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Introducing our Interim Curator

Ashley McKenzie-Barnes is our new Interim Curator at Daniels Spectrum, and we’d like to offer her a warm welcome!

Ashley comes to us from The Remix Project as the Creative Arts Program Leader, and Manifesto as the Visual Art Director for the annual Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture. She’s also a practiced graphic designer with tons of experience under her belt. But her portfolio doesn’t stop there; she’s also a volunteer director of CARFAC (Canadian Artists Representation).

Ashley will be working part-time at Daniels Spectrum for the next few months, focusing her efforts on the upcoming Black History Month exhibition (save the date: opening night is Feb 4!), the Feminist Art Conference exhibit and the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

A Powerful Story of Community Love

It was our great pleasure this morning to send out on behalf of an outstanding creative team the press release for Spectrum of Hope, a new video released today that represents a musical collaboration between Mustafa the Poet and Thompson Egbo-Egbo. A gift “by Regent Park, for Regent Park” is how the inspiring team of seven young people who worked on the video with Twice Upon a Time studio described the project, which was supported by the Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo Arts Foundation. We encourage you to watch this powerful and uplifting video immediately, and watch it often. Enjoy!

H.E.A.R.T. (Hungry Eager Artists Rise Together) Showcase & Exhibition

The Ada Slaight Youth Arts Mentorship Program is holding its 2nd annual collaborative showcase and exhibition at Daniels Spectrum on Wednesday, September 10 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. H.E.A.R.T. (Hungry Eager Artists Rise Together) will showcase a variety of art forms including spoken word, singing, dance, visual art, graphic design, photography and mixed-media art from a lineup of 13 young, emerging artists from Regent Park and area.

The entire community is invited to this free event. Come celebrate the talent in Regent Park and the achievements of our youth participants Jae Legit, Simba Wetu, Rafi Abdur, Sarah Meng, Isaac Mbikay, Mandeq Hassan, I-Selah, Nadia, Ahmed Barud, Raima Chakraborty, Vincentia Amoko, Tristan Reid and Khari Richards. In the last six months, these young artists worked with some of the best artists in the city including D’Bi Young, Mayklee Todd and Rich Kidd, as well as talented mentors from their chosen artistic fields, and now they are presenting their work and artistic growth to the world.

Last year’s showcase and exhibition of the Ada Slaight Youth Arts Mentorship Program was held outdoors as part of the annual Sunday in the Park festival, and drew crowds eager to see the rich young talent of the neighbourhood. This year’s event, hosted inside Daniels Spectrum, includes performances and artworks—plus a special surprise—“by Regent Park, for Regent Park.”

When you set out to foster change, great things will happen.

When the Regent Park neighbourhood crops up in the headlines, it’s often portrayed as a stereotypical inner city neighbourhood, with all the social ills that can entail. What is less often mentioned is the hard work by area residents who are trying to bring about positive change. Their work and commitment has built a strong sense of community, which thrives even as the massive revitalization project chugs along. It was precisely this sense of unity and desire to make improvements for the community that attracted CSI to the location.

“Once we spent a little bit of time in Regent Park, we were inspired and engaged by the vibrancy of the local community,” says Tonya Surman, chief executive officer of CSI. “It became incredibly clear that this was a exciting opportunity that we wanted to be a part of.”

Since their inception in 2004, CSI has provided shared office facilities to organizations with a social mission. Their 800 members enjoy benefits like affordable office , meeting and event space, access to shared services and technical support.

But perhaps an even more important part of the CSI model is an emphasis on community, which includes shared common rooms like a large kitchen and open work areas. CSI is host to hundreds of events each year, such as skills-building workshops, lectures, conferences, discussions and networking socials. All members have a profile on CSI’s intranet, which allows them to connect and to promote their own events, news and job openings in the organization’s newsletter and website.

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