Re-Imagining Creative Futures: Building Liberatory Arts Spaces 

Facilitated by Carmel Farahbakhsh 

Each session will be unique please feel free to attend one or all three sessions. These sessions will be held virtually over Zoom and are free to attend. All are welcome.

Session 1:   June 13, 2022 at 1:00 – 2:30pm
Register for Session 1:

Foundations to Creative Liberation: This session will focus on building foundations in anti-oppressive and justice-based work that apply directly to the creative community. We will engage with common vocabulary, explore key elements of what sustainable and intersectional change-making can look like, and discuss the importance of building accessible spaces/ entry points within the sector.

Session 2:   July 13, 2022 at 1:00 – 2:30pm
Register for Session 2:

Reimagining an Equitable Artistic Sector: This session will focus on disrupting tokenism and creating spaces of mutuality, trust, and care within arts spaces/organizations. This space will discuss the radical possibilities of cross-sectoral collaboration and tangible ways to de-silo organizational practices with the hopes of offering resources, opportunities, and support to more creatives/ artists/ makers. 

Session 3:   August 10, 2022 at 1:00 – 2:30pm
Register for Session 3:

Sustainable Creative Change-Making: This session will offer examples of how to integrate this learning into personal and professional practices. We will discuss ways to disrupt genre/aesthetic hierarchies within the sector and explore common community dynamics that can be a detriment to offering safer and engaging spaces for all. We will explore the importance of representative organizational procedure, policy, and guidelines and community standards of care and the liberative potential of re-imagination.  

Re-Imagining Creative Futures: Building Liberatory Arts Spaces is a three-part workshop series and discussion space that discusses anti-oppression through storytelling, peer-based learning, and personal reflection. During this digital space, participants will explore approaches to anti-racist curation, responsible and curious storytelling, organizationally care-based artistic practices rooted in disability justice frameworks, address ways to disrupt genre and aesthetic hierarchies within cultural industries, and discuss sustainable methods to intentional cross-practice collaboration. These themes will be grounded in disrupting tokenism in the arts sector, moving beyond defensiveness and fear in creative work, imagination, and accessibility. The aim is that participants will feel supported and motivated to engage in systems change work within the arts as well as more confident in continuing anti-oppressive conversations in their work personally and professionally. 

 Carmel Farahbakhsh (they/them) is a community educator, arts maker, and youth worker. They have collaborated on the Khyber Centre for the Arts board for four years, and are enjoying their new position as co-director of local music festival EVERYSEEKER. They recently transitioned from a five-year term coordinating South House Sexual and Gender Resource Centre to working as the Executive Director at the Youth Project, seeing a direct link between this community work and access to creative spaces and the arts community. As the Executive Director of the Youth Project, Carmel holds a youth-centric approach to organizational movement and support. Carmel builds their vision from their community education background and aims to apply an anti-racist and trauma-informed framework to their work. They also collaborate and organize with local initiatives, artist-run-centres, and community partners with an aim to create wider 2SQTBIPOC community and support systems within the HRM.