Cultural Capital

Final Report

Not So Comic Book created by the Industrial Workers of the World

The Cultural Capital Community Arts program actually addressed two different objectives:

1] Opening doors for artists in the community.
Given the current state of frozen under-funding in the arts, many artists and groups, especially from culturally diverse communities, face systemic barriers to accessing grants. The Voices Less Heard program made it a priority to try and support some of these excluded people. As a result a number of projects were funded [e.g. Linda Goyette / Edmonton Public Libraries and Multicultural Health Brokers / Nina Haggerty Centre] which aimed to allow artists from different cultural backgrounds to gain experience and exposure in the Canadian context. These artists may well not define themselves as practicing Community Arts, but rather see themselves as “professional” artists without opportunities in Edmonton.

2] Allowing artists to collaborate with communities for social purposes.
In most other countries where Community Arts are funded, the term applies to work which engages directly with the community as participants. Usually this work is directed at socially excluded communities and aims at using the artistic process to engage in a process of social change. It is driven by shared collaboration and not an individualistic vision.

In addition, the program sought to engage a heritage component to the work, so that one partner was defined broadly as a “resource person” rather than an “artist”. There is little money available for community based heritage work, particularly in diverse communities. We hoped that a number of projects, such as the Labour History Institutes’ Celanese DVD, would generate a body of material that would later form the basis for artistic re-presentation.

Funded Projects

View videos of some projects.

Au bout de conte – Trad’badour: performance and CD ACFA regionale d’Edmonton with Roger Dallaire and Daniel Gervais

AlterNatives: A Traditional and Contemporary Aboriginal Craft Exhibit: works and narratives by Aboriginal Artists and Elders mentored by the Alberta Craft Council Gallery Alberta Native Friendship Centre and the Alberta Craft Council

Tales from the Inside Out: Edmonton Moving Ahead Program: a performance piece from people living with mental illness Mental Health Association of Edmonton, Jan Henderson and Sherry Paran

Celanese Workers Commemoration Project: a collection of stories to preserve the history of the communities built by the workers of the Celanese Plant Alberta Labour History Institute

From the Caribbean to Alberta, Carving a Tile Within the Mosaic: a project to map and record the immigrant experiences of peoples from the Caribbean through the production of a script based on the oral histories generated through interviews The Living History Group (Council of Canadians of African and Caribbean Heritage) and Pat Darbasie

Piece by Piece: a project about the workers in Edmonton’s GWG garment factory — songs based on interviews with women who worked at the factory Catherine Cole and Maria Dunn

The World of Story Project: giving voice to common folktales shared around the world in over 30 languages, building intercultural understanding and ways of knowing through the arts Mennonite Centre for Newcomers

Songs on the Avenue: working with artists in the Alberta Avenue area to collect historic material for use in songs, stories, poetry, and artwork for a CD and booklet Scott Peters and Arts on the Avenue

Voices from the Darkness Moving to Light: art bringing awareness to eating disorders Society for Assisted Cooperative Recovery from Eating Disorders (SACRED), Mary Joyce and Bob Chelmick

Art for the Chinese Library: art classes and workshops creating artworks for the new Chinatown Chinese Public Library Chinatown Multicultural Centre and Xin Yu Zheng

Songs and Stories of Our Filipino Grandmothers: original stories with music and mime Changing Together: A Centre for Immigrant Women and Christine Oro

One Heart, One Voice: fifteen artists working with the Nina Haggerty Centre, giving access to immigrant artists Multicultural Health Brokers and the Nina Haggerty Centre

Struggle to Survive: a short dramatic film of refugee youth experiences Catholic Social Services and Taro Hashimoto

Brown Bag Ballads: creating an original evening of poetry and song from diverse cultures Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, Diane Ellery and Alyssa Hudson

Exposure: Queer Arts and Culture Festival: providing workshops and mentoring to emerging queer artists Exposure Steering Committee and Todd Janes

Machos: Journey to Self Discovery with Immigrant Men: a documentary film on the male immigrant experience Edmonton Immigrant Men Support Network Society and Shabnam Sukhdev

The Workus Project: creating a mobile visual and audio installation of workers’ experiences Alberta Worker’s Heath Centre and Memi Von Gaza

On Institutionalized Aboriginal Women in Edmonton: developing a play about Aboriginal women’s experiences in prison Old Earth Productions

GeriActors and Friends: a presentation - through theatre and an installation - of stories, images, and issues about aging, by an intergenerational group of seniors and students. SAGE (Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton) and GeriActors

The Not So Comic Book: the production of a comic book highlighting young workers’ concerns. Industrial Workers of the World and Memi Von Gaza

The Story That Brought Me Here: an anthology of writing by Edmonton authors and poets who write in languages other than English. Linda Goyette and Edmonton Public Library

Bissell Centre Murals Project: a collaboration between mural artist Ian Mulder and community members in the development of a visual story of life in the Bissell Centre community. Bissell Center and Ian Mulder

Seeing Ourselves in the City - Youth Aboriginal Mural Project: a collaboration between Pedro Rodriguez and senior Aboriginal artist to mentor young Aboriginal artists. Asokan and Pedro Rodriguez.

Veiled Voices: a documentary film unveiling the core identities of East Indian women residing in Edmonton, addressing their thoughts and views, needs and requirements. Multicultural Handicrafts Training and Friendship Society and Shabnam Sukdev

Making and Performing Our Stories: a documentary film recording the play and the process of developing the play created by individuals with developmental disabilities. Rising Sun Theatre, SKILLS, and Gerry Potter

Association La Girandole: Franco-Albertan legends portrayed through dance. La Girandole and Zehpyr