or regular faculty member of ECUAD who self-identifies as Disabled or Neuro-Divergent? Or in solidarity with? Are you interested in expanding the ECUAD Library collection and resource guides for other Disabled and /or Neuro-Divergent artists, designers, and community members on campus? Submit your book recommendations for this student-organized online art exhibition titled, Catalog: The Missing Culture of ECUAD.
Out of Order
March 18th - March 21st, The Cultch presents Out of Order, created by The 7 Fingers contemporary circus collective. The show lost the opportunity to meet its audience when Montreal became a red zone. Rather than letting it disappear before it came to life, it was transformed into a film. Out of Order is not simply a digital recording of a show but a cinematographic work in its own right. Viewing with captions will be available for all performances.

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!

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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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