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ADVANCING PLURALISM
DEVELOPING A SHARED SERVICE
TO SUPPORT
ABORIGINAL AND ETHNO-RACIAL
ARTS ORGANIZATIONS

DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
PURPOSES ONLY

MAY 2014


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TABLE OF CONTENTS


1. Introduction 3


2. Guiding Principles 3


3. Why Project Is Needed Now 4


4. The Projects Framework 5


5. Consultation Focus 7




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1. Introduction:

This document puts forward a framework to discuss the development of a project entitled
Advancing Pluralism Developing A Collaborative Community of Practice to
Support Aboriginal and Ethno-Racial Arts Organizations. This process will explore
the feasibility of the proposed CPAMO project, including ways to establish it and to
attract the funding to sustain it.

CPAMO has been in operation since 2009 and has worked in partnership with a number
of organizations to promote pluralism in the arts and to support Aboriginal and ethno-
racial artists and arts organizations. This has been done through workshops,
collaborations, public forums, research, publication and knowledge-sharing. As part of
CPAMOs growth, a survey of its members was taken in December 2012. This survey
indicated that many CPAMO members had similar strengths and needs.

This survey was followed up with interviews of a number of CPAMO members to explore
in more detail the survey results and to discuss ideas on best ways of moving forward
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.
As a result, CPAMO submitted proposals to implement a mentoring project and now
CPAMO is putting forward this discussion document to gain input into the development
of its next project, i.e., providing a range of shared services to a group of Aboriginal and
ethno-racial artists and arts organizations.

To support and assist in the development of this project, CPAMO has also established
an Advisory Committee. The CPAMO survey and Advisory Committee Terms of
Reference are appended. The process will be guided by the Advisory Committee
providing their experience and knowledge to the project and its implementation.

The project is described below. The purpose of this document is to receive feedback
from CPAMO members and other interested organizations on this project proposal. This
will assist CPAMO in preparing for its next phase of activities.

2. Guiding Principles:
Since its establishment in 2009, CPAMO has been guided by a commitment to equity
and shared learning in the arts. With the involvement of Aboriginal and ethno-racial
artists, CPAMO works to build relationships, capacities, cultural competencies and
understanding of pluralism in the arts to enhance the profile of Aboriginal and ethno-
racial artists, build the interest and capacities of presenters and enable audiences

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Both the CPAMO Project Lead and Consultant met with a total of 15 individuals to discuss a draft strategy
based on the survey and other data, and entitled Collaborations in the Arts A Partnership Between
Aboriginal and Ethno-racial Artists and the Majors (CHECK TITLE). This document is on file with
CPAMO and is available on request.

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across Ontario to access high quality artistic expressions from diverse communities on a
regular basis.
Through its initiatives, CPAMO has identified several challenges that are impacting the
broader goal of equity and pluralism in the arts. CPAMO has convened numerous
workshops, Town Halls, conducted research and issued reports on these matters.
Several of these can be viewed on CPAMOs website (http://cpamo.wordpress.com)
which has documented these sessions, many of which have been conducted with
CPAMO members as workshop resources and performers. CPAMO has also included
art services organizations and major funders in the planning and implementation of
these activities.
In developing the Advancing Pluralism project, CPAMO seeks to continue its work in
this process of capacity building, shared learning and contributing value within the arts
ecology.

3. Why Project Is Needed Now:

In the numerous CPAMO public forums and in the 2012 CPAMO survey, Roundtable
members and others have noted that there are several challenges to developing and
sustaining their arts organizations and promoting their artistic practice. In many
instances, this has become quite the crisis, causing a need for immediate action. Some
of these challenges include:

Canada And Pluralism. Demographic changes, particularly the growth of
Aboriginal and ethno-racial communities, and the influence on/contributions to
globalization, has led to the development of diverse stories and artistic traditions
and the impact of these on Canadian cultural identity;

The Current Funding Environment. The history of arts funding in Canada and the
era beyond historical exclusion of Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists still plays a
significant part of the support provided to artists as is evident in disparities in
artists' incomes and funding. In an environment with little growth in public funding
dollars for the arts, there is an almost exponential growth in applications for
funding from Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists which exacerbates this challenge;

The 'Shared Platform' Conversation and Its Relevance to the Arts. There is a
dialogue now being promoted following the release of the Shared Platform
report by Jane Marsland for the Metcalf Foundation and the growth of this
dialogue amongst foundations (e.g., Laidlaw, Metcalf, Trillium) and arts groups
(e.g., SKETCH)

The Growth of Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists. There is a seemingly

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exponential increase in Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists and arts organizations
and the disciplines they are active in;

Challenges Faced By Artists And Presenters. There are challenges articulated in
various reports and forums examining how artists and presenters are making
efforts to address demographic changes and developing an understanding of
diverse artistic expressions. This is also evident in dialogue on community
engagement and in efforts to attract new audiences to the diverse artistic
expressions of Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists;

Individually and cumulatively, these and other factors have significant influence on
Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists and arts organizations. In an effort to reduce these
factors, this CPAMO project calls for increasing collaborative activities between
interested Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists and arts organizations. It is anticipated that
such collaboration may reduce their costs in several ways, increase access to diverse
communities and audiences, and establish a range of shared resources, e.g., volunteers,
marketing and promotional activities,

4. The Projects Framework:

There are several examples of collaborations in the arts that have had a number of arts
organizations work together for a common cause in which their own visions and creative
outputs benefit, e.g., they receive higher attendance at their events and share outreach
and communications with other artists and arts organizations, while at the same time they
support the work of other artists and arts organizations.

To address this, there are several possible aspects to this that will involve selected arts
organizations and CPAMO Roundtable members in:

a) working together to share successful strategies and to implement collaborative
approaches to developing and promoting their work; and
b) sharing with presenters to enhance mutual understanding, community
engagement, curatorial competence and resource sharing.

In terms of (a), the limited resources available from arts funders requires new ways of
developing and promoting artistic creation and performance. Given the disparities in
funding and how they impact on Aboriginal and racialized artists and arts organizations, it
may be useful forsome interested individuals and organizations to engage in developing
collaborative approaches to supporting their individual and collective efforts. This might
include:

i. resource sharing to promote the value and importance of the collective interest
of participating arts organizations;

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ii. developing an annual calendar and promotional materials involving
participating artists;
iii. coordinating volunteers to assist participating organizations as needed, e.g.,
for front of house and other activities;
iv. sharing audience data bases in order to develop and produce shared
marketing and promotional materials;
v. sharing venues for performance purposes to enable participants to stage work
for longer periods of time, enhance access to diverse audiences and reduce
costs for rental and promotional/marketing activities;
vi. assessing ways to provide space to CPAMO Roundtable members who need
such for rehearsals and workshops.


There may be other ideas that come forward through this consultation. This project will
engage project participants in peer-to-peer information sharing and brainstorming on
approaches to collaborative activities.

In addition, the project will continue to enhance relationships with presenters by
convening two sessions per year to assist project participants in creating an effective
sponsorship package to enhance the organizations pitch.

Both of these sessions will include:

(i) Project Participants and CPAMO Roundtable members. Over the past
years, CPAMO Roundtable members such as REELAsian Film Festival,
Manifesto, KasheDance, FuGen Asian Theatre, Sampradaya Dance
Creations, IMAGINATIVE Film Festival, Red Sky Performance, South Asian
Visual Arts Collective, Why Not Theatre and others have made successful
ptiches to Luminato, Richmond Hill Theatre, University of Toronto
Scarborough, Hart House, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Rose Theatre
(Brampton) and other venues. Such a session would pair the aforementioned
CPAMO members with the major organization(s) they have worked with.

(ii) Engaging Presenters. CPAMO has worked successfully with several
presenters who are interested in supporting the CPAMO Roundtable
members. Some of these presenters include: Oakville Theatre, Markham
Theatre, Ontario Contact, Prologue to the Performing Arts, CanDance
Network. This session will be delivered by presenters who would provide
insight into their decision-making processes and curatorial perspectives.

Based on the feedback received through focus groups, a survey of and interviews with a
random sampling of CPAMO Roundtable members, a project proposal will be developed
to address:

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The 'Advancing Pluralism' Program Theme Areas. This will be done to
articulate the elements of the projects service offerings, their relevance to
Aboriginal and ethno-racial arts organizations and the viability of the
development and roll-out of such services;

Shared Platforms and Collaborative/Co-op Models. This will address current
models of shared services and the feasibility of these models to support the
proposed 'Advancing Pluralism' program. This area will also assess the
appropriate organizational structure needed to support this Program e.g., arts
incubator, collaborative/co-op model or 'Shared Platform' and how this dovetails
with current models promoting pluralism in the arts;

Eligibility Criteria And Selection Process. This will assess the criteria for entry
into the 'Advancing Pluralism' program and the process for selecting Aboriginal
and ethno-racial arts organizations to participate in this program;

Efforts to Promote Pluralism in the Arts. This will review what is taking place in
the arts ecology to support pluralism in the arts. For example, arts councils, e.g.,
the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts
as well as the Canadian Association of Public Arts Funders, have been actively
supporting and exploring mechanisms to support pluralism in the arts. Parallel to
this, arts organizations have been actively engaged in this. For example, CPAMO
has established several public programs, i.e., Town Halls, building relationships
between artists and presenters, conducting research and sharing knowledge,
and supporting public engagement activities to promote pluralism in the arts. As
well, other arts organizations have been involved in such endeavours, including
the Neighbourhood Arts Network, Vancouver International Dance Festival,
Canada Dance Assembly, Prismatic Theatre Festival, IMPACT Festival,
FlatoMarkham Theatre and others.

Resources (Human And Financial) Needed. This will review the 'Advancing
Pluralism' project and the funding, human and technological resources needed
to support it;

Funding Sources And Implementation Options. This will look at the sources of
funding to support the 'Advancing Pluralism' program, the process required to
receive the funding needed and the methods of accountability for funds received.


5. Consultation Questions:

This consultation document offers several shared service possibilities to support
CPAMO Roundtable members and other interested Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists

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and arts organizations. While these ideas have been suggested in several CPAMO
forums and in the CPAMO 2012 survey, they have not been the subject of an open
forum; nor has there been any indication of artists and arts organizations that might
participate in such a platform.

The seven issues noted immediately above are the basis for the consultation with
CPAMO Roundtable members and others who are interested. The consultation will take
place through a series of focus groups, a survey of and interviews with CPAMO
Roundtable members.

The process and timelines to move forward on this consultation will be:

Convening 3 focus groups in May;
Conducting a survey of CPAMO Roundtable members in May;
Interviewing a random sampling of CPAMO Roundtable members in May and
June;
Assessing feedback from these activities in June and July;
Reporting to the Advisory Committee in August;
Convening final consultations in September
Preparing grant applications to the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Canada
Council for the Arts in October.

The focus for the surveys, focus groups and interviews will assess the merits of CPAMO
establishing a shared platform to:

i. Share resources to promote the value and importance of the collective interest
of participating arts organizations;

ii. Develop an annual calendar and promotional materials involving participating
artists;

iii. Coordinate volunteers to assist participating organizations as needed, e.g., for
front of house and other activities;

iv. Share audience data bases in order to develop and produce shared marketing
and promotional materials;

v. Share venues for performance purposes to enable participants to stage work
for longer periods of time, enhance access to diverse audiences and reduce
costs for rental and promotional/marketing activities;

vi. Assess ways to provide space to CPAMO Roundtable members who need
such for rehearsals and workshops.


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vii. Enhance relationships with presenters through pitch sessions and other
knowledge-sharing activities.

Those engaged in the consultation process will be asked to comment on the following
concerns for each area:

1. Does this service(s) meet your needs? If so, how would it/they help?

2. Are you willing to work with other artists and arts organizations to share
resources and services? If so, what would you like to receive from such a shared
platform? What would you be willing to contribute to such a shared platform?

3. Are there other services that you think should be considered for inclusion in such
a shared platform?

4. Should there be an application process for artists and arts organizations to
indicate their interest and commitment to joining in such a program? If so, what
should the criteria be for this?