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Artscape Launchpad

130 Queens Quay East

Toronto, ON M5A 3Y5

Canada

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Hello community! Join us for an afternoon of engaging conversation and networking as we bring artists, funders, curators, creatives and sector practitioners together to explore how Black art, identity and liberation work converge - and the role we can all play in making that possible! The conversation will be facilitated by Rania El Mugammar who will be joined by Black artists, educators and practitioners including Anique J. Jordan, Ekow Nimako, Dainty Smith and Dori Tunstall (Dean of Design, OCAD/the first Black Dean of Design anywhere). See their bios below! Following the panel, there will be an opportunity to network and explore the space. Many thanks to Artscape Launchpad for sponsoring the event.

Event Details

The event is free of charge; however, space is limited so register to attend! Light snacks and refreshments will be served. We look forward to seeing you at Artscape Launchpad, on Friday, April 12th. Building accessibility: Fully accessible by Ontario standards. If you have accessibility requirements and/or have any accessibility questions please contact us at yof@otf.ca

Guest Bios

Rania El Mugammar is a Sudanese artist, anti-oppression consultant, and liberation educator based in Toronto. Rania's artistic and community work is deeply rooted in Black Liberation, Rania is a published writer, award winning organizer, speaker, arts educator, and multidisciplinary performer.

Anique J. Jordan is an award-winning artist, writer, curator, and innovator, Anique Jordan, looks to answer the question of possibility in everything she creates. Working for over a decade at the crossroad of community economic development and art, Jordan’s practice stems from and returns to the communities that inform it. As an artist, Jordan’s work plays with the foundations of traditional Trinidadian carnival and the theory of hauntology challenging historical narratives and creating, what she calls, impossible images. She works across temporalities bringing historical data towards a contemporary analysis. This work creates space to reinterpret the archives offering a new and speculative vision of the future. Principally interested in Canadian histories which speak to Black Canada, women, working class communities and explores the relationships between Black and Indigenous peoples, Jordan’s work ultimately questions the authority of the Canadian state.

Jordan’s curatorial practice centres around opening access points for engagement from new and unexpected audiences. She is interested in ways space and power operate within a curated site and how questions can shift and subvert depending on whose gaze is privileged. Jordan’s curatorial work has been seen at the Art Gallery of Ontario where she co-curated the groundbreaking exhibition, Every.Now.Then: Reframing Nationhood with Andrew Hunter, at UCLA in California and Liberty Hall in Jamaica where she produced Song for the Beloved with Dr. Honor Ford-Smith, at NIA Centre for the Arts she curated, The Marvelous are Here and a site specific series The Public: Land and Body. Jordan has lectured on her artistic and community engaged curatorial practice as a 2017 Canada Seminar speaker at Harvard University and in numerous institutions across the Americas including University of the West Indies, MIT, University of Toronto and UCLA. She has received numerous awards, grants and fellowships, participating in residencies around the world and exhibiting in galleries such as Art Gallery of Guelph, Doris McCarthy Gallery, the Wedge Collection, Art Gallery of Windsor, Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of York University, Gallery 44, and Y+ Contemporary. She is represented in public and private collections nationally, including the Wedge Collection, Toronto Dominion Bank, and the University of Toronto. In 2017 Jordan was awarded the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist of the year award, she recently completed a 2017-2018 artist residency at the University of the West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago) and is the 2018-19 Osgoode Hall Law School Artist-in-Residence.

Ekow Nimako studied Fine Arts at York University and began using Lego in his professional practice in 2014. He has since cultivated a unique approach to sculpting the iconic material in masterful true-to-life and monumental form. Drawing on his fascination with Afrofuturism, mythology and the metaphor of West African proverbs, Ekow's current body of work Building Black Mythos constructs a powerful and haunting realm centred on 'supernatural melanin-rich children' and their animal counterparts. Ekow lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

Dainty Smith is a Toronto based Actor, Burlesque Performer, Playwright, Producer, and Speaker. Dainty believes that through the art of storytelling and a willingness to be exposed that genuine human connections can be made. Her performances often tell deeply vulnerable stories regarding race, religion, sexuality and challenging social boundaries. Dainty studied performing arts at George Brown College and is a powerful self taught storyteller, performer, and orator. She acted in the acclaimed theatre group Les Blues. She was a co-producer in the performance art collective Colour Me Dragg. Her work includes, Allyson Mitchell's performance art piece Killjoy's kastle: A Lesbian Haunted House. Victoria Mata's multidisciplinary Callejon de Memoria: The Embodiment Of Memory. Assistant director for Shaunga tagore's play Letters To The Universe. katie Sly's playSerenity Wild. She wrote and self produced a multidisciplinary play titled Daughters Of Lilith. Her diverse array of stage performances include the Mayworks Festival, Rock. Paper. Sistahz, Caminos Festival for Aluna Theatre, The Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Artscape, and Daniels Spectrum Theatre. She is the founder of Les Femme Fatales: Women of Colour burlesque troupe, the first burlesque troupe for women of colour in Canada. In addition to producing and acting, Dainty is also an accomplished and engaging Emcee and an accomplished Speaker. Her speaking engagements have included workshops with women and youth on themes of empowerment, glamour, beauty, self love and self care as revolutionary acts. She has taught workshops at Ryerson University, University of Ottawa, and York University on radical body positivity, survival and thriving.

Dori Tunstall is a design anthropologist, public intellectual, and design advocate who works at the intersections of critical theory, culture, and design. As Dean of Design at Ontario College of Art and Design University, she is the first black and black female dean of a faculty of design. She leads the Cultures-Based Innovation Initiative focused on using old ways of knowing to drive innovation processes that directly benefit communities. With a global career, Dori served as Associate Professor of Design Anthropology and Associate Dean at Swinburne University in Australia. She wrote the biweekly column Un-Design for The Conversation Australia. In the U.S., she taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She organized the U.S. National Design Policy Initiative and served as a director of Design for Democracy. Industry positions included UX strategists for Sapient Corporation and Arc Worldwide. Dori holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University and a BA in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College.

About the Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF)

YOF has been supporting youth-led, grassroots initiatives across the province for the last 5 years, and is privileged to work with young Black leaders and creatives as they use arts as a mechanism to explore identity, build community and engage youth. As part of our commitment to sector capacity building, we hope you'll join us in advancing this critical work!

We recognize that our work, and the work of our grantees, takes place on Indigenous territories across Ontario. This event will take place on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit River. This territory is the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant. We acknowledge that the meeting place of Toronto has and continues to be the home of many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island.

UN International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024

Questions? Contact us at yof@otf.ca

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Date and Time

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Artscape Launchpad

130 Queens Quay East

Toronto, ON M5A 3Y5

Canada

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