Category Archives: workshops

ARTbrain – a new project

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Now that this has been formally announced, we can share some great news!  Our new ARTbrain project combines a few ideas that Liz Etmanski, Susan Powell and I have been talking about for a while.  We were grateful to receive some funding from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to explore these ideas over the next eight months.  Our proposal read,

Access to fine arts and humanities education has been almost impossible for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and this project will involve them in thinking critically about how art works, making art, works from art history and contemporary local artists, with the goal of becoming visually literate, critical thinkers more likely to be self-determining and engage in community leadership.

You can find out more about the British Columbia provincial government Community Resilience project here and about other projects that were funded, here.

We will be working with a small group of people with disabilities who will come together to learn about art, art history, leadership, critical thinking and how our brains work!  We are still in the process of deciding who will be in the group and how we will decide, and when the group will meet.  One of our main interests is in how arts accessibility works for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and autism.   Interested?  Here’s a video about a painting you could check out while we get more organized – Caravaggio’s Narcissus.   

Check here for updates!

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia. BC_TAC_H_RGB_pos-1024x481

And,

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We continue to look for more funding and would be happy to chat if you’d like to be involved in that way 🙂

Email Aaron at imagineacircle@gmail.com

 

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PATH experiments…

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The idea of a “pocket PATH” – a little pamphlet to remind one of the seven steps in a PATH – came from one of our first teachers, Joanne Proctor.  When, years later, the one she’d made was tattered and had been copied so many times it was hard to read it, I decided to make a new “zine” version.

Over the last 23 or so years I’ve done at least hundreds if not thousands of PATHs…  sometimes I think oh it couldn’t be that many but then I remember times when I did a few PATHs a day for a few days and think, well, maybe…

And, still, there’s always something to learn.  In one of the small community based research projects we are working on, thanks to a grant from the Taos Institute, we are following social constructionist research principles – we are working in “future forming” ways with a small church congregation.  We’ve had a great community dialogue and pinned down some themes to follow, and one of the things that has come up is the need for some strategic planning.   In many research methods one would wait until the dust had settled and that slice of reality had been pinned down like a butterfly in a frame before going on.  It wouldn’t really be the job of a researcher to be “helpful”.  The need for a strategic plan might go into the recommendations section…  and one would wish them luck.

But here we are, in relationship, ready to go, so when the idea came up, we offered several strategic planning models that we might work on together.  Liz and Barb, familiar with PATH as a format used for and with people with disabilities for about four decades, thought it would be a great method; the church agreed.  That Barb and Liz can see that the method, almost always used for individuals, can also work for groups, projects and strategic planning, is evidence of their active and thoughtful participation as co-facilitators.   PATH is a great tool – it can be directed towards lives, networks, projects big and small, and can involve almost unlimited numbers of people if that is planned for.  It was developed and continues to evolve with the folks from Inclusion Press.

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Me, Nova and Liz working on some planning.  A thing that was cool about this was that Liz decided to facilitate, rather than do the graphic recording.  And she was amazing and created such a safe space for dreaming and went directions that were really inspiring.

However, no one in the congregation knows about PATH.  There was a time when I liked the mystery and the way a group discovered the process of what we were doing – I liked mapping it out in fine pencil lines and the tension of the participants as the diagram of the planning, drawn with markers in images, formed a circle, and then an arrow, moving from “now” to a positive and possible future.  It was like a performance!  Tomorrow, however, we need people to quickly understand our method and walk with us as they lead us, moving into planning based on whatever their dream is as a group.

So we decided to distribute a little pamphlet about PATH which I’ve been using in trainings.  You can find a copy of it here, at the bottom of the page, or here, with the link to my chapter from the anthology, Drawn Together Through Visual Practice, edited by Brandy Agerbeck, Kelvy Bird, Sam Bradd and Jennifer Shepherd.  We’ve never tried this before but, at best, it will give people a way to stay on top of where we are in the process.

We will see how it goes!

We’re also getting ready to host another PATH training workshop.  Check here for dates, costs and place.  It’s looking like a really interesting group of people so far!  Come and be part of it.

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Collaging in the gifts… ka-pow!

Every once in a while someone shows up to a workshop with something gorgeous and I love figuring out how we might incorporate it into our work…  In this case, Matteo, age 8, sent this beautiful drawing of a clone* to help alleviate our fears of drawing in our person centred planning as it might apply to employment workshop.  Oh if we could only all of us draw clones this good!  I really liked how it worked for our “flow of the day” poster.

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Thanks Matteo!  Your drawing made our day!

*this entry altered to correct certain important details.  It’s a clone, not a storm trooper.  Asking a geeky friend what the difference was created the conditions for a half hour lecture on the difference and how it applies to the chronology of the Empire.  Ahem.  Sorry.

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