Hey, it’s summer, which means less email and more getting to know you!
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Queer Arts Festival 2021 - dispersed: it’s not easy being green
July 24th – August 13th

Connector Weekly

In This Edition
Highlights from the Community
Accessing the Arts Listings

We are drowning in email.

In his book The Tyranny of E-mail, John Freeman describes the scale of emails we are dealing with on a daily basis: "35 trillion messages shot back and forth between the world's 1 billion PC's; in the time it took you to read to this point, some 300 million emails were sent and received."

A bulk of which are all the newsletters you're subscribed to that are piling up in your unread inbox because one-day-you’ll-get-to-them.

Every day, I check my mailbox (the one outside!) and for a millisecond I’m excited about the metal sound it makes upon lifting the lid and that moment when peering inside to see if something is there. Often it's just flyers, coupons, bills, or thick local newspapers which end up in the bathroom, for those times when I’m looking for something other than a shampoo bottle to read.

Then, once in a while, a rare and beautiful thing happens. A gift arrives in the form of a fragile envelope usually suffering a tear that’s been taped hastily together at some point in its journey - the familiar scribbles from a human hand scribing my name in ink and I feel that warm jolt of surprise. If that person who wrote that letter knew (and they will because I’ll write them back) - that they made me feel alive for a day and that is a gift.

As of today, Connector will arrive in your inbox every two weeks instead of every week partly because it’s summer and partly because we want to be one less email that you’re drowning in. We don’t mean to say that we aim to emulate that feeling, getting a handwritten letter because that would be impossible. 

But, in between hitting the send button, we do want to get to know you and find out what you actually want to find when you peer under that virtual lid.

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Highlights from the Community

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Featured Event: Queer Arts Festival 2021 - dispersed: it’s not easy being green
July 24 - August 13
Pride in Art Society / SUM Gallery

Green is the complex terrain of extended kinship ties of Indigiqueer/two-spirit and queer settlers. Green spectrals haunt the hyphened margins of the subaltern; enduring perpetually frequent gaslighting(s) of post-traumatic settler-colonial and concurrent disorders. Queer Arts Festival shows artists cast as see-ers/oracles/alchemists upcycling/rebranding/reclaiming/transgressing/transforming apocalyptic visions towards queer utopic landscapes, transmuting fear, dread and a collective broken heart of forced disslocations with departures and arrivals, using art as transformative praxis and practice towards social and spiritual metamorphoses. ASL interpretation is available for the festival opening and closing parties, the Pillows for the Pandemic workshop, and the Queerotica literary readings. ASL interpretation can be requested for any other QAF events up to two weeks prior to the event.
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Reading the Truth & Reconciliation Report
Join Theatre Passe Muraille as they take part in the TRC Reading Challenge. Their team will be collectively reading the Truth & Reconcilliation Report weekly on Wednesdays, starting July 7th. The readings will take place virtually on Zoom, with 30-40 minutes of active reading, reflection and conversation. Zoom auto-captioning will be available. ASL interpretation is available upon request. There will be an Active Listening room with a Theatre Passe Muraille staff member each week.
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Disrupting Dance
Cyborg Circus Project and REAson D’être Dance present Disrupting Dance, a free online contact improv dance series starting July 4th for disabled dancers ages 16+ of all skill levels! Led by Kathleen Rea, these classes will focus on deepening your own understanding of contact improvisation skills. This program prioritizes City of Toronto residents, but disabled dancers globally are welcome. Students can sign up for one class, or for the entire series. ASL interpretation, CART, and audio descriptions will available.
Constructed Identities
From July 26th to August 20th, Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture presents Constructed Identities, a solo exhibition by Persimmon Blackbridge.  This major show of work by uses mixed media wood carving with found objects to question how disability is framed as a fracturing of ordinary life rather than a normal, expected part of it. Her exploration of the figure begins in disability, but necessarily complicates itself as our embodied identities intersect and overlap. Pendulum Gallery is wheelchair accessible. ASL & CART captioning will be provided for the virtual opening & artist talk on July 26th.
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Disability Arts Week
Disability Arts Week is a series of educational events lead by professional artists with disabilities, presented by Thatz Showbiz and running July 19th through July 23rd. All workshops are specifically designed to be accessible to neurodiverse folks and folks with intellectual disabilities, but all are welcome! Workshops include a Crip Storytelling Workshop, a Zine Making Workshop, How to Get Your Play On StageBringing Our Stories to Life and a Performance & Workshop. Take the workshops from home virtually or in person at the Thatz Showbiz studio in Vaughan for extra support.
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El Alto Vol 2
El Alto Vol 2, d/Deaf and disability arts in the Americas is now available on the British Council website. The publication is anchored in the words of UK artist Yinka Shonibare’s bold declaration that disability arts is the last Avant-Garde arts movement. This edition was created in partnership with British Council, Tangled Art + Disability, and 17, Instituto de Estudios Críticos.
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The DisabiliTease Festival
The DisabiliTease Festival is a multi-day, multi-show festival that showcases performers with both visible and invisible disabilities. The second annual festival will take place virtually on July 16th - July 18th. The mission of the DisabiliTease Festival is to provide a platform for talented people with disabilities to perform in the areas of burlesque, cirque and drag. The festival strives to create a safe and accommodating space for performers to express themselves and receive the validation and recognition they deserve. Live captioning will be available for each show.
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Demystifying Shakespeare with Skye Brandon
Listen to Dis' Community Arts Organization will be hosting an online Shakespeare workshop, Demystifying Shakespeare, with Saskatoon-based actor Skye Brandon, as part of their Visiting Artist Series. This free online workshop is for those who have either a passion or even a mild interest for Shakespeare. ASL interpretation will be provided.
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Artist Connect Report - BEING Studio
Artist Connect was a series of online events hosted by BEING Studio that brought together six communities of artists with disabilities to talk about artwork, accessibility and community in online spaces. Their report is available in a series of three videos on the BEING Studio website and provides an overview of what happened and what was learned during Artist Connect.
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Call to Artists - UNTIL Issue 10: On Disability
The Victoria Arts Council is seeking submissions of literary works, visual art, moving image, and audio / musical arts to be included in UNTIL issue 10: On Disability, with special guest editor Murray Siple. Submissions are due July 30th.
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Call for Submissions: Opulent Mobility 2021
Since we are finally seeing a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel (and it doesn't seem to be a train), the theme of Opulent Mobility 2021, co-curated by Anthony Tusler and A. Laura Brody, has been updated. They want you to re-imagine disability as opulent and powerful, and also ask you to consider freedom. What does freedom mean to you? 2-D and sculptural artwork, music files, and performances on video/film are all accepted. The deadline for submissions is July 31st.
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Art SPARKS: Disability Art & Culture
The BEING Studio Board of Directors presents Art SPARKS, a community learning series, and you're invited! After each Art SPARKS session, you will be invited to respond to what you learned. The first session, Talking about Disability Art & Culture with Kevin Gotkin, will be held on July 7th. ASL interpretation and closed captioning will be available.
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Virtual Presentation: Grace Deveney
University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery Visiting Curator Grace Deveney will give a presentation on her curatorial practice and writing, by presenting notes on the exhibitions that have influenced her work, shows she has curated at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and in other spaces as a guest curator. She will discuss the overarching themes and interests that drive her research, which include media, language, landscape, and the ways artists use materials to create metaphors that speak to history and lived experience. ASL interpretation and live captioning will be available.
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Disability In Comedy Workshop
Join TOsketchfest on July 15th for the Disability In Comedy Workshop where writer, performer, and producer Ophira Calof will guide attendees through common tropes and ableist language in comedic content. Ophira will introduce new perspectives and best practices for those who wish to make their comedy writing and performance more accessible. This workshop will be hosted on Zoom, with captions.
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Call for Submissions: Obsidian’s Playwrights Unit
Obsidian Theatre Company is looking for playwrights to apply for their 2021-2022 Obsidian’s Playwrights Unit. Obsidian is interested in the multiplicity of Black perspectives in Canada and what they mean to the communities they serve. What stories do you want to bring to the stage and why? What does your idea/play bring to a Canadian stage that hasn't been seen before? The deadline to apply is July 19th.
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Join a discussion on July 6th presented by Young Creative Indian Space and the Arts, Culture & Creative Industry Development Agency. What's it like as a South Asian-origin artist in both Canada and Brampton to make art in this moment and what does it mean to be creative while growing up in two distinct cultures? A group of multidisciplinary South Asian-origin artists from all backgrounds - muralists, composers, filmmakers, and theatre producers - will unpack conversations around South Asian identity and explore the nuances of the lived experience of navigating ties to South Asian history and identity as a young artist.
Captions and ASL interpretation will be available.
Call for Participants: Troubling Vocalities Research
Researchers at Brock University are inviting Deaf and disabled artists in rural Canada to participate in a research project called Troubling Vocalities: Disability and Deaf Arts in Rural Canada. Through this study, researchers want to learn about Deaf and disabled artists’ experiences making art in rural Canada. They want to learn about your experiences of place, voice, and artmaking. There are three ways you can participate in this study: an interview, a focus group, or through a “jam session.” You will be given one $85 Visa Gift Card if you participate in an interview, a focus group, and/or a “jam session.”

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!

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