Talking Feminism on Trying to Be Good

This week I had the great honour of being asked to speak with Heidi Taylor and Emelia Symington Fedy on Trying To Be Good on Roundhouse Radio. We talked about our work in the arts, feminist beginnings, fights, Hilary Clinton, and hopes. Here’s the notes I took during the talk and the link for your listening pleasure: http://cirh.streamon.fm/listen-pl-5930

2016-11-04-07-33-10

What it means to me to be an ally

For the past couple years I have been working more and more with Indigenous communities. Recently I became an ally member at the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance (IPAA). Here’s a bit of what I wrote:

I am moved by stories. I know that story is the foundation of how we learn who we are and how to be in the world. In the past few years, I have had the honour of hearing more stories from the Indigenous populations of the land now called Canada on the continent Turtle Island. Through these stories I woke. I was called to listen to these stories and (with my many years experience in the arts and many privileges afforded to me by how I look and how I was raised) to ask how I can serve these stories. I am working on how to use my privilege, passing, and complicity in this place to shift understanding and negotiate barriers so that my peers see those who are excluded from the systems we so easily access and see the points of exclusion we are all complicit in creating.

It is a very interesting time for Indigenous artists. The public reaction to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, discussions in theatre about diversity and inclusion, dialogues and changes at the Canada Council for the Arts and the NAC’s recent announcement to launch Indigenous Theatre all signal a groundswell in interest in Indigenous art in Canada. As a settler, I am cautious about the idea of engaging with IPAA or the Indigenous artists within its Community of Artists [membership]. I want to engage with my settler peers, individuals and organizations, about how to be on this land and with the peoples we interact with. I want us to work together to be highly conscious of the exchanges we are having with Indigenous populations. As a community, I want us to be clear with ourselves about our interactions with Indigenous artists. Be aware of what we are receiving from these exchanges and be ever more aware of what we are giving. We, as settlers, have so much to gain from the knowledges of these Indigenous peoples. Knowledges the systems we benefit from have, and still, work actively to quell. We have so much to offer and to relinquish. I want to live in a land where all peoples have self-determination. I believe supporting that may require relinquishing power, influence and comfort. I am interested in the cracks, gaps and erosions, through those we connect everything, as there is enough.

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What I’ve seen in 2016

May
5 – OURO Collective – PACE + Kaleido
11 – rice & beans theatre – Mis Papás
13 – Storytelling: Riel Hahn Presents
14 – Tara Cheyenne Performance – Lip Sync Battle
15 – BoldSkool – Silenced
15 – Hong Kong Exile – Okay.Odd.
21 – Charisma Firs
25 – Dancers of Damelahamid – Flicker
28 – OURO Collective – Visceral Murmurs

June
3 – How to Survive an Apocalypse
11 – (performed) Polymer Dance – Composites
16 – Jeanette Kotowich Studio Showing
17-19 – (produced) Festival of Recorded Movement
23 – Ludwig & Lohengrin: A Fairytale for Adults (Victoria)
24 – (performed) Cocktales with Maria at OUTstages
25 – Roller Derby Saved My Soul (Victoria)
25 – OUTstage Cabaret (Victoria)
28 – Novelty Act

July
9 – Edge 2 – Lost Object/ive | John Ottmann – Kaleido | OURO Collective – Dialogue | Wen Wei Dance
21 – (performed) Cocktales with Maria at Q2Q

August
(at SummerWorks in Toronto)
4 – queer slow dance with radical thought: The (Ir)reverence Edition
5 – Horizon; Wild Parties Were Never Her Thing; [Decoherence] & Performing Performance
6 – Quiet Revolution; Soliloquy in English; Trophy
7 – Two Indians; Mr Shi and His Lover
8 – (produced) New Raw
9 – eating the game
11 – Intent City; Extremophiles
12 – Bug, Bleeders; Daughter
13 – (produced) New Raw
14 – vərˈbādəm & noyé/e/

September
24 – (produced) Into The Current (Smithers)
30 – IPAA Showcase (Haines Junction, YK)

October
1 – IPAA Showcase (Haines Junction, YK)
13 – The Company Theatre (India) – Piya Behrupiya (Twelfth Night)
15 – Motherload; Interplay
29 – (performed) Parade of Lost Souls

November
6 – 100 Very Good Reasons Why ______, by Tim Brady for 100 spatialised electric guitars. Back Pocket Songs: A Roundhouse Singing Project Street Beats with Instruments of Change.
9 – Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians

SANKASET – Communication Strategies, Digital Natives and Tribes

On September 25, I was joined by Stephanie Pereira, Director, Art Program, Kickstarter and Teri Snelgrove, Associate Producer, National Film Board of Canada, to discuss how communication in the arts is changing, and how technology drives that change. To spark this conversation, I pulled together three ideas:

SANKASET – Communication Strategies, Digital Natives and Tribes from Kristina Lemieux on Vimeo.

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SANKASET – Isolation and disconnection in Vancouver (or not)

To wrap up this season of SANKASET I brought together Jane Cox – Creative Strategist, Cause+Affect and Mo Dhaliwhal Director of Client Services, Skyrocket & Patron of the Arts to discuss the Vancouver Foundation’s study “Connections and Engagement” published in June of 2012. This study has sparked many community conversations already, including the SFU Community Summit Alone Together last fall.

SANKASET – Isolation and disconnection in Vancouver (or not) from Kristina Lemieux on Vimeo.

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SANKASET – Philanthrocapitalism & Trends in Fundraising

On May 28, 2013, I had a great conversation with Ashley Oakes – Development Officer, Arts Umbrella and Kathleen Speakman – Consultant about how charitable giving is changing and the book Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green really got me thinking about various trends and how we as individuals and small non-profit organizations are relating to those trends. We will be reading Chapter 2 “Carnegie’s Children” and Chapter 13 “We Are All Philanthrocapitalists Now.”

SANKASET – Philanthrocapitalism & Trends in Fundraising from Kristina Lemieux on Vimeo.

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Pay for what matters to you

It is important for us as citizens to pay for what matters to us. Whether it is through your consumer dollars or you tax dollars, the places of culture that build our community, places like Rhizome Cafe, Playhouse Theatre, VIVO and the innumerable other places in Vancouver that have been threatened or shut down by a number of economic reasons, need our personal economic support to survive. We as citizens have the option daily to use our consumer dollars at places that matter to us. We also have the option to appeal to our governments for budgets and reform that support the places and spaces that build the community we want. Our communities cannot afford for us to wait or hesitate on our passions. Our dollars are worth as much, maybe even more, than money in the banks.

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SANKASET – Intrinsic Impacts of Live Performance

On April 23, 2013, I was joined by Justine Chambers, independent dance artist, and David Pay, Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Music on Main, to discuss Wolf Brown‘s study “Assessing the Intrinsic Impacts of a Live Performance.” We focused the discussion on the Overview, Purpose & Summary of Findings of the study (p. 5-21).

 

SANKASET – Intrinsic Impacts of Live Performance from Kristina Lemieux on Vimeo.

 

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SANKASET – Practices of Diversity & Pluralism

On March 26, 2013 I was joined by Margaret Grenier – dance artist and Joel Klein – arts manager to discuss the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Neighbourhood Arts Network‘s “Arts & Equity: A Toolkit for Community Engagement” from Pluralism in the Arts in Canada: A Change is Gonna Come Complied and Edited by charles c smith. Published by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and shared here throught their Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.

SANKASET – Practices of Diversity & Pluralism from Kristina Lemieux on Vimeo.

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SANKASET – Getting Engaged & Citizen Stereotypes

On March 12, 2013 I was joined by Elijah van der Giessen – Connector and Trevor Loke – Parks Commissioner to discuss Matt Leighninger’s book “The Next Form of Democracy,” We read Chapter 2 – Is Everything Alright in Kansas City? which can be found on Google Books.

SANKASET – Getting Engaged & Citizen Stereotypes from Kristina Lemieux on Vimeo.

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What’s the diff between policy and procedure?

As a self-described policy wonk, I often find myself explaining the difference between policy and procedure to non-profit organizations. Both are essential, but it is important to know the differences.

Mrs. Lorna Wagner fighting for policy change between 1910-1915

Policy
A policy is a guiding principle or rule used to set direction in an organization. Frequently policies take one of two forms: rules frequently used to govern staff or mini-mission statements used to set direction for the organization.

Policies are written in clear, concise and simple language. Policies are overseen by the board of directors or executive staff.

Procedure
A procedure is a particular way of accomplishing something and should be tied to policies. They are designed to answer the question “What would happen if I were hit by a bus tomorrow and someone had to take over my job?” Procedures are a series of steps to be followed as a consistent and repetitive approach or cycle to accomplish an end result. The staff own these documents and adapt them as the need arises. They may be used as training tools or to create consistency between departments.

They are written in detailed language, outlining the processes of the organization and should make sense to anyone without much explanation. They should be written in a way that fits with organizational culture. They are staff led and maintained.

Side-by-Side Comparison:

POLICY

PROCEDURE

Guideline

Method of Action

Brief

Detailed

Address rule

Implement rule

Rarely Changes

Frequently Changes

Strategy

Tactic

“You must…”

“This is the best way to…”

Actionable

Recommended

Breach is grounds for dismissal

Breach is grounds for performance management

Approved by Board or Executive Team

Maintained by Department Heads

Also note:
In a non-profit, policies and procedures fall into a greater schedule of governance:

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SANKASET – Public Engagement and the Arts

Watch the video from the February 19, 2013 SANKASET on Canada Council for the Arts‘ recent publication Public Engagement in the Arts.

I was joined by Flick Harrison – All Round Media Artist and Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg - Creator/Performer

SANKASET – Public Engagement in the Arts from Kristina Lemieux on Vimeo.

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Know what you do and why

I love moments of confluence. Yesterday I was teaching pre-professional dance artists about Artist Statements and today I watched Taylor Mac’s manifesto. What if we administrators moved through our careers with the same stated public devotion as an artist? What if we managed our companies, produced our shows and marketed the artists we support with the same kind of guiding principles we ask the artists to share about the work they create?

Two quotes:

1. Taylor Mac’s manifesto from the symposium at Under the Radar earlier this month – skip to 37:15-55:48 (Thanks to Joyce Rosario for sending me the link).

“I believe administration is an artform, but if you are an administrator who really wants to do a different form of art, you should quit your administration job and do that other art and make room for administrators to take your job who actually love what they do.”

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2. Not Nothing: A Review of Artist Statements by Cindy BLAŽEVIĆ for The Toronto Review of Books (Page 55-58)

“It sounds simple but is actually a painstaking process that makes artists uncomfortably vulnerable. Writing such a statement requires a difficult introspection that lays bare the often insecure train-of-thought that was going through your mind when you positioned the paintbrush just so on the canvas, your subject just so in front of your lens, your sculpting knife just so on a lump of clay. It sets the tone. And, often, art does not speak for itself.”

Watch out for my artist statement on my art, administration, coming soon.

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PuSh Festival 2013 Picks

The PuSh Festival is one of my most favourite festivals in Vancouver. The work is innovative and intriguing. Even when a piece of work is not my taste, I can see how the work moves the performing arts forward. Here are my picks for 2013:

Must see Dance:
Cédric Andrieux – One of the most important pieces of dance I’ve ever seen. What does it mean to have a historical reference to dance? How do we remember each other?
Still Standing You – It says they pull each others’ penises. Enough said

Must see Theatre:
Winners and Losers – It makes me want to cry, laugh (nervously and hilariously), get angry, depressed and then think a lot.
Ride the Cyclone – Local musical theatre at its very, very best!
Winnipeg Babysitter – If you have never seen storyteller Daniel Barrow, you should.

Must see Music:
Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba/Wedding – Everything Music on Main touches is brilliant. New opera. Don’t miss it.
Club PuSh late nights presents Vancouver music darlings – Corbin Murdoch and the Nautical Miles and e.s.l.

Also a shout out to Vanessa Kwan’s SadSack night.

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