INNOVATING INDIGENOUS HEALTH & DECOLONIZING DISABILITY
EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY: Artist-Community Collaboration in Systemic Change
We're super proud to be continuing as artists-in-residence to the UCalgary Cumming School of Medicine's Indigenous, Local and Global Health Office (ILGHO) for another year. Our Popular Theatre practices are innovating their potent efforts to: (a) Decolonize Medical Education; (b) Transform Indigenous Health delivery; and (c) Strengthen inter-cultural capacity among Public Health advocates.
In 2022/23, we're consequently collaborating with the ILGHO on: (a) Creative Justice: Intervening against Epistemic Racism in Medical Education, through decolonized Theatre of the Oppressed methods; (b) School of Innovation: Innovating approaches to Indigenous Health delivery, through digital media; (c) Inherited Systems: Disrupting anti-Indigenous racism in Psychiatric Care, through adapted Forum Theatre; (d) Systemic Silence: Cultivating anti-Indigenous racism capacity in Primary Care, through applied Forum Theatre; (e) The Keeping It Together (KIT) Podcasts: Connecting Indigenous communities, through stories of individual and community resilience: How did you keep it together during Covid? What's in your KIT?; (f) From Theory to Praxis: Embodied Apprenticeship: Strengthening settler allies' praxis in pluralism, decolonization and Truth & Reconciliation, through Image & Forum Theatre, Cops-in-the-Head & Rainbow of Desire; and (g) Metaxis: An Arts in Indigenous Health Congress: Supporting a pan-Indigenous Youth Coalition to use Legislative Theatre to advocate Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action 18 - 22.
All of that activity is also promoting our DDMAAC Network aim of "decolonizing disability".
PROMOTING NON-NORMATIVE AESTHETICS
ARTISTIC PRODUCTION & TRAINING ACTIVITY: Popular Theatre
(a) Closet Freaks: Burlesque of the Grotesque!
We're cripping the body politic, by stripping away layers of disabling oppression in this co-pro with Alan Shain/ Smashing Stereotypes Productions; showcasing at Step Right Up! in June, 2023 (see DDMAAC Activity below).
(b) Urban Interventions: Pop-Up Social Justice Encounters
We use Invisible Theatre as public spectacle, to put social justice concerns on the public policy radar – because, as Harvey Milk once said, "politics is theatre".
(c) Global Citizens: Peer-to-Peer Practice Exchange
As a global Centre for the Theatre of the Oppressed, we engage in solidarity with, share tricks of the trade among and apprentice diverse jokers from around the world.
EXPANDING ARTS ADVOCACY FROM INCLUSION TO COUNTER-CULTURALISM
NATIONAL NETWORKING & PD ACTIVITY/ DDMAAC: Beyond Access
(a) Step Right Up! A Practice-Focused Disability Theatre Symposium
We're putting non-normative, aesthetic counter-culturalism back in the Deaf, Disability & Mad Arts domain's limelight. Because "access" is just a condition for Disability Arts, not the goal. Besides: Why try to fit in when you were born to stand out? Hosted by the Canadian College for Performing Arts; June, 2023.
(b) The Art of Change Digital Impact Project
In anticipation of our 20th Anniversary, in 2023, we've engaged Rebecca Burton and Monique Renaud to develop and disseminate a digital marketing campaign, through which we're promoting the personal & social transformation that our national arts advocacy has continually effected.
(b) From Respectful to Safe to Ethical Space
Through 20 years of collaboration with Treaty 6, 7 & 8 Nations, we've gained some relational knowledge about what Dr. Willie Ermine (Sturgeon Lake Cree First Nation) calls "Ethical Space": Cross-cultural collaborations that draw on the strengths of both Indigenous & Western Ways of Knowing. Ethical Space has given us a potent pathway to decolonization; so we'll be sharing some knowledge of it with the sector this year – in collaboration with Mass Cultureand the ILGHO, as part of our ongoing efforts to diversify and equalize the dis arts domain (one we've been a leading contributor to).
REGIONAL NETWORKING & PD ACTIVITY/ CCEDA: Beyond Inclusion
(a) The Radical Love Coalition
Some grassroots community organizers from within our CCEDA network have come together as a Social Justice Co-learning Cohort, who are innovating intercultural Coalition-building into more collaborative (vs confrontational) approaches to systemic change activism.
An intergenerational knowledge exchange platform, celebrating the long history of diversity in Calgary's arts sector, through digital profiles of early examples of counter-cultural artistic production.
(c) Honouring our e/Elders
An intercultural knowledge exchange initiative, celebrating the long-standing relations of trust earned by Michele Decottignies, our founding Artistic Director, through digital profiles of the diverse pillars of support who've held her up the past 20 years.
(d) The Equalizing Governance Project
We've engaged Alana Hibbert to aid us in creating a bottom-up model of governance and operations, for independent, artist-driven orgs like ours. Through a collaborative process of decolonizing and equalizing arts sector Bylaws, Policies and Procedures and protecting the intellectual property rights of founding Artistic Directors, we're co-creating a more purposeful model of operations for ourselves, and the indie ad hoc collectives that we provide PD supports to via our CCEDA Network (and DDMAAC too).