Our two-year Reconciliation Through Theatre project culminated with Songide’ewin in August 2020 drawing on the stories gifted to us by over 70 Indigenous youth!! With the ongoing pandemic it was postponed from May and adapted for safe delivery. You can still find details here! However, we aren’t finished yet. We are excited to have gone back to the source material and with youth consultation created a performance perfect for schools. Learn more about our current virtual school tour Seven Visions.
This project was guided by our Indigenous Advisory Committee. It involved seven organizations working with Sarasvàti Productions to offer a creative and safe space for youth. The goal was to use an artistic lens for Winnipeg’s Indigenous youth to examine how they interact with the world around them and how the world in turn interacts with them. This collaboration will brought together youth and Elders, various artists and a broad audience over two years.
The first phase of the Consultation Circles & Workshop Series, were a success! In these Consultation Circles the Sarasvàti team, the youth, and the organizations’ employees developed a framework for arts-based workshops. The goal of the Consultation Circles was to get input from the staff and youth on how to structure and set-up the workshop sessions including what type of art can be used to give life to their stories.
As a report-back on the consultations, Sarasvàti Productions hosted a Project Launch in early May 2019. The Sarasvàti team members including Marsha Knight – Indigenous Coordinator, Jaime Black – Resident Artist and Nova Courchene – Project Coordinator revealed what the youth shared. The event also included a reading of Jo MacDonald’s OUR HOME & native land. The conversations circles with the public, schools and organizations were extremely inspiring and informative. Please see graphic below for audience responses.
Ultimately, this was just the starting point for the project. From June to November 2019, workshops occurred at partner organizations. Youth shared their experiences in different art forms. Then in August 2020 a full public performance of the resulting work took place at Whittier Park and via livestream. As a true community collaboration, the final script came directly from the youth. The results and lessons learned from the project will also have a long-term impact with changes to Sarasvàti’s practices moving forward.
For more information on the project or how to get involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are grateful to the Winnipeg Foundation for their two-year support of this initiative. As well as the following funders and sponsors: