As Chief Commissioner Marie-Claude Landry told us, Alone we can do little; together, we can do so much

The COVID19 health crisis is stretching an already under-resourced social safety net and revealing bias and racism, especially against Asian, Asian-Canadian, and Pacific Islander people. We wanted to share resources specifically for artists and cultural workers who feel they have been targeted, resources for marginalized populations that are feeling strained and under-supported, as well as ways that people with privilege can upstand/bystand/intervene when they see or experience a bias incident.

This list of resources was pulled from the COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources website https://covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com/

Racist targeting: 

  • The Niagara Region Anti-Racism Association (NRARA) is determined to tackle the issue of racism in the Niagara Region and beyond, in order to participate in the creation of a just and equal society. Contact them at thenrara@gmail.com to report hate incidents and racist actions relating to the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice has asked people to report hate incidents and racist actions relating to the Coronavirus outbreak to help educate the public, empower others, show service providers where help is needed, and strengthen advocacy efforts.  https://www.standagainsthatred.org/.
  • Canadian Anti-racism Education and Research Society is a non-profit organization that tracks hate groups and extremism, and provides support to victims of racism and discrimination. To report hate incidents and racist actions visit their website https://stopracism.ca/
  • The ACLU also has resources for people who have experienced discrimination based on race, national origin, and disability status.

Disability rights:
It is important to restate as widely as possible this statement from The Honorable Marie-Claude Landry in response to the new federal accessibility legislation “Accessibility is a human right,” CHRC Applauds New Federal Bill : Canadians with mental or physical disabilities have the right to live free from discrimination, to enjoy the same quality of service, quality of education, quality of vocation, quality of inclusion and the same quality of life as every person in Canada. Accessibility legislation must work to remove barriers for all, including women, Indigenous persons, racialized persons, older persons, and 2SLGBTQI folks with disabilities.

Bystander/upstander allyship to disarm racist, ableist, or ageist “microaggressions” abuse:
Founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, Ibram X Kendi, says he doesn’t use the word “microaggression anymore, “I detest the post-racial platform that supported its sudden popularity. I detest its component parts – ‘micro’ and ‘aggression.’ A persistent daily low hum of racist abuse is not minor. I use the term ‘abuse’ because aggression is not as exacting a term. Abuse accurately describes the action and its effects on people: distress, anger, worry, depression, anxiety, pain, fatigue, and suicide. What other people call racial microaggressions I call racist abuse.” (KENDI, IBRAM X. HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST. VINTAGE, 2020)

From Microintervention Stratgies for Targets, White Allies, and Bystanders: Instantly stop or deflect the racist abuse, force the perpetrator to immediately consider what they have just said. State “I don’t agree with what you said,” “That’s not how I view it,” or ask questions like, “Why do you say that?” Speak for yourself, not for the person who’s been targeted—talk about how it made you uncomfortable. “I feel X when you said Y because Z.” If someone calls you in for saying something racist, ableist, or ageist in this moment, be gracious. Resist the urge to be defensive. Apologize and thank the person for calling you in. Remember that what you said does not make you a bad person, but also that the person you’re talking to does not owe you anything for your apology and you should not expect anything in return. Take a moment to reflect on how you’d like to speak and act in the future.

From Better Allies: Speaking up when witnessing racist abuse isn’t necessarily easy because of power dynamics. So we recommend you have a couple of stock phrases to pull out when you need them. Here are some ideas:

  • “What makes you say that?”
  • “Why do you think she’s the right person to do <some lower level or administrative task>?”
  • “We don’t do that here.”
  • “I don’t get it. Can you explain the joke to me?”
  • “Wow, that was awkward.”

Here are some resources that may help you as you navigate art making during this time. We encourage you to refer to the resources below as they will be regularly updated and monitored:

Generator

Generator is a mentoring, teaching, and innovation incubator that expands the skills, tools, and competencies of independent artists, producers and leaders. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Generator has provided resources, information, and support.

https://artistproducerresource.ca/tiki-index.php?page=COVID-19-Health-and-Safety-for-Artists

The Citadel

At the beginning of their 2019/20 Season, The Citadel introduced the House Series of cabaret, music, and comedy to huge success. As more and more Edmontonians stay in their homes looking for ways to keep art and culture bright in their community, Citadel now introduces the Stuck-in-the-House Series!

Edmonton artists who have lost income due to cancelled projects or gigs will present performances on the Citadel Facebook page throughout the current hiatus. These Facebook livestreams and Watch Parties on will be an opportunity for patrons and artists to connect and support each other, while enjoying more of Edmonton’s world-class creative talent and postponed or cancelled work.

https://www.citadeltheatre.com/2019-2020/stuckinthehouse?utm_source=Citadel+Theatre&utm_campaign=67600c620f-Stuck-in-the-House&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_482a5c3fca-67600c620f-80741247

Stay at Home Fest

Stay at Home Fest harnesses the power of the internet for good, by creating a central hub to find all the fantastic decentralized events that are happening online, and aiding music discovery during the global pandemic. “We all know that the best thing we can do to slow down the spread and save lives is washing our hands and staying at home. Because of this, artists are losing gigs and income that they depend on. We’re all sitting at home, looking for ways to connect. So tune in for an epic, open-source online music festival schedule, resources for artists to host their own shows, and a special mainstage livestream event in April.”

https://www.stayathomefest.com/

URGNT LIVE

An ad hoc crowd-funded livestream series of concerts created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. URGNT LIVE’s goals are:

  • To unify the arts industry in Toronto
  • To raise money to pay a nominal fee to all involved parties
  • To document this bizarre period in history
  • To make compelling content available to audiences when we need it most

https://www.urgnt.ca/

The Social Distancing Festival

This is a site for celebrating art from all over the world, showcasing amazing talent, and coming together as a community at a time when we need it more than ever.

https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/

HowlRound

HowlRound is a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide that amplifies progressive, disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates connection between diverse practitioners.

Artists In a Time of Global Pandemic

https://howlround.com/upcoming-events

Suitcase in Point is proud to partner with the Walker Cultural Leaders Program on a series of events around questions of equity, diversity and inclusion in the Brock and St. Catharines theatre community and beyond.

Activities include a keynote address by Ravi Jain, artistic director of Why Not Theatre; a staged reading of Dominique Morisseau’s award-winning play Pipeline (directed by Lisa Karen Cox; with a cast and creative team of professional actors and Brock Dramatic Arts students), discussions about the St. Catharines artistic and cultural landscape and an original sketch comedy show from Suitcase in Point.

Weekend schedule and details:
Saturday, November 9: 

10am-12pm: The Forum: discussion series with and for young people The Green Studio, 36 James Street, Third Floor
1-2:30pm: Roundtable with artists from the community: Where Are We Now?: Power, privilege, race and theatre in Niagara – Oddfellows Temple, 36 James Street, Second Floor, St.
7pm + 9pmCabaret Nothing Lasts Forever, an original comedy show by Suitcase in Point – The Green Studio, 36 James Street, Third Floor

Sunday, November 10: 

3 pm: “Alternative visions of existence” – Keynote address by Ravi Jain
Refreshments – Marilyn I. Walker Theatre
4 – 5:15pm: Reading of Pipeline
Refreshments – Marilyn I. Walker Theatre
5:30pm – 6:30pm: Talkback/Q&A with Ravi Jain and Lisa Karen Cox – Marilyn I. Walker Theatre
7pm + 9pmCabaret Nothing Lasts Forever, an original comedy show by Suitcase in Point – The Green Studio, 36 James Street, Third Floor