Animikiig Creators in the Spotlight
Animikiig participant, and Ojibway playwright. Sarah Gartshore was highlighted in her hometown of Sudbury, ON for her new multi-media performance work, Project ArmHer.
“The show is an act of solidarity, empowerment, a celebration of survival with a message that transcends age, culture and socio-economic status.”
2016 Animikiig Creators: First Meeting
On Sunday March 20th, under the leadership of new Animikiig Program Director Diana Belshaw, Native Earth welcomed a new group of creators to our Animikiig Training Program. The participants, who join us from regions across Ontario, include creators of dance, opera, theatre, and multi-disciplinary works. Boozhoo Animikiig Creators!
At the first meeting of our Animikiig 2016 group, we (seven participants, Isaac and Kat from Native Earth and myself) met in Native Earth’s office around the big table to share food and each other’s work. I had asked everyone to bring something – a scene, a video a recording – to give us all a sense of where they were coming from and what drives their work. As the evening went by, each person ignited another story, another idea and we moved around the table, telling stories, eating, getting to know each other. Music reminded another of more music; a theme was mirrored by another artist. We laughed and were moved to tears as the evening went on.
I was moved and honoured by the generosity everyone showed and the willingness to bring ideas that were new and barely born, out into the light. I am more than excited by the skill and passion of the artists we have brought together and their own excitement for the community that was growing through the evening. That night was a beginning – we will go away now and work, individually perhaps but fed by the knowledge that the group is there holding each other’s backs. Until the end of the summer, work will be developed – we will collect again in the fall to see how things have grown and again share. Then we will see pieces of the work at the Weesageechak festival and then keep working, sharing, developing until they are ready to find spaces and stages to be fully realized.
The group is very diverse – a dancer/ choreographer, a classical composer, cross-disciplinary and performance artists, writers from the body, writers who write from the rhythms of spoken word, writers in more traditional veins. Each one will be matched with another artist who can support and inspire their work, perhaps a director/dramaturg but perhaps not. Our goal is to find the artistic and resource support that each person will need to grow so this could take many different forms given the different needs of each artist. By next fall, the seeds will have become saplings ready for their first public sharing and hopefully over the following year they will grow into trees!
– Diana Belshaw, Animikiig Program Director