Art for Social Change

This past fall, The River Clyde Pageant joined the Art for Social Change Network (ASCN), a national network of organizations practicing community-engaged, art for social change work across the country. ASCN is a project of the International Centre of Art for Social Change and Judith Marcuse Projects. The Pageant is representing Prince Edward Island as a regional hub within the network.

ASCN aims to connect organizations and artists doing this kind of work across the country, building bridges between diverse communities of practice in rural and urban settings; to support new initiatives and exchanges; and to encourage participation in community-engaged arts and partnerships within and beyond the arts sector, especially within environment, health and social justice realms.

Members of the ASCN Steering Committee have organized a three day online gathering, Art for Social Change Now, taking place over three half-day sessions, January 25-27. Registration is free – sign up here – and the program is looking like it’s going to be full of inspiring and informative sessions.

I will be presenting on behalf of the River Clyde Pageant during the first session of Day Two, sharing a bit about the Pageant and our current projects, alongside other Hub representatives.

On a related note, in December, I was selected to participate in another program that is run by the ICASC, which is their FUTURES/Forward Mentorship Program. This is a five-month program where emerging and mid-career artists doing art for social change work are paired with seasoned practitioners in the field.

I will be working with Dale Hamilton, founding artistic director of Everybody’s Theatre Company, and a passionate artist, activist, researcher and producer. Dale is sometimes referred to as one of the ‘grandmothers’ of community-engaged theatre in Canada (I take this line directly from her bio!) and I am very excited to be connecting with her. We are still in the early stages of defining the focus of the mentorship, but there are so many points of intersection between us, that we never lack things to talk about.

The entire group of mentors and mentees meet once a month via Zoom, and while I’m also still getting to know the other members of the group, there are some incredible artists involved from all across the country, all doing pretty ferocious and wonderful work in their respective communities. I’m looking forward to learning from them and sharing tools and resources from our various practices. More to come!