Friday, February 6, 2015


 “Community is not a thing; community is people and people think, move, change, subvert, revert, denounce and develop. Community is dynamic.” ~ Dee Martin 

Creative Risks
Community participants that are confidant will step forward, take chances, grab creative moments and take risks. They will want to initiate and explore. Which is great. Building confidence also takes time. How much time? Depends on the individuals. And the group. The group dynamics will unfold and reveal itself  quickly enough if given the chance. It's oh so worth it!

"There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in."~  Graham Greene
When working with a new community group (or with one that has worked together before) boosting  confidence with each of the participants, no matter the age is essential. A new project is coming together which means connecting and working with different learning styles need to be considered. Creating an atmosphere for authentic learning equals a safe space to explore possibilities.

Creative Process
This community youth group loved and I do mean loved, improv exercises and games. Topics like diversity, anti bullying, equality and inclusion surfaced. These emotions and actions were expressed through guided improvisations. Cultivating shared realizations and passion in an environment for the work play taking shape. Play is an intricate part in the process of the work.

"To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong." ~ Joseph Chilton Pierce
 Sharing our  passion for discovery and play was a huge highlight of our time together. I could feel the teaching and learning moments within our group. I also felt the learning moments. For myself!

Creative World
Creating a space for oneself to get focused on the task at hand is an asset  for personal success. A big part of the learning experience is just taking that first step and going for it! 

"Sometimes the child who has the greatest trouble getting off the ground eventually soars to the highest heights."  ~ Dr. James Dobson 
Community drama experiences help  bring about self growth, self-discipline, personal development and passionate feelings of freedom for the work play. Certainly a recipe for creating confidence. Confidence with some serious inner and outer shine!                 


 * I would like to extend a very special  thank you to the youth, their parents, Mr. Shawn Malcolm, (Corrdonateur des Loisirs) and the Village de Senneville for permission in using the above photos.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


      "The object of art is to give life a shape." ~ William Shakespeare

                  Image  "Art Is" (2005) By Nicole Provost and Olivier Dumoulin at the Montreal Children's Hospital.

 I find sharing personal stories, issues and concerns encourages participation and aids in artist collaborations that serves the specific needs of the community. Working creatively and collaboratively is key in understanding the communities topics that can be both controversial and complex in nature.

                                                                                           Image Kirsty Pargeter 

It is not about me or you, the artists. It is not about what I want to say. It is about what a particular  neighborhood community wants strongly to voice, share and be told through various creative means. It is the community's voice that I am privileged to be working with. Building towards strong community relationships begins with proper planning, listening, trust, sensitivity and commitment.This is an opportunity for their collective voices and concerns to be heard and acknowledged. 


T - Together we can actively listen,visualize, and emphasize with  each others stories and narratives.

E - Everyone involved and participating in the project, professionals and community members alike  have a voice, a right to be heard and acknowledged.

A - Accomplishments and valuable insights are highlighted and showcased throughout  the work process. The creative process supports the issues raised and  explores them in a safe environment. The process is nurtured  from pre to post production. 

M - More than anything it needs to be fun. Yes, personal stories and topics will arise that are hard to hear, unbearable even, but as Montreal theatre artist, writer and director Lib Spy puts it,“The heavier the scene, the lighter the performance.” The audience is informed theatrically of the issues throughout the performance allowing room for dialogue. Not depression.

“Sometimes it is important to simply listen to the story of your life so that the narrative can reveal itself.” ~ Andrew Moodie
                                                                                                                                                                           Image edutopia 

Community engaged arts projects are interactive and at times involves community members from planning to post-performance. Ideally, community engaged art projects inspire dialogue, ideas, and create a space for community engagement to flourish and grow.