Freedom: A Community Mixtape

Available for Streaming Now!

Freedom is an audio mixtape of original songs, stories, poems, anecdotes, and spoken word pieces from folx living in the Niagara Region. Originally conceived as a piece to celebrate Emancipation Day, the recent global response to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade have awakened many people to the fact that Emancipation was just an early step in the fight toward true equality.

Marcel Stewart, project lead and Outreach Coordinator for Suitcase in Point explains, “Ancestral healing, generational trauma, intersectionality, defunding the police, all while celebrating the complicated, nuanced beauty of Blackness is what Freedom is about. It’s a community conversation about emancipation, and the human right to be free. And in the words of Angela Davis, ‘Freedom is a constant struggle’.”

Niagara rap artist and activist Yung Dashiki, featured on the mixtape, says he submitted his piece “because with the current events I feel like more than ever we must speak up and start making the changes that we’ve so desperately wanted for the last 400 years. It is also important that we give a voice to those who feel voiceless and have been through the ills of systemic oppression and brutality, so I hope to inspire the people to speak up.”

The audio mixtape will be available for free streaming at 12pm EDT on August 7, 2020 at suitcaseinpoint.com.

Contributing Artists (in order of “appearance”): Philip Davis & Penny J Bowers, Marcel Stewart, Kattawe Henry, Barry Stewart, Diana Myrie, Vicki-Lynn Smith, Tethered the Ghost, Howard J Davis, Alex Ring & Roselyn Keleda-Sedra, Iain Lidstone, Eve Atoms, Jermaine Marshall, Yung Dashiki

Special thanks: Kylie Shatz, Deanna Jones, Andrew Johnson, Dian Marie Bridge

To support Freedom: A Mixtape, please consider a donation through our CanadaHelps campaign page.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Niagara Community Foundation for the support of this project.

Persistent Humanity: A Community Art Event with Magdolene Dykstra

Coinciding with the release Freedom: A Mixtape, Magdolene Dykstra invites members of the Niagara Community to join her on August 8, 2020 in asserting their persistent humanity by making their mark (their fingerprint) on a community painting at the Niagara Artists Centre. By asking people to contribute their fingerprints, Dykstra allows for people of all backgrounds and skill levels to participate in this record of our community. While each of our fingerprints is unique, they are also universal as a mark we all share.

Dykstra says, “In recording our existence with the earth, these paintings explore freedom as the right to exist, persist, and assert our humanity. Using naturally occurring oxides, this community painting draws a connection between us and the earliest artists from prehistoric times. This community finger painting will also embody hope, in continuing to record our co-existence with each other and with the earth.” Suitcase in Point aims to display this special community work in a public space for years to come.

Healthy and safety protocols will be in place, including hand sanitizer stations, sanitizer wipes, and contact tracing. Masks must be worn indoors at all times. In order to maintain physical distancing, only five participants will be allowed into NAC at a time.

Persistent Humanity: A Community Art Event with Magdolene Dykstra
Date: Saturday, August 8, 2020
Time: 12-3pm
Location: Niagara Artists Centre, 354 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines