Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

Including artists and audiences with disabilities into all facets of the arts community.

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AANM Discussion Series Participant Application

TO REGISTER: Send your name, contact information, and access needs to Sacha Kopelow, AANM Programming Assistant, at programming@aanm.ca

  • This event is free. You do not have to be d/Deaf or disabled to participate.  You must be an artist or work in arts admin/organization to participate.
  • You do not need to participate in all 6 sessions.
  • You need to re-register for each session you wish to participate in.

CODE OF CONDUCT

  • By registering for this event you agree to engage in a respectful manner. Participants may be removed from the event if their words or actions violate this Code of Conduct.  
  • We will be discussing topics that are personal and sensitive. Keep in mind that everyone’s experiences are not the same and that everyone is at a different place in their learning journey. Remember to respect the privacy of other participants by zooming in a secure location and not repeating identifying information outside of the session without permission.
  • AANM aims to create an accessible and anti-oppressive space to learn, explore, take risks, and connect through art. With this in mind, we ask participants to engage respectfully and mindfully with each other and the facilitators. We welcome your feedback. If there is anything we could do to make your experience with us – whether it is onsite, offsite, or online – more accessible and comfortable, please let us know. Contact Jenel at info@aanm.ca or 204-336-2366 if you have questions, concerns, or access needs.

PARTICIPANT PREP

  • Registrants will receive a zoom link, confirmation of their access supports, and brief supplementary material to read or watch two days before the session.
  • Please speak slowly during discussions for the ease of ASL translation. If you speak too quickly, you will be gently reminded to slow down.
  • Feel free to eat/drink and/or to engage in art-or-craft-making while we chat. Visible pets are always welcome, even cats who want to show us their buttholes.
  • Keep your mic muted when you aren’t speaking.
  • Participants may keep their video on or off as they choose.
  • After the series, AANM will be providing summaries of the discussions on our website, based on transcription. Participants will not be identified by name. 
  • If you need to take a break, feel free to do so at any time and return when able.
  • For those who wish to remain online to decompress, un-facilitated space for aftercare will be provided for 30mins following the event. If you anticipate that you may be traumatically affected by the discussion and need more comprehensive help, we urge you to arrange that for yourself well ahead of time. A list of mental health services available in Canada can be accessed here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/mental-health-services.html

    2023/24 SCHEDULE

    SESSION #1: Coming Out as a Disabled or d/Deaf Artist

    DECEMBER 2023 (Alexia Vassos) Mon, Dec 4, 6:30pm CST (7:30pm EST)

    • (“invisible” vs “visible” disability hierarchies/legitimacy/privileges, social responsibility vs privacy, personal and professional ramifications, accessing disability inclusion policies/programs, tokenism, pigeonholing, dealing with stereotyping and misconceptions, breaking the mold, representing your community, pride, roadblocks, fair pay, historic and contemporary trailblazers and heroes)
    A headshot of Alexia, a white, Disabled woman with blonde hair. She is staring directly at the camera with a slight smirk. She's wearing a black shirt with gold hoop earrings. The background is white. Photograph by Lindsay Wu.

    Descriptive Text: A headshot of Alexia, a white, Disabled woman with blonde hair. She is staring directly at the camera with a slight smirk. She’s wearing a black shirt with gold hoop earrings. The background is white. Photograph by Lindsay Wu.

    BIO: Alexia Vassos (she/her) is an actor and writer currently based in Toronto. An alumna from the Theatre and Drama Studies joint program between the University of Toronto and Sheridan College, she holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and an Advanced Diploma in Acting. Since graduating, she’s appeared both on stage and screen, in theatre productions, commercial campaigns, and TV/film ventures. In her recent endeavours, Alexia has been able to combine her love of the arts with her passion for disability advocacy as the Digital Media and Communications Coordinator with Creative Connector; researching and delivering accessible opportunities and Disability cultural events to subscribers across Canada.

     

    SESSION #2: Exploring Difficult Topics in Your Artwork

    JANUARY 2024 (Stacey Abramson) Tues, Jan 9, 6:30pm CST

    • (sensitivity, honesty, ownership, cultural appropriation, representing realities that you haven’t experienced personally, ramifications/responsibilities, language, checking your privilege, bias, slander, activism, rights and legality, research, target audience/goals, hard truths/boldness vs soft delivery, how to include support for audiences when viewing triggering work, how does your life experience/disability create opportunity and blinders to be aware of in your practice?)
    Headshot of Stacey Abramson.  She is a light-skinned woman with long straight light brown hair and heavy round tortoiseshell glasses.  She looks directly towards us with a friendly smile. Behind her are trees and dappled sunlight, out of focus.

    Descriptive Text: Headshot of Stacey Abramson.  She is a light-skinned woman with long straight light brown hair and heavy round tortoiseshell glasses.  She looks directly towards us with a friendly smile. Behind her are trees and dappled sunlight, out of focus.

    BIO: Stacey Abramson (she/her) has been a visual arts educator in the public school system in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (Treaty 1 Territory) for over a decade. An alumna of the Art21 Educators program, she is a former mentor and was the organization’s educator-in-residence in the summer of 2017. She has facilitated numerous workshops and lectures on the subject of community and contemporary art education. In 2023, Stacey was the recipient of the University of Manitoba Faculty of Education’s Alumni Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award for Senior Year, and the Provincial Affiliate award from Canadian Society for Education Through Art for Manitoba. Stacey has been writing for over twenty years and has contributed to CBC Radio, C Magazine and is the former visual arts critic for the Winnipeg Free Press. She has worked in various positions in the Winnipeg arts community prior to her journey as an educator, and founded the Gallery of Student Art (GoSA) in 2004, directly out of art school. In addition, she is a performance and video artist whose work has shown all across North America. Since 2019, Stacey has been living with multiple sclerosis. 

     

    SESSION #3: Diversity 

    MARCH 2024 (Andi Vicente) Thurs, March 14, 6:30pm CST (7:30pm EST)

    • (‘Outsider Art’, using our experience as ‘outcasts’ to enrich our art, daring to be unusual, contemporary artists who use the bizarre/shocking in their work, dangers of “Freakshow”, making confrontational/controversial art as activism, the value of making audiences uncomfortable, trigger warnings, daring to be “ugly”, intersectionalism, obligation to instigate/support revolution/the oppressed and exploited?)
    Headshot of Andi Vicente (they/them). They are a person of colour with long dark hair and bright red lipstick.  Andi is wearing wire-rim glasses and a black leather jacket, and standing before a background of green banana leaves.

    Descriptive Text: Headshot of Andi Vicente (they/them). They are a person of colour with long dark hair and bright red lipstick.  Andi is wearing wire-rim glasses and a black leather jacket, and standing before a background of green banana leaves.

    BIO: Andi (they/them) is a visual artist whose interdisciplinary practice is humbled and radicalized by their work with different communities. Through installation, image making and collage, they’ve explored intersectional identities, precarious livelihoods and the juxtaposition of movements. Andi aims to broaden an understanding of oppressed experiences and encourage collective empowerment through the answering of the questions “Who is not here with us and how can I be there for you?”

     

    SESSION#4: What Should d/Deaf and Disabled Art Be in the Professional Art World?

    MAY 2024 (Michelle Wilson) Tues, May 14, noon CST (1pm EST)

    • (Fine Art vs hobby vs therapy, training/self-trained, technical/conceptual skill level minimums vs inclusivity/gatekeeping, representing ‘serious’ disabled artist community, alternative standards for value, physical/mental disabilities affecting ‘professionalism’, art production work-arounds for physical disabilities (assistants, technologies, having others physically create your work, etc.), do different Arts genres have different standards? (literature/theatre/music/visual art/dance, etc.), do logistics function to preserve value/create inclusivity? (organizational mandates/Board makeup, jury selection panels, etc.)
    Headshot of Michelle Wilson. Michelle is a white woman with a punky haircut, long on one side and shaved above her left ear, with a small braid hanging down her shoulder. She is seated at an angle but looking directly into the camera with a friendly, bemused manner.  She has tattoos on her bare arms and is wearing a black cutoff t-shirt.

    Descriptive Text: Headshot of Michelle Wilson. Michelle is a white woman with a punky haircut, long on one side and shaved above her left ear, with a small braid hanging down her shoulder. She is seated at an angle but looking directly into the camera with a friendly, bemused manner.  She has tattoos on her bare arms and is wearing a black cutoff t-shirt.

    BIO: Michelle Wilson is a neuro-divergent artist and mother currently residing as an uninvited guest on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Lenape, Attawandaron and Huron-Wendat peoples in London, Ontario. In the Euro-American archive, the bodies of other animals are used to convey colonial knowledge systems and their stories of survival are used to perpetuate myths of “settler saviours.” As a feminist of settler descent working in colonial institutions, this is the legacy that Michelle has inherited and is confronting. She is currently a postdoctoral scholar with the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership at the University of Guelph. 

     

     SESSION #5: Celebration and Revolution

    JULY 2024 (Sheri Nault) Wed, July 3, 6pm CST (7pm EST)

    • (Notable disabled artists and disabled art initiatives, collectives, NGOs. Historic wins for disability art. Opportunities for disabled artists. Intersectional revolution principals, learning from other revolutionary movements. What do we want from disability art, radical community movements, and disability art NGOs? Where do we go from here?)
    Photo of Sheri Nault (they/them). Sheri is pictured casually in front of a weathered wood fence. Sheri is Métis and is wearing a black t-shirt which reads ‘DISRUPT SETTLER COLONIALISM’ in white lettering over a drawing of a tobacco plant. Sheri looks at us with a serious expression. They wear a nose ring, ear spacer, orange neckerchief, and orange cap. Tattoos are visible on their arm.

    Descriptive Text: Photo of Sheri Nault (they/them). Sheri is pictured casually in front of a weathered wood fence. Sheri is Métis and is wearing a black t-shirt which reads ‘DISRUPT SETTLER COLONIALISM’ in white lettering over a drawing of a tobacco plant. Sheri looks at us with a serious expression. They wear a nose ring, ear spacer, orange neckerchief, and orange cap. Tattoos are visible on their arm.

    BIO: Sheri Osden Nault is Two-Spirit Michif artist, Indigenous tattoo practitioner, community worker, and Assistant Professor in Studio Arts at the University of Western Ontario. They utilize sculpture, performance, installation, and more; integrating cultural, social, and experimental creative processes to consider embodied connections between human and non-human beings, land-based relationships, and kinship sensibilities as an Indigenous Futurist framework. They are a part of the Indigenous Tattoo Revival movement in so-called Canada, and run the annual community project, Gifts for Two-Spirit Youth.

    Sheri currently lives and creates near the Deshkan Ziibing, on the lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lunaapéwak, and Chonnonton Nations, also known as ‘London, Ontario.’

    Notable exhibitions include Kwaatanihtowwakiw – A Hard Birth, Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2022;  Hononga, Hoea! Gallery in Aotearoa (New Zealand), 2021; Off-CentreDunlop Art Gallery, 2019; Fix Your Hearts or Die, 2019 and Li Salay, 2018, at the Art Gallery of Alberta. In 2023, their short film, maachi kashkihtow, was included in the official selection for both the Images Festival and the Toronto Queer Film Festival.

     

    SESSION #6: Crip Technoscience Panel Discussion

    SEPTEMBER 2024 (Erika Jean Lincoln) Tues, Sept 24, 7pm CST

    • (term/methodology. Highlights expertise and ingenuity of disabled: tinkering with assistive devices to fit our needs, or activist practices that center disability justice.)
    This is a photo of Erika-Jean, slightly out of focus and at close range. She is wearing a bright red plastic helmet, so that all we see of her face are her wide, serious hazel eyes and her forehead, partially covered by her brown bangs. She is a light-skinned woman.

    Descriptive Text: This is a photo of Erika-Jean, slightly out of focus and at close range. She is wearing a bright red plastic helmet, so that all we see of her face are her wide, serious hazel eyes and her forehead, partially covered by her brown bangs. She is a light-skinned woman.

    BIO: Over the past 20 years Erika-Jean has been challenging conventional knowledges and ideologies embedded in symbols, systems, and objects. Her multi-sensory installations originate from a perspective of neurological impairment. She uses the techniques of un-doing, miss-fitting, and troubling to re-engineer technologies to reflect her navigations and experiences of a neurotypical world. She is currently researching artificial intelligence framed by the concepts of extended cognition, neurodiversity, and crip technoscience.

    Erika-Jean recently completed a residency with Ingenuity Engineering Labs at Queen’s University to develop her latest AIML project. She has collaborated with the Manitoba Neuroscience Network and MAWA in a neuro feminist learning partnership and has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre (Canada), Medialab Prado (Spain), and Plug-IN ICA (Canada). Recent exhibitions include the University of Winnipeg (Canada), Science Gallery (Ireland), MAT-UCSB (USA), Boston Cyberarts Gallery (USA), and The Bauhaus-Archiv (Germany).

    Erika-Jean currently lives in Winnipeg-Treaty 1 territory. This site is entangled with the Mississippi migratory flyway, on the bed of an ancient glacial lake, at the northern limit of the monarch butterfly’s migration, 300 km from the geographic centre of Turtle Island. 49° 53′ 42.2772” N 97° 8′ 18.4236” W.

    OCTOBER 2024 – Online party! Tues, October 8, 6 pm CS

 

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