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2018 Community Incubation Projects
September 4, 2018 @ 8:00 am - November 16, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
The Bentway’s Community Incubation Program supports the development of the next generation of public space programmers. In 2018 we were pleased to support four projects; a variety show that tackled the stigma surrounding mental health and wellness issues ; a series of talks on urbanism; a dance residency and performance; and a shadow puppet installation.
This is Our Place, by I/O Movement
I/O Movement is a contemporary dance project specializing in site-specific performance. This is Our Place was a public dance residency and a call for artists to activate an urban core. Exploring the importance of civic art, five emerging dance artists were assigned a portion of The Bentway, and over five rehearsal days created a site-responsive performance. The culminating performance of This is Our Place was an immersive participatory event.
October 1-5: Workshop/Residency
October 6: Public Performance
Crystal Finn-Dunn (flowHER House Collective)
I/O Movement is a Toronto-based contemporary dance project joining body and site. Our mission strives to make dance more accessible by presenting works in public and non-traditional spaces. This project has performed in galleries, ice cream shops, libraries, houses, theatres, DIY spaces, parks and more. With collaboration being paramount to our practice, I/O Movement has worked alongside fellow Toronto arts facilitators, visual artists Rebecca Munce, Madison van Rijn and Maryanne Casasanta and local musicians The Weather Station, New Fries and Nicolas Field to name a few. In November of 2017, we facilitated out first This is Our Place residency within an empty residence. This summer of 2018 we hosted a free series of Dancing + Drawing events in parks open to the public. I/O Movement hopes to continue contributing to the Toronto arts community, provide opportunities for emerging artists and share dance with broader audiences.
Central Talks, by Central
Central is Toronto’s urban issues conference series. Central presented a series of talks at The Bentway delving into past, present, and future urban issues. Topics were evocative, exploring alternate histories, potential futures, and fanciful ideas like “what If Toronto continued affordable housing trends from the 1970s?”
What If City Builders Looked At Accessibility As A Right?
With Jennifer Hiseler, Accessibility Specialist, Human Space
What if city builders looked at accessibility as a right? What if they looked at their designs and asked who’s being left out?
In this talk Jenny will describe the “curb cut effect”: when you design for disability, you’ll find everyone benefits. From those first sledgehammered curbs to today’s more complex intersections, we’ll look at how design choices are a matter of social justice: who can enter the flow of city life, who is left stranded on the edge.
What If Public Consultation Was Always Meaningful?
With Nicole Swerhun, Principal, Swerhun Inc.
What if public consultation was always meaningful? Always real? And always inspired our confidence in the abilities of communities and governments to work together to ensure our city is a reflection of what we value? Using both pools in schools and the Port Lands as examples (two valuable public assets in Toronto!), this talk explores what happened when communities inserted themselves into the public consultation process and, working with the school board and the City respectively, influenced results that were dramatically different than the original path proposed. Discussion will follow – focusing on what participants think is critical to keeping public consultation useful and real.
What If Public Transit Was Free For Everyone?
With Taraneh Zarin, Volunteer Organizer, Free Transit Toronto
Despite being publicly funded, public transit in Toronto is not a practical option for everyone to use daily because of its fares. While steps have been made to reduce the cost for some people, the consequences of making transit free for everyone could be dramatic and far-reaching. Increasing access to public transit — and encouraging its use by everyone — could help transform cities and change lives, impacting the location of and nature of jobs; where and how we live and travel; issues of class, inequality and oppression related to race, age, gender, and sexuality; climate justice and much more.
Central is Toronto’s Urban Issues conference series. Speakers bring their expert perspectives and research to describe ways to address civic issues like housing, transportation, policing and politics. The goal of the series is to create an environment of education and enlightenment about systemic and political issues.
Central does not endorse political candidates. Instead, we focus on forward-looking, people- and data-driven initiatives that will improve Toronto’s long-term livability. Central was created by Ben Myers, a Parkdale resident and conference organizer.
Bent Shadows, by Caterwaul Theatre
From October 23rd to Halloween, Caterwaul Theatre presented a new site-specific Shadow Puppet installation. “Bent Shadows” – a series of shadow puppet digital vignettes that explore the historical traces of Toronto’s ever changing shoreline.
Caterwaul’s curated shadow traces converged in a shipping container under the Gardiner Expressway. Free to the public, the installation ran alongside The Bentway’s Fall Exhibitions If, But, What If.
The Bentway Variety Show, by Michelle Creates and Manic Media
Michelle Creates and Manic Media presented The Bentway Variety Show, which asked the question, “what if we lived in a city where we could talk freely about our mental health?” Through stand-up comedy, poetry, and musical performances, The Bentway Variety Show tackled the stigma surrounding mental health and wellness issues and encourage conversation and performances from the audience as well.
About Michelle Creates
Michelle Creates provides unique experiential workshops and events that engage, educate, and inspire. The primary focus of her workshops is mental health related (E.g., Stress and burnout at work, Mental health in the workplace).
About Manic Media
Manic Media is a company that works with artists who have lived experience of mental illness, tramua and/or addiction. We produce live comedy shows where the audience is transported to education and healing, seeing how our performers use comedy to transform painful experiences.