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Creative collaborations: Artists in Communities grants inspire neighbourhood art-making

February 16 2018

“For nearly a quarter of a century now, the Park Board has collaborated with artists and community centre association partners to offer inspiration through Artists in Communities,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.

Birds in Residence

Four new Artists in Communities projects offer Vancouver residents an opportunity to co-create with local artists.

The Artists in Communities program is a unique collaboration between artists, community centre associations, and the Vancouver Park Board to unleash community creativity with activities such as joining a choir of birds, planting a pop-up pollinator garden, or wayfinding through your neighbourhood in unexpected ways.

The Artists in Communities program was launched in 1994. The artists and projects chosen for the 2018 Artists program will work out of Renfrew, West Point Grey, Sunset, and West End/Coal Harbour community centres.

Inspiration through the arts

“For nearly a quarter of a century now, the Park Board has collaborated with artists and community centre association partners to offer inspiration through Artists in Communities. We’re delighted to be co-hosting four new projects at community centres because we know that culture is critical to building social connection and strong economies,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.

The four projects were chosen from 25 applicants by a selection committee made up of artists, Park Board staff, and community members. Artists receive funding from the Park Board and community centre associations. The program provides a $10,000 grant and $2,000 in materials to successful applicants.

Apply for next year's residencies

A call for next year’s residencies opens June 29, 2018. Projects awarded a residency will devote around 300 hours to a project and complete it with community members. The work of the Artists in Communities will be featured in blog posts and published reports.

Four Artists in Communities for 2018

Super Bloomers at Renfrew Community Centre/Renfrew Ravine

Join this team of artists as they grow through the seasons in work inspired by the Renfrew Ravine. They’ll be hosting picnics, pop-up pollinator gardens, ravine walks, and hands-on art-making with natural materials. Superbloomers aims to create a web of deep connections among people and plants. Consider this residency a collective love-letter to the Renfrew Ravine: its ferns, flowers, bees, butterflies, birds, frogs, fungi, and more! Led by artist Lori Wiedenhammer who likes to wear wild costumes and talk to bees! Learn more at renfrewsuperbloom.blogspot.ca External website.

Beat a Path at West Point Grey Community Centre/Jericho

Explore the West Point Grey Community Centre and surrounding geography in unique and unexpected ways with artist, educator, and curator, Holly Schmidt. This project will explore the social, cultural, and historical forces shaping the neighbourhood through dialogue. Community members will experience a year of workshops, walks, momentary exchanges, and communal eating as a way to see the urban landscape anew. Learn more at beatapath.ca External website.

wayfinding // wandering  at Sunset Community Centre/Sunset Rink/Moberly Arts Centre

Using the senses, we will get curious about the spaces between and within Sunset Community Centre and Ice Rink, and Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre. Using a pop-up approach, artists Matthew Ariaratnam and Julie Hammond invite community members to walk, play, listen, see, read, touch, smell, and taste! This project offers something for those with and without formal art skills. Learn more at wayfindingwandering.blogspot.ca External website.

Birds in Residence at Coal Harbour and West End community centres/Barclay Manor

Birds in Residence celebrates our multitude of winged relatives in Coal Harbour and the West End. Artists Paula Jardine, Carmen Rosin, Cathy Stubington, and Robi Smith invite community to explore the birds in our neighbourhoods, reflecting on ideas of home and migration. Along the way we’ll deepen our relationship with birds through nature walks, drawing, mapping, listening, movement, song, and more. We will be gifted with the insights of artists, biologists, ornithologists, and amateur bird enthusiasts. This project will be part of the grand parade opening the 27th International Ornithological Congress and Vancouver International Bird Festival, August 19-26, 2018. Learn more at birdsinresidence.wordpress.com External website.

Learn more about Artists in Communities