Artspeak Works With Downtown Eastside On Arts Project

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With funding from an Arts Partners in Creative Development grant of $57,000, the I.E. Artspeak Gallery Society commissioned Canadian visual artist Althea Thauberger to create a site-specific work in collaboration with community members in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. The result, Carrall Street, presented in September 2008, was a process-oriented project that culminated in a performance, forum and publication. Thauberger was able to probe vital questions and stories important to those living in the neighbourhood, and examined how creativity enhances or complicates the way a person or group finds their place in a community. Stories included personal histories gathered from, and enacted by, local residents. A cross-section of community members including artists, addicts, homeless people, social workers, politicians and developers took part in the process. With the street as a stage, the interweaving and spontaneous interactions between organized performers, audience and random people formed an integral part of the final performance. A publication resulting from the process will be released in 2009.

Arts Partners in Creative Development assists BC arts and cultural organizations to create and develop new works or further develop existing works. The program is in partnership with Canada Council for the Arts, Province of British Columbia, City of Vancouver, Vancouver Foundation and VANOC.