Visioning an Indigenous-Led Artist-Run Centre in the Atlantic
Atlantis is a networked organization that is hosted in the Atlantic regions of the unceded, unsurrendered lands of the Beothuk, Mi’kmaw, and Wolastoqiyik peoples, as well as the Inuit, the Innu, the Southern Inuit of NunatuKavut.
In an effort to continue the conversations that began at Flotilla, we gathered a closed group of Indigenous artists and creators to discuss the question “What could an Indigenous-led artist-run centre look like in the Atlantic?” Brandon Hoax coordinated this two-day gathering which was collectively led and facilitated by Raven Davis & Leelee Oluwatoyosi Eko Davis at Art Bar +Projects and Khyber Centre for the Arts. Collectively, Raven Davis & Leelee Oluwatoyosi Eko Davis share significant expertise in facilitation, program design, board governance, policy creation, arts and HR management. They have significant training in community engagement and transformational and Indigenous teaching methodologies, and hold lived experience being both racialized, Black and Indigenous people, who also live on the 2-Spirit/Trans/Queer/Disability identity spectrum.
Over the course of two days, participants engaged in casual and organized discussions, and Indigenous artists from the four Atlantic provinces mapped the current landscape of Indigenous artist-run organizing in the Atlantic. This meeting activated the spirit of Flotilla, to envision, imagine, and mobilize Indigenous futures.
Art Bar +Projects: is on ground level, with heavy cobblestones outside the entrance, and it will be a dry venue for this gathering. There are all-gender washrooms adjacent to Art Bar on the ground level, and although these washrooms can be approached by wheelchair, they are relatively small, and not wheelchair accessible. There are all-gender wheelchair accessible bathrooms inside NSCAD, which can be accessed by elevator on the second floor.
The Khyber: No doors on the Khyber’s premise have buttons to press for automatic entry and all require a turn, push or pull. The main entrance to the Khyber is close to ground level but is 2-steps from the sidewalk on Hollis St. and weather permitting, this door will be propped open. The Granville Mall entrance further down the block on Hollis St. can be used for ground level entry before 6PM Monday-Saturday or outside of those hours if arrangements are made. There are gender-neutral washroom stalls, which include 3 toilets and a urinal located up a set of 10 stairs. There is a more private, ground level all genders wheelchair accessible washroom, which is located down a wide hallway which includes a ramp and requires key access. *Note* Wheelchair accessible bathroom is currently out of order.
Cathy Martin (by written correspondence)
Melissa Peter Paul
Junior Peter Paul (by written correspondence)