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Tilling the Field:

Unearthing Collaborative Practices in the Arts

the Field: Unearthing Collaborative Practices in the Arts Investigating ways to better serve organizations and artists

Investigating ways to better serve organizations and artists through comprehensive systems of understanding collaborative practices.

“There’s little question that as a society we tend to suffer from an overemphasis on the decontextualized present, spending little time on what came before (either as points on a continuum, or in

a more cyclical pattern); a whitewashed (pun intended), Smoothed

- out version of reality that gives short shrift to a multiplicity of

events, voices, and struggles that don’t make the hierarchical “cut” and deliberately conceals from the rest of us those in a position to decide “who’ in / who’s out”. There’s also no question that such amnesia - convenient, deliberate or unconscious - does us no favours, particularly given how high the stakes are today - in North America and elsewhere. We need to become more efficient at moving forward while looking back - blinkers off, minds open and privilege checked.”

- Erika Shaker (Editorial, Our Schools / Our Selves, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, V.26 N.1 (#125), Fall 2016.

Graphic design by Victoria Glizer

Contents: Forword by charles c. smith P. 1 Introduction by Kevin A. Ormsby P. 3


Forword by charles c. smith



Introduction by Kevin A. Ormsby



It’s Never the Collaboration: Unearth the Collaborative Practice by Kevin A. Ormsby



Section I: Methodology of Research



Section II: Survey / Interview Question and Summations



Section III: Collective Learning / Sharing Workshops For Collaborative Support



Section IV: Addressing Collaborative Information, Disclosure | Permission



Section V: Annotated Bibliography



Section VI: Workshops on Collaborative Practices 2015-16



Section VII: CPAMO Mandate & History



Prepared by: Kevin A. Ormsby with Venessa Harris

We would like to thank our funders, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, for their support.

We would like to thank our funders, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario
We would like to thank our funders, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario


Tilling the Field: Unearthing Collaborative Practices in the Arts is the latest in CPAMO research on arts practices that supports and enables pluralistic practices to emerge and be sustained. Researched and written by CPAMO Program Manager, Kevin A. Ormsby, with research assistance by Venessa Harris, this report dives into territory noted by arts advocate and think- er Jane Marsland as needing more understanding and articulation (See

This is what Kevin A. Ormsby has done in these pages. In sections that describe the values and principles of collaborative practices in the arts to support pluralism, this report addresses such critically important issues as transparency, clarity in roles/responsibilities, awareness in communi- cations, and equitable sharing of resources. Building on CPAMO’s values since its establishment, this report furthers efforts to promote a transfor- mation in arts practices, providing rationale and examples on why collab- orative arts practices are so important in our rapidly shifting arts ecology.

In doing so, this report turns its attention to practitioners in the field first and foremost and implies quite assertively that we – artists, arts organi- zations, presenters (which includes here theatres, publishers, galleries) – need to connect more directly with each other and form trusting and nurturing relationships that support emerging and established arts practices and artists which have, in the past, been marginal and are now forming some of the most exciting contributions to the Canadian arts ecology.

The report is also a signal to funding bodies and arts policies regarding the need to transform systems of financial and human resource support to arts practices and to engage/support artists and arts organizations that seek a more inclusive and grass-roots and ground-up network to both identify and bring forward arts practices that are so important to the arts today.


In reviewing areas where collaboration can and does work, this report addresses organizational, administrative and artistic possibilities. It provides ideas on methods, processes and engagement activities to develop and sustain collaborative practices. It touches on collaborative content collection, model prototyping, design and negotiation, usage, refinement and assessment. It points to such integral matters as decision-making, implementation and documentation. It provides an annotated bibliography with evidence-based practices and theoretical approaches.

In providing such a review, this report follows in the tradition of practice CPAMO has set from the start of its existence – working with others to share, learn and grow together. As such, the report is informed by interviews and surveys of CPAMO’s associates and other artists and arts organizers interested and/or engaged in collaborative practices. It builds from the field and extends into other forms of research to affirm and support what is taking place in some areas in order to point out the viability, importance and timeliness of collaborative artistic practices and how they are beginning to take root in the arts, particularly on efforts to support arts practices that have been historically marginalized.

In conducting this research and releasing this report, CPAMO is hopeful that it will ignite discussions across the arts and engage the arts’ communities in further discussion, debate, policy formulation and changes in funding arts activities. It is certainly one more stone in the foundation CPAMO is building to promote the arts practices of Indigenous and racialized peoples as well as other historically-marginalized artists and their communities, e.g., the deaf, disabled and mad, LGBQT, women and those facing socio-economic barriers. This is something CPAMO is proud of and will continue to do until it is no longer necessary.

charles c. smith Executive Director Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO)



In the changing environment of the arts, how do artists and organizations constantly develop frameworks for adapting to said changes? The subject is interesting in many contexts because many organizations structurally or financially are in varying capacities of development and growth; the potential grey areas we feel offer indicators of potential growth. CPAMO has emerged as an adaptive organization due to the nature of these changes. We have come to understand innately the complexities of the field such as limited resources available to our artist associates many of whom are racialized and Indigenous organizations. There were two aspects that have prompted this research and report.

1. Historical, bureaucratic underfunding and the overall under-representation

of most of our artist associates in the larger provincial and national context

2. The systemic underdevelopment of our artist associates organizational


This report leads the charge into this multi-faceted topic of artistic and organizational collaborative practice by locating observations in arts practices and administration at the centre of this report. With a title that reinforces not only experience but also the larger contexts of how col- laborative practices has and can influence those involved, “It’s Never the Collaboration: Unearth A Collaborative Practice”is a call to look deeper into the aspects of collaborations that can increase our collective potential. The development of collaborative practices allow for the continuing desta- bilization of the contexts of historical bureaucratic underfunding, underrep- resentation and systemic underdevelopment faced primarily by indigenous and racializedartists and organizations.

Much of CPAMO’s work and research to counteract these systemic imbalances occur through polling of our artist associates and allies with who we work.


Being conscious of how our members incorporates these intrinsic relationships to history and tradition into their artistic aesthetics, we have come to the realization that collaborative practices have been a subject of concern since our first workshop on the subject in January 2010. Then a mere session on the subject of how we can effectively worked collaboratively with our associates, this report broadens into new and rewarding territory.

Navigating this new territory, Section I: Methodology of Research categorizes the steps taken to ascertain the information presented in this report but also provides the first point of reference around how the information was gathered and also credits those who contributed to what was also a collab- orative venture for CPAMO. Working independently and together the in- formation was gathered, shared and expounded upon to reflect what you see here. We have been cognizant to the conversation on how artists and organizations articulate impact in the arts and the information provides both a quantitative and qualitative base for this report.

While not a new subject matter for us, we feel the focus on Collaborations, Equity / Pluralism and Inclusion over the past couple of years has now become a priority for funding bodies as the changes in the Arts are now having a direct impact on many artists and arts organizations. Most recently we have sought to also investigate what could be a collaborative model for CPAMO. Led by Jane Marsland, “THINKING COLLABORATIVELY – ACTING COLLECTIVELY: Creating and Operating a Collaborative Learning Community for Aboriginal and Racialized Artists in Ontario” came out of focus groups and extensive series of research, interviews which sought to question our artist associates, CPAMO’s Board / Advisory Committee and other practitioners in the arts; their thoughts and opinions on what a possible collaborative framework could look like.

This model of interview and response compilation has since our incep- tion been the way we historically engage with our artist associates. Using the information gathered, our programs are created in response to allow CPAMO’s artist associates to benefit where it matters - in the work they


execute. For this report, information was gathered through survey and interviews. We believe that beyond the survey model we wanted to remain present with our associates.

Technology should be a factor in effective communication but not the only way arts organizations communicate as face to face, meetings, telephone conversations help to nurture more enhanced inter-personal relationships.

Section II: Survey / Interview Questions and Summations offers the reader access to the questions and responses of contributors to the information in this research rooted in engagement with persons from the Arts community who also have wide resources and experience in the field. Localizing some of these experiences and stories was the goal.

Section III: Collective Learning and Sharing Workshops for Collaborative Support provides some of the shared learning that occurred from the work- shops and addressed some of the information which were unearthed in the Focus Group. Our work has always been in response to other initiatives and the cross-sectoral learning achieved from the field. The use of information has also been of concern and even more so in a collaborative practice.

Section IV: Addressing Collaborative Information, Disclosure | Permission offers artistic associates a draft of a form detailing many considerations on arriving at collaborative agreement in giving permission and disclosing information. In many cases collaborations falter on effective communications strategies on access, use and releasing of information and communication.

This report provids another set of important information about organizational collaborative willingness and potential, indicating a need for the workshops which we facilitated over the Fall / Winter of 2015-16. This report serves as a 6 month long research into approaches to collaborative practices through interviews, surveys and a document review.


The information contained within was coordinated, edited and also approached in the true sense of collaboration with the other artist associates of the CPAMO team each contributing on the technological, administrative and editorial capacities of this report.Broadening the capacities for engage- ment and our reader’s own research the Annotated Bibliography in Section V provides a basis to other information, documents and resources relevant to this report and collaborative practices.

Collaboration is nothing new…it’s been around for many years, and among indigeneity; a part of social existence in villages, communities and historic societies. As we progress into the new models of funding, approaches to artistic practices and organizational operation collaborations become something worthy of documenting the ways, approaches and methodol- ogies that are beneficial to more than just those who have benefited from and are a part of historical funding infrastructures but also those that have collaborated, survived in practice and offered the willingness to share in approaches indicative of the “Critical Organic Catalysts” of Cornel West’s envisaged future; practice that shapes possibilities.

Kevin A. Ormsby | Program Manager Venessa Harris | Research Assistant Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO)


It’s Never the Collaboration: Unearth the Collaborative Practice

Facilitating the research for this report to further CPAMO’s work on under- standing collaborative practice has proved rather rewarding. Time was spent reading and collecting information about collaboration in many capacities across the world and specifically in Ontario. The years worked in the Arts in Canada and the United States has offered one major observation which is a place for repetition in many areas; collaboration can help to debunk, ground as well as provide spaces for engagement with and around substantive issues that can liberate traditional models of Arts production, creation, engagement and impact. This observation and assertion will be framed through a series of questions in an attempt to animate collaborative concepts leading to what is the major premise; it’s not the collaboration that matters but the ways in which every collaboration is enlivened into a collaborative practice.

not the collaboration that matters but the ways in which every collaboration is enlivened into a


Are you an artist? Are you an arts administrator? In what ways do you negotiate your interaction in your career? How many on your Board interact with the artistic practice for which they also are in positions to support? How many in your organization are artists or engage in the arts? These particular prompts are meant to illicit thoughts about where do collaborations start and end. It beacons for you the reader to consider also, who engages, who instigates collaborative practice in the arts? Whether in any level of the arts in Ontario or indeed Canada, you are part of collaboration. If your administrators are not locating their experiences in the offices of arts organizations then collaborations are losing out on their full potential. The same can be said for artists who do not see the correlation to organizations or the art they are creating. It is indeed the negotiation of these spaces and places that are also a part of collaboration. IT’S REALLY ALL COLLABORATION.

“The issues we face in our combined roles as artists, researchers and leaders within institutions compel us to locate our collabo- rative practice centrally… we recognize that core values must be reconsidered in this new world of rapid idea exchange. The social transformations of modernity have resulted in a world that in- habits new and different audiences and economies. As an educa- tion sector we have yet to assert clearly the value of our current role and the potential of our institutions”

- Unpacking a collaborative practice: merging art, research and teaching, Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen Presentation, 4th ELIA Teachers’ Academy Sofia, Bulgaria, 1-4 July 2009)

Practitioners of the arts become the main source of enacting the concept of collaborative practices, instigating, engaging and galvanizing change for a field in need of progressive enhancements on ideas of innovation and creativity. Collaboration in many scenarios is about access to information, resources and effective assessments and opportunity. It’s this opportunity that is the second focus of this report seeking to address as well as develop


the resources required for effective practices of collaboration. This in the case of CPAMO’s associates, access to the necessary support structures for continual development as artists and arts organization in an equity and Indigenous/racialized responsive framework becomes the currency in a contemporary period because of the historical relationship to hegemonic structures of Canadian arts practice linked to funding, value and colonial biases. It has to be mentioned first and foremost because CPAMO as an equity seeking organization focusing on transformation , advocacy and equity for all artists/arts organizations is cognizant of the disparities for which collab- orative practices in many areas could potentially change.

“ Collaboration is not a new phenomenon…The idea of sharing authorship and of the participation of communities in the creative process has been for long introduced, too, the extensive devel- opment of communication technology throughout the last two decades, opened new dimensions for collaborative work. Civil rights movements, social problems and political context has also challenged artists to express themselves in new ways. What possibil- ities can collaborative work offer for extending individual creativity, what kind of new energies arises when working together? What could be the strengths and the weaknesses of such methods? In which ways can a group organize itself, how can a certain autonomy be created as a basis for critique and resistance? How can a micro-society formed this way occupy alternative spaces of creation and action? What are the motivations behind forming a collective at different parts of the world – like in Central Europe or in the United States – and what are the answers to the challenges by various economic and institutional models possibly provided this way? Does the appearance and the spread of the Internet offer new models of collaboration, how can the experience gained by using the Internet be incorporated into the artistic creation?”

- On Collaboration, Trafó Gallery, House of Contemporary Arts Budapest 23 March – 01 April 2006


The questions raised above situate not only some of the criteria required for thinking collaboratively but also mentions what now appears to be an important focus of the Canada Council for the Arts around the use of tech- nology and the digital world in the arts. Coincidence? Technology has pro- gressively facilitated easier access within and across borders fostering creative relationships that have proved fruitful for many. Such is the nature of most collaborations - they have become very dependent on technology, knowledge based skills and facilitation.However, there are still more com- plexities in how the nature of collaborations are initiated, executed and replicated. These instances are non-specific. It requires what Cecily O’Neill calls “structure and spontaneity”, she affirms that “both are inextricably linked and they need to be firmly understood if satisfying Arts experience are to be realized. Structure refers to the embedded elements that com- prise the artful selection of various strategies and activities that explore a re- lationship. Spontaneity requires a kind of freedom that you can or may need to step off the plan and devise work in process. Such requires the ability to collaborate and to read what sense participants are making of the structure.” 1

If one sees collaboration as a relationship, then it’s fair to assert that there are moments when relationships can be tenuous. Communication is an integral ingredient in solidifying a relationship. Consequently, spon- taneity arises as one aims to find a solution to a structure that may not or have not previously worked. Relationships take work and this work constitutes a practice. Previously alluded, any practice requires knowledge of a structure but, also, one needs the acknowledgement that the structure envisioned may need to be reconsidered during the process or may need to change. It is in the practice where knowledge is gained. This knowledge-based transference is the aspect of collaboration for which this report wishes to plant a seed, with hopeful germination into “collaborative practices.”It is CPAMO’s aspiration to be rather specific in defining practice not in the creative realm but the psycho-physiological where the “act

1. Structure and Spontaneity: The Process Drama of Cecily O’Neill, ed. Phillip Taylor,

Trentham Book, London, 2006 .


of doing” stresses the repetition of rewarding actions. This repetition and the learning that comes from it is where intrinsic learning in working collaboratively is developed. During the research process, it became apparent that documentation of collaborative practice could provide the longevity and substantial influence in the continuation/reproduction of successful collaborations in the future. The context of how we arrived at collaboration, how we negotiate our way through and how we assess the success of collaborative ventures sometimes gets lost in the end product. This product however, sometimes mostly in the realm of creative practices is only a part of the plethora of areas in which collaborations can occur.

The spaces in which collaboration occurs and the documentation of this process are where the curiosity lies in our reference to a “collaborative practice”. It’s important to affirm what’s already been mentioned. THIS IS NOTHING NEW but strategically may now be a particular focus for some Arts organizations, funders and collaborators but it’s been populating gradually across the Canadian milieu. However, what may not have happened prior was the documentation of the processes of collaboration for which we consequently, seek to employ as the practice of collaboration. Circuit-Est 2 is one such example, boasting over 25 years of organizations working collaboratively for the betterment of all the organizations involved and in the process becoming a cultural hub in Montreal for it’s efforts. What is in this collaborative practice that constitutes a successful functioning of organizations and artists?

The directive of this research is simple in that it seeks unearthing and documenting these particular practices for the longevity in a field affected by change in organizations and developmental support for artists and arts organizations. Coincidentally, far too often we look outside of the country and province for evidence-based practices that resonate in the organizations for which we work. A large scale mapping across Canada and the province may be needed in collaborative practices, Dr. Michelle Rozen asserts that,



“four ways in which you can create an environment centered on the open, two-way communication that builds cohesion includes:

1. Transparency: Practice open, transparent communication. It’s a good

idea to share information throughout your organization, as it creates an environment of trust and a feeling of being in it together.

2. Collaboration: Many failures stem from lack of collaboration and poor

communication. This secretive, “us versus them” mentality divides people

and can lead to friction. Leaders should identify this as soon as possible, and immediately put into place practices that strengthen relationships forging

a strong culture of open feedback and communication. Bringing people

together in this way really does work. Always look for ways to build

connections between people.

3. Clarity regarding roles and rules: Those who have clear roles, respon-

sibilities, and deadlines are more likely to be held accountable—and they’re more likely to hold themselves accountable. In any situation where rules and roles are not completely clear, make sure everything is spelled out.


Diversity awareness in all communications: Cross-cultural communication


imperative for companies that have a diverse (workforce) it’s important

for everyone to understand the factors that play a part in an effective, diverse

workforce. Cross-cultural communication is strategically important for any company with a diverse workforce or a business plan that entails global operations. This type of communication involves an understanding of how people from different cultures speak or communicate and how they perceive the world around them.” 3

Though mentioned for businesses, the framework around the importance of working collaboratively offers the structure and spontaneity mentioned

3. How to Communicate a Company Culture of Communication, Huffington Post, July 18th, 2016


by Cecily O’Neil earlier. Should collaborations between arts organizations and artists be considered and approached as a business? The question is raised here as a viable consideration if the basic tenants for business should be a focal point in the arts. What disservice if any are we doing to the truest potential of our work if the business of the arts and the business involved in a collaborative practice are not considered equal?

Structure is important in collaboration because it sets up an initial working module that has the potential of aligning common interests, perceived goals and overall aspirations. In working collaboratively “its important to acknowledge that many may not innately understand the “interface of collaboration.” 4 In Canada, organizations have been working collaboratively for many years. This research couldn’t have begun to address the plethora of those collaborations but attempts to locate the emergence, needs and choices that allows for artists and organizations to enter a collaboration. An example exists in this very organization and rightfully so should be noted.

As a young organization at the time, CPAMO’s first foray on the subject matter was around Collaborations and Resource-Sharing: Models for the Future for Small Companies in the Performing Art, a roundtable geared at assessing the ways in which artists and organizations would enter into the aforementioned subject matter. Over a three-year process working with artists in Toronto, the GTA and Ontario with successful engagements with presenters and service organizations like IMPACT in Kitchener-Waterloo, Flato Markham Theatre in the GTA and MASC in Ottawa, CPAMO realized that seemingly non-existent resources could be harnessed through assessing the needs and resources of its associate’s collective support.

CPAMO was at the forefront of the realization of the impact of the impending demographic changes in the arts and questioned how Indigenous and

organizations were adjusting/responding to said

changes and sought to collaborate on ways to alleviate these challenges. In

racialized artists and

4. Creating Collaborative Business Processes, Cisco White Papers, 2010


fact, the collaboration then emerged out of possible concerns around sus- tainability and opportunities for continual support. As mentioned by Jane Marsland in her report on the focus groups she conducted for CPAMO in 2015 “funding challenges, small companies and administration, promotion, and in retrospect, performance; are all necessities for exploring collabo- ration”. 5 Given the work of this research, it’s important to also mention in support of Marsland’s claim, that creating processes for more than one success in working collaboratively should be the goal of all collaborations.

In this report, CPAMO questions how we institute a practice where collabo- ration has a clear entry, implementation, assessment and impact, and how this houses the potential of influencing the nature of the organizations / artists with whom the collaboration happens. Before entering collaboration, one must recognize the need and assess their capacity to take part in collaborations. It is also a great space to raise awareness about developing connections needed in a specific discipline and in extension the Arts community. Be pragmatic about your choices. Look deeper into the organization and details involved in the collaboration. It requires training and follow-up procedures for both sides of an Arts organization; the artistic and the administrative.

Organizational collaboration must also marry the artistic collaborations. Making sure everyone in the organization is working together as a part of the collaboration. Be particular about how you are already collaborating and also allow yourself to think how micro your collaborations can become; the potential inclusion of everyone you work with can be a major benefit in the overall outcome. Clarity is always needed in the artistic collaboration to figure out how (we) collaborate. Finding, arriving and nurturing the relationship of the collaboration are the truest spirit that can encapsulate collaborations. It will enhance the feeling of abundance and should be also capitalized over the time of first and other collaborative endeavours.

5. Thinking Collaboratively – Acting Collectively: Creating And operating a Collaborative Learning

Community for Aboriginal /Racialized Artists in Ontario”, Jane Marsland, October 2015, CPAMO

6. Collective Impact and the New Generation of Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education: A Nationwide

Scan, Jeffrey R. Henig, Carolyn J. Riehl, Teachers College, Columbia University. March 2016


Collaboration should include community from concept, execution and implementation. In the changing environment of the arts, the aforementioned begs collaborators to think about the areas of their artistic practice. How can one maximize the essence and appreciation of the collaboration across varying levels of engagement? In true “…cross-sector collaborations, no single actor or agency monopolizes the power to set goals, shape agendas, and determine key policies and practices.” 6

Artistically driven collaborations supported by Presenters should start with a discussion and some of the information in Section III of this report will help to facilitate the ways in which artists and arts organizations can broker meaningful and viable ways to formal presentations. Always, create the processes together allowing for multi-layered areas of engagement and interaction in your collaborations. Is your organization familiar with or have worked in community based arts practice? Are you aware of the organizations offering training in this area?

Being forced into a collaborative practice can be problematic. Building and establishing a relationship is best but as mentioned in the work of Cecily O’Neill, collaboration that is spontaneous can be refreshing and can offer many lessons of how spontaneity is dying in the arts. Working collaboratively requires a fundamental commitment to change, where collaborators are cognizant that there’s a necessity for deep listening and learning which in turn stimulates a dismantling of linear thought, re-defining of roles and further clarification of the responsibilities in a collaboration.

Areas of Potential Collaboration




Trusteeship Board Representation Shared use of space Collaborative Fundraising

Marketing Mentoring Administrators Outside the field to field

Co-Directorships Creation, Production Facilitation Shared Training Instruction Execution Residences


Theory Into Practice

This strategy moves collaboration from theoretical approaches into how artists and Arts organizations work with practical goals created and under- stood collaboratively. A process of collaboration and its documentation offers understanding, knowledge transference and should be responsive to the ebb and flow of necessity with the potential for broadening community, deepening creative practice and in turn the field. Collaboration has the potential of enlivening a shared market where artists and arts organizations exist together rather than in silos.

Indeed, we can agree that collaboration in practice can be a transforma- tional process; however when looking at a practice, be mindful of what’s at stake in that relationship and what it’s benefits are when working on large and / or small scale collaborations. Communicate clearly throughout the process. Hierarchical executions in collaborations are problematic as this follows a traditional path where the instigators, benefactors of collaboration are at the top. The alternative should be contemporary collaborative practice where horizontal governance, transparencies and decision-making are integral parts of the collaborative practice where everyone shares, augments, and shape the practice.

Methods + Process + Participation = Collaboration

Collaboration involves exploration into methods, unearthing processes and encouraging participation. Though simply stated, what happens from method to implementing processes to having artists and organizations participating will be the benchmark of successful collaborations. Each step requires clarity in approach, intent and acknowledgement that leading participants do not possess all the knowledge indicative in making the collaboration “a success.” Curiosity should be an integral part of the collaboration.






As a preparation consider the ways in which you may want to enter into collaboration using current resources and potentials. Consider

thoughts from Experts, Stakeholders and others to gather information on

Investigative, collecting information from others, RFP, Idea Creation, Focus groups.





collaboration’s potential.


With the information obtained see how best collaboration can better benefit from a creation of a model of approach, e.g., how will you work, create, share and strategize.

Individual or organizational, what are the processes of artistic creation? Are there examples to follow?


Design /

Together collaboration is designed and the structures of the collabora-

Meetings, documents on process, approaches to creation, verbal or written communication. * See


tion negotiated. This should represent

process that all participants in the initiation of the collaboration can agree on.


workshop model from CPAMO workshop series on creating collab- orative contracts (Oct 2016).


How is the model used by everyone

Announcing collaboration, inform-


the collaboration (artistic / admin-

ing participants, stakeholders. How is the collaboration used in knowl- edge exchange for participants?

istrative)? What support is needed and given to participants?


In the process how do you assess, reshape allowing growth or change as needed. At the end assessing the process can help in the next time you enter a collaborative practice.

What is working? How do we measure success in the process during and at the end? Impact – how do you articulate and critique?


How do you create a structure that assesses the collaboration? In what ways do these assessments help in reporting impact and reach?

How do you gather this informa- tion? Is it as the collaboration progresses or at the end? Survey, Post mortem, meetings.


Questions to always consider:


• Who made the decision? How was it communicated?

• Did you invite others to assist in the decision making

• How many aspects were considered in the process of arriving at the decision?


• In what ways will the collaboration be implemented?

• What are the roles of Collaborators? Are these roles clearly communicated and documented?

• When do you assess efficacy of the implementation? How do you create timelines to implement collaboratively?


• How did we arrive at the process?

• When and in what ways are deliverables required? Is there a critical path for which participants are aware?

• Who executes follow-ups?

We encourage asking even more questions as they are applicable to your needs and feel it’s important to note how various artists and organizations relate to collaboration will be different.


An important aspect of all collaborations should be process-based documen- tation. In this process notes are made, compiled and used to support not just other collaborations but creating an organizational resource. Documentation can be achieved both administratively and creatively into a framework supporting articulation of collaborative impact on an organization and artists. It’s recommended that there is clearly defined communication between the administrative and creative aspects at all points during collaboration and doc- umentation. It’s the development of something bigger than the collaboration,


it’s the start of resources you, your administration and everyone you work with can have access to and can learn from. DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT DOCUMENT!

Best practices come from understanding effective and non-effective processes. Be truthful, honest and critical, the field will depend on it. Thinking about the resources of organizations as documenting best practices, developing documentation frameworks can be a useful toolkit generation. What resources do you have? How can this be shared and documented in collaborations? Comprehensively a resource list of pros and cons when leading into collaboration can really provide faster results of where collaborative support could arise.

Become The Hub

By documenting, you achieve an important potential missing in a visceral and often undocumented practice; you become a source for the access, proliferation and mining of information. Information and indeed having access sparks growth. Housing information that can aide in becoming a resource, sparks innovation and discovery. What you do with this informa- tion and how it’s shared can become artistic and organizational collateral in the age of technological information. As mentioned prior, technology becomes a key conduit in a collaborative practice. Allowing collabora- tions to go across borders in the simplest of ways renders idea sharing with lightening speed potential for making an impact. “Technology is having just as big an impact on external collaboration by eliminating or greatly reducing the significant investments in networks and infrastruc- ture once required to support it. File sharing used to require extensive authentication systems, multiple logins, and high overhead costs for setup, administration, and support, limiting many organization’s ability to access external collaboration.” 7 Technology’s impact provides spaces where sharing, storage, creative transfers can all be achieved online. There is one likely suggestion, SHARE IT!

7. Comcast Business View,


“ You are powerful people, who can shift our culture in ways the government can’t. So I challenge you to do it – I challenge you to embrace the discomfort and I challenge you because I know, you are up to the challenge”

- Jesse Wente, Closing remarks, Canadian Arts Summit 2016


In the process of sharing thought, research and information, it’s the hope that the information here though theoretically based can provide

a rethinking of the processes that could lead to a collaborative practice

beyond mere collaborations but towards the development of replicable structures with potential to revolutionize organizations and the work of artists in general. The notion of understanding working and harnessing collaborative community structures have been mentioned and can go

far beyond the varying communities in which collaborations happen. It boosts potential for other areas in which CPAMO has facilitated work-

shops. It can create allies in the arts, instigate audience development/ engagement, new methodologies of approaching creation and can illicit

in the value of the arts for administrators, creators and participants.

Collaboration is required in art forms that are considered exclusive,

historically and traditionally funded. Being inclusive requires and supports

a better understanding of the milieu in which Canada now creates and

participates in cultural production. Proper time, communication and clear boundaries can provide enrichment, the transference of knowledge, understanding and a more focused practice. Through process analysis, documentation and becoming a hub for strategic change, artists and organizations can leap towards heightened levels of creation, production

8. The Sociology of Culture. New York: Schocken Books, 1982


in the ways Raymond William’s refers to as “cultural production.” 8 A collaborative practice rooted in cultural production develops adminis- tration that creates, engages with and disseminates “cultural capital.” What is the model for the future? How do we move beyond concepts of collaboration to make sure that collaborative practices are a part of this envisaged future?

Collaboration involves knowing the stories that lead us into possibilities.

It involves understanding situational differences and possibilities when

collaborating with others. Admitting previous or lack of knowledge of what can happen in collaboration can benefit the outcome one desires.

It offers a potential to navigate through challenges; allowing for growth

step by step, never losing sight of what is it to you and what you may want

to achieve within and after collaboration. Networking is important as it

allows you to find artists willing to support your collaborative practice in presentation, creation, and administration. Coming together to collab- orate as artists and arts organization is also about creating or adopting


methodology to support your process. Collaboration done incorrectly


one that doesn’t take into consideration the journey nor honour the

reasons why you entered. Meet as persons/organizations with the same interest and get to know each other create to trust and to find varying ways to enter into an agreement.

trust and to find varying ways to enter into an agreement. Building Collaborative Practices workshop with

Building Collaborative Practices workshop with Eric Lariviere 2016.



Collaborations and Resource-Sharing: Models for the Future for Small Companies in the Performing Art, Report (Spring 2016) CPAMO

How to Communicate a Company Culture of Communication, Dr. Michelle

Rozen, Huffington Post, web,



THINKING COLLABORATIVELY – ACTING COLLECTIVELY: Creating and oper- ating a Collaborative Learning Community for Aboriginal and Racialized Artists in Ontario, Jane Marsland, October 2015, CPAMO

Structure and Spontaneity: The Process Drama of Cecily O’Neill, ed. Phillip Taylor, Trentham Book, London, 2006

Creating Collaborative Business Processes, Cisco White Papers, 2010

Beyond Collaborative Model Usage and Development – A Model Lifecycle Approach for Lay User Modeling, Alexander Nolte, Michael Prilla, Infor- mation and Technology Management, Institute for Applied Work Science, Ruhr University of Bochum, 2013

ON COLLABORATION; A series of events and talks on collaborative art practices, Trafó Gallery, Trafó – House of Contemporary Arts Budapest 23 March – 01 April 2006.

Collective Impact and the New Generation of Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education: A Nationwide Scan Jeffrey R. Henig, Carolyn J. Riehl, Teachers College, Columbia University. March2016

The Sociology of Culture, Raymond Williams, New York: Schocken Books,



Section I: Methodology of Research

Articulating the methodology for how we gathered the information we feel is important to highlight as this report also serves as information that CPAMO’s associates and others could use as a tool for their own investigate research and practices. CPAMO is cognizant of the need to share information and how also this information could benefit a field of practice.

Group Research

The researchers independently read and sourced articles and reports online primarily on the nature and context of how collaboration was being considered in business, education and the Arts. Assessing this information in the context of activities in Canada, the researchers sought to annotate articles, and provide a frame for what is the introduction and thought piece It’s Never the Collaboration: Unearth A Collaborative Practice of this report.

Community Forums

1) Canada Dance Assembly | Canada Dance Festival – Pluralism Rountable

CPAMO’s work with the Canada Dance Assembly has matured over a four- year process, which has seen the facilitation, development and implemen- tation of Pluralism for the Organization. They have now adopted pluralism as a central part of the organization’s understanding of serving dancers and organizations across the country. CPAMO’s Executive Director, charles c. smith, and Program Manager, Kevin A. Ormsby, and other CPAMO associates serve on the Pluralism Committee. In June 2016, for the Canada Dance Festival held in Ottawa, CPAMO sponsored an event but also ran three sessions on Collaborative Practice. Led by Kevin A. Ormsby and Charmaine Headley, the sessions were meant to gather information for this report on how the artists and organizations present were approaching work collaboratively.


More than ever there is a need for groups to come together and offer support

More than ever there is a need for groups to come together and offer support consequently, reducing duplication while brokering the capacity for shared resources. What are some successful examples of collaborative models and how can we identify which collaborations will serve our needs best? What does strategic partnership look like and how can it be a win-win situation for all?

Some potential questions can guide this as borrowed/adapted from Jane Marsland’s report for CPAMO:

• If we as a sector want to develop a ‘sharing economy’, how can we encourage the principles that drive it?

- Equity, community and connection

- Shared resources and shared ownership

- Share solidarity

• How can we work together to resist the pressure for more “earned

revenue” – are we in this to make money or make art/social change?

• What are other ways we can measure the value of collaborating? How can we measure reciprocity? Impact? Sustainability?


• If we are working more collaboratively, are the funders able to resolve any emerging challenges – need for additional granting deadlines, micro-loans, concern over “double dipping”?

• Will grant application processes be able to support collaborative ways of working? What do peer assessment committees need to understand collaborative models?

• What kinds of support do the emerging leaders who want to work collaboratively need?

* Prepared by the Canada Dance Assembly’s Pluralism Committee Members in consultation with the Canada Dance Assembly’s National Standing Council. For more info on council members and committee members, visit http://

2) Toronto Arts Council’s Cultural Leaders LabFellow 2015 | Cultural Leaders Challenge Initiative

Initiated by our Program Manager (A Cultural Leaders Fellow 2015), Kevin A. Ormsby sought to present the research as a “Challenge” using the feed- back from the Fellows in attendance (6) to see where the research was finding traction and ways in which it could possibly be enhanced to support as mentioned in the Forward and title; the field.

Request for Participation

A RFP was sent to all members of CPAMO’s ListServe, through Social Media,

through membership based organizations with whom we work and everyone

was encouraged to also share the information.

Interviews / Survey

Interviews were conducted with a list of Indigenous and diverse practitioners

in the performing arts, ranging from funders,administrators, and organi-

zations to artists. The list below offers the depth of the field for which we


sought to engage and who responded to the RFP for an interview in the process of this report. Many of those interviewed straddled many of the categorizations below but provided a depth of information on how they saw, worked in and experienced collaborative practices.

* All interview participants were also asked to sign a disclosure form, which provided permission for CPAMO to use their information in the compilation of this report. (See Section IV)

Annotated Bibliography

In conducting research for this project, the objective was to explore collab- orative practices in the arts and discover the ways in which collabora- tion works to resolve issues most commonly found among small arts organizations, especially those featuring members of historically-marginalized groups. Compiling this list of resources required countless hours of reading dozens and dozens of articles. Included are ones that concisely state what has been proven in recent literature—(i) funding policies are unable to keep up with the changing landscape of artists and how they’re creating work; and (ii) small organizations, especially those of historically-marginalized groups, experience issues obtaining funding due to various restrictions of granting processes (i.e. lack educational prerequisites or previous expe- rience, etc.).

Due to this current landscape, many voices of historically-marginalized artists are filtered through mainstream structures and may not be a totally true representation of that community, or, even worse, those voices are not heard at all. To combat this issue, we are seeing much more collabo- ration among historically-marginalized groups and emerging artists. There has been evidence to show the benefits of sharing space or services, of employing in collective knowledge in the arts, and of using digital tech- nology to enhance these processes. Through a combination of scholarly articles, informal personal accounts, toolkits, recommendations, and case studies, this list of resources fleshes out all of these issues and ideas, and


helps to prove the importance of collaboration and how it can be applied in future to positively impact how we represent through the arts our cultures and ourselves.

Workshops Geared at Information from the Field

In assessing the knowledge base of our participants in our work- shop in the Fall of 2015 / Winter 2016, CPAMO realized that there was depth of information for which the participants pro- vided and sought to use those thoughts and notes gathered from the workshops to guide our development of the toolkits included in this report. “EACH ONE can, in fact, TEACH ONE!” It seemed appro- priate that in looking at collaborative practices that we collaborated with the participants and the information that they contributed. For more detailed information refer to Section V.

For more detailed information refer to Section V. Building Collaborative Practices workshop with Eric

Building Collaborative Practices workshop with Eric Lariviere 2016.


Empirical Data



# of participants

Group Research



Community Forums

Canadian Dance Assembly TAC Cultural Leaders Fellow 2015



Request for Participation

Facebook Twitter Instagram E-newsletter / ListServe NASO







Individuals and organizations from the Sector




Workshop Participants / Contributors

Various professionals and students from the creative industry.


Annotated Bibliography

Venessa Harris


Collaboration Paper

Kevin A. Ormsby


Admin Support / Consultation

charles c. smith



Section II: Survey, Interview Questions and Summations

This questionnaire was developed to guide the researchers in their online survey of and conversations with various artists and arts organizations.

1. Have you ever worked collaboratively? If so, in what ways?

a) Administrative collaboration (i.e. sharing space, resources, etc.)

b) Artistic collaboration (i.e. sharing ideas, creating work, etc.)

c) Both at the same time (i.e. you’ve worked both artistically and adminis-

tratively with one or more people on the same project/group of projects)

d) Both at different times (i.e. you’ve worked artistically with one or more people on a project, and you’ve worked administratively with one or more people on a different project)

2. With whom did you work? When? For how long?

3. How did the collaboration start? Who initiated it? Why?

4. Were the planned outcomes of the collaboration communicated verbally,

or were they documented in a formal contract and/or collective agreement?

5. Can you outline some of the responsibilities you had during your

collaborative process?

6. What were some of the challenges in agreeing to collaborate, or that

emerged out of the collaboration?

7. What were some of the benefits that emerged from the collaboration?

Were you able to achieve outcomes that you would not have been able to achieve on your own?



What are some factors which you consider to be quintessential to

working collaboratively?

9. Have you documented this process?


If so, are you able to share this

10. Have you worked collaboratively since?

a) If yes, how did the previous collaboration strengthen your artistic /

organizational approach?

b) If no, are there any collaborative strategies that you still employ on

your own today?

11. Do you know of others working or who have worked collaboratively?

If so, would you recommend we contact them?

We conducted a survey among arts professionals to determine the extent at which collaboration exists within the industry, and how these collab- orations are executed. In total we received 20 responses. While this is a modest amount, the results can be seen as a starting point for a broader conversation regarding collaboration within nonprofit art sectors.

1. Have you ever worked collaboratively? If so, in what ways?

Have you ever worked collaboratively? If so, in what ways? Administrative collaboration (i.e. sharing space, resources,

Administrative collaboration (i.e. sharing space, resources, etc.) Artistic collaboration (i.e. sharing ideas, creating work, etc.) Both at the same time (i.e. you’ve worked both artistically and administratively with one or more people on the same project/group of projects) Both at different times (i.e. you’ve worked artistically with one or more people on a project, and you’ve worked administratively with one or more people on a different project)


All participants indicated that they have worked collaboratively in one form or another. In total, 85% of survey participants have participated in an artistic collaboration (i.e. sharing ideas, creating work, etc.), whereas only 70% have participated in an administrative collaboration (i.e. sharing space, resources, etc.). While artistic collaboration is generally more com- mon than administrative collaboration (i.e. sharing space, resources, etc.), 35% said that they have done both, in that they have shared resources while also creating work with others. Additionally, 20% said that they have participated in both, but at different times on independent projects.

Interview Respondents worked in variety of collaborative ways with most indicating artistic or administrative collaborations with half working in both areas of collaborations questioned. Indicating that the methods of collaboration were responsive to need and opportunity, respondents thought that the changes in arts influenced and could influence how they worked collaboratively. Collaborations ensued across organizational and geographic areas with large provincial and national organizations offering also with local based artist etc. Two thirds of the respondents work in artistic and administrative collaborations at the same time while a third worked in one particular area. Of this third, artistic engagements involved creations; productions and administrative endeavours involved partnering with others, working with community and also with civic institutions. One-third of respondents also indicated hiring, building capacities and also working in education. In the case of the communi- ty-based collaborations, support and thought was given to supporting the overall sustainability of the field.

2. With whom did you work? When? For how long?

The most popular answer regarding collaboration, not surprisingly, related to organizations partnering with other organizations to produce certain projects, as well as freelancers working with organizations. Aside from this traditional dynamic, there was the mention of sharing of space which sometimes was the extent of the relationship, and other times led to other types of collaboration.


Collaboration also formed naturally from common goals, community incen- tives, or social innovation.

Interview respondents indicated that collaboration was an ongoing process, tiered between many companies and in a variety of scenarios including co-creations, in education, policy and research, with national bodies and government. A fifth of respondents had their collaborations linked to institutions looking into shared subject matter for which they facilitat- ed artistic or organizational support. Here civic engagement was considered an important part of the artistic practice. Respondents who were individual artists in some collaboration supported the work of organizations for which they were a part of projects for which they were engaged. The time indicated varies from 1-24 years between individual and organizational respondents.

3. How did the collaboration start? Who initiated it? Why?

The general consensus among responses was that collaborations formed out of need for certain skills or to fill gaps in a creative team. Some collaborations formed out of community programs (i.e. mentor- ships, Cultural Hotspot, etc.), however most were formed through simple conversations had by likeminded individuals with common goals. It was remarked that those who collaborated with others in the past were more likely to work with those individuals again (i.e. peers who met in art school, artists who exhibited together in a group show, etc.). That said, the most common response for how collaborative processes formed was a desire to expand minds, further artistic investigations, challenge traditional methods, and push boundaries.

Many respondents from the interviews suggested that their collaborations emerged out of organizational programmatic frameworks but many also mentioned the need for networking, creative exploration and adjusting to changes in the sector as indicators for how the collaboration started and how it was initiated. Many respondents wanted to focus on the need for continual collaborations over time in a number of ways. Increase in


funding created access for a few to look at broadening programming and also exploring artistic potentials. Collaboration emerged for many respondents as a potential not only connecting to larger issues but also the development of strategies to illicit change in approaches at an artistic, organizational and or community level.

4. Were the planned outcomes of the collaboration communicated verbally, or were they documented in a formal contract and/or collective agreement?

All except one of the respondents expressed that they had communicated the planned outcomes through verbal/and or informal methods. Just un- der half also expressed that a formal contract was created, either due to program guidelines or out of personal interest. The majority suggested that both forms of communications were beneficial, however informal commu- nication definitely took precedence over formal communication, which was only “sometimes” used. It was also noted that informal collaboration didn’t always warrant a contact, whereas more formal collaborations did (i.e. with other organizations or when the stakes were higher).

Respondents suggested a wide range of situations that lead to an agree- ment. They included collective shaping, verbal, written with some indicating a combination of both verbal leading into written communication; a shared meeting to create collaborative agreement, letter/memorandums of understanding etc. A best practice is to have a collaborative agreement when working in the community. In all cases we discovered multi-layered sets of agreements created from the use of existing contracts, templates sourced etc. In one case, a respondent mentioned using technology via Google docs as a place for “hashing out the details of the agreement”. In one case, a theatre practice Viewpoint was used as a beginning process to arrive at a collaborative practice artistically.



Can you outline some of the responsibilities you had during your

collaborative process?

Responses here varied due to the nature of individual collaboration, but there were common themes throughout. In all cases, there seemed to be a common need for meetings, consultations, brainstorming, research, and general back and forth communication. Some of the responses indicated that there was an individual or individuals responsible for overseeing the project(s). Interestingly, the majority of respondents’ roles were administra- tive in nature, as opposed to creative roles. This might simply be attributed to types of respondents, however certain phrases used such as “support” and “coordinate” seem to highlight administrative roles arising specifically from the collaboration.

Being aware of the complexity of collaboration, the responsibilities were diverse in form and context. Respondents mentioned administration, policy, research, advocacy, creative facilitation and development. Another sought to examine, individually and collectively their organization’s rationale in the collaboration and communicated expectations for the final product. Raising funds to support the collaboration, shared documentation, facilitation of collaboration’s direction, emphasis on promotion in community engaged practice were also mentioned.

6. What were some of the challenges in agreeing to collaborate, or that

emerged out of the collaboration?

Almost every respondent cited a different challenge associated with working collaboratively. Major challenges were as follows:

(i) Writing and finalizing work, as more points of view don’t always equate to a faster or easier process; (ii) Managing expectations and controlling project scope;


Merging artistic styles and working methods;


Accommodating individual personal and professional commitments,

while also focusing on common objectives;



Finding time and space to get together;

(vi) Creating a clear outline of who is responsible for each task and creating

a process to follow-up; and (vii) Managing a higher level of commitment and often-lengthier planning process.

Funding and the continuation of the programming, one partner being larger than another, dictated the nature of the collaboration while others mentioned challenges in learning a common language to share ideas and to dialogue. Another respondent mentioned the importance of having Indigenous leadership engaged at the onset of collaborations with Indig- enous collaborators. When working in community based practices having relationship within a community was also seen as a challenge because there are investments needed outside of the artistic or administrative capacities. Some challenges respondents felt were also unforeseen and indicated that challenges can arise through not having shared vision, expectation, timelines or process to an outcome. All respondents were particular about being mindful of miscommunications, expectations and the agendas of collaborating organizations. One rather interesting response was challenges with first time collaborators. One major organizational challenge considered organizational operations, policies of reporting and the role of the CRA in collaborating organizations and reporting.

of the CRA in collaborating organizations and reporting. Canadian Dance Assembly’s Roundtable on Pluralism held at

Canadian Dance Assembly’s Roundtable on Pluralism held at the Canada Dance Festival, 2016.


7. What were some of the benefits that emerged from the collaboration? Were you able to achieve outcomes that you would not have been able to achieve on your own?

As with the challenges, respondents cited a wide range of benefits and possible achievements associated with working collaboratively:


Formation of a new network of art colleagues;


The creation of more ambitious work;


Opportunity for cross-disciplinary projects;


Ability to apply for a wider range of grants, as well as receive greater



A greater understanding of industry best practices and new techniques;


Faster processes and easier problem solving;

(vii) Challenging and rewarding; and (viii) possibility to create something great with limited resources.

Interviewees believed there were instrumental benefits to collaboration. Respondents cited collaborations being an enormous learning experience for mentee and mentors where listening, building trust, emotional investment, going further into the process was commented. The development of com- mon communication tools while creating something thoughtful, meaning- ful with hopes of remounting the outcomes in various communities across Canada, a national profile was built. Broader performance communities, with knowledge on how to host gatherings and discuss varying practices were realized. A shared vision across a number of people and organizations was incredible, allowing for different points of view and also a network of support that grounding the practice and enhancing a community’s sense of belonging. More heads can come up with a better sense of achieving outcomes that you would not have been able to achieve on your own one respondent mentioned; allowing for the ownership of something bigger than the initial thought.



What are some factors which you consider to be quintessential to

working collaboratively?

The responses were as follows:

(i) Being open to ideas different from yours and being willing to compromise;


Strong communication and good rapport;




A sense that you and all your collaborators are each gaining something

meaningful; and

(v) A collective vision, common goals and defined objectives.

Those interviewed had poignant suggestions, which included clear and concise agreements, documenting process, while realizing that collabora- tions can be labour intensive at times. Working communicatively as the collaboration grows, having assessments of the process as well as an open- ness, willingness to challenge oneself in unexpected ways and work in a spirit of generosity. An acknowledgment of hierarchies, the development of meaningful relationships (long term rather than transactional) respon- dents encouraged sitting down at the beginning to talk about and navigate the collaboration to understand the nature of working collaboratively before entering a collaboration. Deep listening, acknowledging the values of everyone’s idea, and realizing that those silent are a part of the collab- oration. How do they get heard? Leave the room for suggestions that are open and free, so that everyone can contribute if they need to in their own time. Respondents were passionate creating an atmosphere that allowed for ideas that are off-the-wall that could spark other ideas. Practice good leadership!

9. Have you documented this process? If so, are you able to share this


Of the received responses, 35% said yes, 35% said no, 20% reported some form of documentation (although they noted that it wasn’t as much as they would have liked), 5% had work that was still in progress, and the


remaining 5% had work that was not able to be documented. The majority of respondents said they had visual representations such as pictures and video; however very few completed written documentation following their collaboration. A few indicated that they would be able to document their work if they had more resources available to them.

Methods of documentation for the interviewees ranged from formal to informal processes, e.g., a toolkit, articles about the collaboration, publications (web and print media). Many responded that for their organization it was also dependent on the size of the collaboration, suggesting that documentation is a continual work in progress, retooling the resources based on what was learned. Some respondents did not have a practice of documentation.

10. Have you worked collaboratively since? If yes, how did the previous collaboration strengthen your artistic/ organizational approach?

95% of respondents said they had collaborated a second or third time. The most common response as to how their initial experience strengthened their artistic/organizational approach the next time around was “better listening skills and ability to be more flexible and value the input of others.” Other responses were as follows:

(i) Better sense on how to engage artists;

(ii) General desire to include others and diversify;


Easier time connecting with others and the community; and


Better understanding on how to become acquainted with the needs of

the group.

If no, are there any collaborative strategies that you still employ on your own today?

5% of respondents said they had yet to collaborate again after the initial experience; no collaborative strategies were provided.


For the interview process, 100% of respondents all agree that they have worked collaboratively since and some indicated both national and inter- national collaborations. From the responses, many indicated in part the collaborations provided moments to share across cultural norms, and to support, challenge and provoke ideas. Many also indicated increased learning and development from the collaborations. One organization responded that a previous collaboration has provided the organization with renewed strength, instigating the hosting of a major event. Other respondents indicated the importance of a conflict resolution strategy to mitigate challenges.

11. Do you know of others working or who have worked collaboratively? If so, would you recommend we contact them?

The information for this section cannot be shared due to third party informa- tion release legislation. CPAMO did receive a wide range of information and contacts of others who have worked collaboratively and who CPAMO could engage in future studies on collaboration.

* Survey and Interview Summations by Venessa Harris and Kevin A. Ormsby

Interview Summations by Venessa Harris and Kevin A. Ormsby The Gathering: Arts Organizations Promoting Pluralism. May

The Gathering: Arts Organizations Promoting Pluralism. May 2016.


Section III: Collective Learning and Sharing Workshops for Collaborative Support

Collaboration should be transformative and in fact should involve constant metamorphosis. Thinking Collaboratively Acting Collectively is a metaphor for understanding that collaboration is indeed a collective venture and only in its replication can we arrive at a collaborative practice.

To explore this metaphor, CPAMO held workshops in the GTA with both artists and presenters as lead facilitators. The program description for these workshops is included in the final section of this report. What follows here is a summary of some of the key issues that were discussed in the work- shops.

Collaboration + Working Collectively + Replication = Collaborative Practice

The suggested information below can help in arriving at a collaborative practice in the Arts. The general ideas arrived out of conversation with ma- jor areas of focus surfacing from with the conversation.

Workshop I: Thinking Collaboratively Acting Collectively (October 2016)

• Arriving at creative collaborations takes time: what may have you forgotten?

• How could you navigate an organizational collaboration?

• Create a contract collectively.

• Constantly ask how task will be achieved.

• To be collaborating is to also give something up in the process. • Conscious collaborations consider existing for a purpose, what do you want to achieve?

• Where is the community? Who are the communities involved?

• Congregating on a common ground- what is that?

• Collaborative change is systemic transformation.


• Nurturing and creating relationships in collaboration. Can both parties benefit all the time?

• Understanding power dynamics in a collaboration and learn how to negotiate.

• Assuming the power of Equity, how are artists and arts organizations that have experienced marginalization understood in collaboration?

• Respecting the collaboration? – What do you set up at the beginning?

• Are we aware of the time commitments?

• Collaborations as INVESTMENT vs. COMMITMENT, how is it materialized?

Collaborative agreements could:

• Involve / include each collaborator adding to portions of the contract.

• Support listening to desires and wants, staying present.

• Enable talking freely and respectfully is important.

• Assist in defining together the collaboration.

• Aim to remove perceived barriers, not create them.

• Advocate for what we believe.

• Turn discomfort into inquiry.

• Consider all ideas, take risks.

• Call people in not calling them out.

• Support how we come to agree to…

Collaborative agreements should consider the following questions which were addressed:

• What and how do we make them?

•How do we encourage risk-taking leading to acquired confidence in building a contract?

• Do we create a method of assessing “success” and “failure”?

• Why are we doing this? – Is it clear?

• Communicating and honouring each others role in the “successes and “failures”.

• How do we market our collaboration?

• Understanding/communicating the purpose.


Making Space for Inter-Generational Collaborations

Knowing the history of those in an organization and the contributions of generations of artists in collaboration is an important part of connectivity in the arts. How do we arrive at inter-generational connections in the arts? Looking outside of our genres for answers and support could influence the spontaneity required for meaningful experiences.

• The strengths lies in cultivating practice inter-generationally.

• Being genuine to mutual benefits and the potential to learn collaboratively.

• What are you both making space for?

• Offering access to conferences, tickets, data, sources, networking.

• Applying for funding on behalf of a emerging/mid-career artist.

• Free internships, involve cultural sharing demographics.

• Booster better relationship with youth and adults.

• Execute mentoring the next generation NOW?

Creating distinctions in the potential work and importance of Inter-generational collaborations, the workshop sought to also consider if there was a difference between mentorship vs collaboration?

Traditional Mentorship

• Guided, learning maybe directed ONLY towards the mentee

• Time / space is offer the mentorship

• One on one not related to?

• Perceives one person has knowledge

• Hierarchical

• The do…

A Collaborative Mentorship

Learning from each other

Time and Space created together

Knowledge sharing

Structure of exchange in the field

Everyone is knowledgeable


The how….


What Does Collaborative Partnership Look Like?

Arriving at clear concise aspects of collaboration can be challenging. Participants noted that there should be a willingness to compromise, being willing to ask/to offer empathy while being open to new avenues towards a collaborative process that is transformative. Through a series of questions they arrived at the following:

• Co-production, everyone benefits/win-win.

• Building, nurturing and supportive relationships that aims to dismantle power dynamics.

• Self perception should drive to processes of Self actualization (artists/ organizations).

• Transferring/sharing skills can include bartering.

• Using social media to add value.

• Resource sharing – know your resources.

• In collaborations for every NO explore 5 ways to a YES.

• Maximize on the potential investment collaborations can offer.

Through the use of a Liberating Structure entitled TRIZ, we explored how looking at worst case scenarios could offer suggestions for a better out- come in what two collaborators may actually desire.

out - come in what two collaborators may actually desire. The Gathering: Arts Organizations Promoting Pluralism.

The Gathering: Arts Organizations Promoting Pluralism. May 2016.


Horrible Collaborations

• Don’t listen to the other, self-serving

• Narrow targets, convenient

• Opportunistic – superficial inclusivity

• Disorganization / no timelines

• Abusing of one’s connections

• Miscommunication

• Lacking in enthusiasm

• Hidden resources, non- transparent

• Withholding information / access

• Dictatorial / micro-managing

• Using bad language / stereotyping

• Poaching – staff / board members / ideas

• No boundaries

Meaningful Collaborations

Clear purpose / Total commitment

Effective communication



Find suitable model

Curiosity - the ‘Why?!’

Generosity and Openness

Critical path / deadlines / outcome

Create practice of working together

Agreement on intended results

Being inspiring/looking to be inspired

Transformative interaction

Organizational buy-in

Delegation / building of person’s capacity

Values of Collaboration – Stating the Story…

Lastly, the workshop explored how to use the power of story telling to heighten the collaboration. Suggestions came about using social media as

a tool to strengthen your collaborations by cross promoting and sharing

images, information etc. Being particular also about when the information goes to Social Media sites. There are simple yet effective ways. This potential of collaborative story sharing can:

• Provide a voice via access to spaces and places unfamiliar.

• Build, sustain, heal disjointed communities.


• Offer an opportunity to explaining our practice holistically (social narrative).

• Articulate change in the field and your place in it….

• Communicate the value of collaborative practice.

• Work collaboratively may have allowed for change in one’s organization.

• Express publically the values that collaborations bring to Canadian society, e.g., finding links to art and quality-of-life.

• We believe, we feel, we understand, we are moving towards, we need to… we see,

• This Collaboration is relevant because…

Workshop II: Building Collaborative Practices (November 2016)

Be mindful that the expectations with many presenters are in fact centered on collaborative opportunities and community interest aimed at broadening horizons and facilitating processes while engaging the changing demographics with the arts. Responsive ways of collaborating for presenters involves collaborative transparency, values and how to share their particular focus to the arts and social issues to challenge stagnant cultural funding models.

Building Relationships

Spend time learning about each other while making an attempt to know the other acts presented in the theater and also ask about the timeframe it takes to build a partnership and collaboration that is meaningful. Making sure the audience is right is also a part of the collaboration and the artists have a role in making that possible.

• Messaging is important to creating a collaborative partnership. How can you create it together with a presenter?

• How can a presenter in collaboration also include an approval process for marketing?

• Arriving at the reason for your collaboration with the presenter and coming to the mutual understanding of needs together.

• Developing outreach suitable to the show should also be collaboration.


• Presenting is about also knowing the value of your work in a community, engaging with your audience.

• Is your work created for their needs?

• Finding alliances of a cultural army through alliances.

• Follow-up its importance to acknowledge the work you did together.

• Maybe a debrief and impact report could benefit both presenters and also your field.

• WIN THE AUTHORISERS – what are the relationships and impact statements for the work you did together?

• Realize the presenters and theatres are in a community and that their communities matter.

Communication Strategies With Presenters

Investment in the community of the presenters – what does this look like? How do you engage in that activity collectively? How can you provide/ create the framework that is accessible for the presenter and audience? How in collaboration do you transfer knowledge to the presenters and audience? What is the knowledge of the unknown in collaborations with a presenter? Never create communication pieces alone, create a meaningful experience as both the presenter and artist. How do you use the Internet in your partnerships? What is the importance of telling and creating with presenters a social media strategy? How to assist presenters in finding “the audience”?

Creating messages together and also having everyone say the same messaging that is important:

• What is the central message?

• Do you know our philosophy? Does everyone know the answer?

• No one should leave without getting an answer.

• How can writing with passion help facilitate the work you are doing with the presenters?

• THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF WORDS – sentence with a rhythm.


• What’s the language you use in communication with presenters?

• What’s your story in the collaborative relationships with presenters?

• How can collaborative practices with a presenter be moved forward with the common understanding ?

• Make the collaboration fun: when and how do you interact with the physical space?

Workshop III: Curating Collaborative Performances And Engagements (December 2015)

Considering the time logistics in your collaboration:

• Timing of grants and impact on developing relationship for collaborative partnerships

• Which organization assists artists and provides support for: rehearsal space, design, dramaturgy, video recording, and promotion

• Knowing clearly whom the collaboration will assist and the values they can achieve.

• What of touring works done collaboratively? Are there royalty issues? Visa/permit considerations? How can organizations collaborating arrive at a consensus?

Collaborating Administratively:

• Can foster lean administration, use of operating to network/ build relationships, international collaborative ventures

• Finding common theme to work on, e.g., advocacy, social activism, human rights

• Making connections and building relationships - takes time! Allow it to happen

• How can the use of internships be helpful in supplementing while collab- orating eg., Theatre Ontario, Metcalf Foundation, Ontario Art Council access/career development


Workshop IV: Collaboration In Practice Scenarios / Tools Towards Meaningful Engagements

Collaborative practice is also like creating a meaningful experience on the spot…it’s live, it’s responsive, and it is about creating space for growth. Collaboration is very much about a dialogue, sharing of stories involves learning and understanding of how partnerships evolve, with an investiga- tion into how multiple platforms can be a basis for engagement. How can your collaboration be atypical to expectations? Collaborators should understand change in demographics, between age, race and ethnicities. Advance planning actually helps in understanding the goal of collabo- rating and also the measurement of success. Continual development of the artist over a long period of time and also the mediums for which they can get the collaboration out into the wider community is the focus for theatre/community stake holders. Understanding the impact. The big question of what happens when collaborations end? How do you continue the meaningful engagements to make them sustainable, leaving knowl- edge on either side of the collaboration? Arrive at making collaborations exponential. Presenter, artists and community relationship in collaborations, should explore various ways of connections.

Important parts of collaboration:

• Understanding artistic program development, promotion and education.

• Artistic vision + strategy/ direction + education = Your Audience.

• Consult the community – “everybody’s in, NO one out”.

• Every inception of the basic goals should be allowed to grow, should be reflective of change: change in the creation, practice and engagement.

• Defining success must have qualitative and quantitative indicators.

• Reciprocal relationships require clearly articulated mutual benefits/common goal and broad scope.

• Allow your collaborations to open up networks – expanding audiences, artistic experience, exchange of expertise, create best practices, maxi- mize visibility, stimulate cross-pollinations.


• Getting trained and informed of the needs for community engagement in your collaboration?

10 Key Success Factors:

1. Both partners must give.

2. Plan for it.

3. How do you identify potential partners?

4. Develop a plan.

5. Establish process and secure team buy-in.

6. Define success.

7. Getting a fair deal.

8. Is it not about saving money?

9. Make sure to allocate resources.

10. It is mission driven + must add to your value proposition.

* Facilitated over a six months period, workshops began in October and ended in Spring 2016. CPAMO conducted four workshops under the ex- plorations of Building Collaborative Practices and findings coincided with research and documentation on collaborative practices with summation featured in the NASO Meetings Report and this document.

featured in the NASO Meetings Report and this document. The Gathering: Arts Organizations Promoting Pluralism. May

The Gathering: Arts Organizations Promoting Pluralism. May 2016.


Section IV: Addressing Collaborative Information, Disclosure and Permission

Here we have the form created to support seeking permission mentioned in Section I (Methodology of Practice). As a template this form could act as a starting point when looking at the nature of how a disclosure of informa- tion and permission can be achieved. CPAMO took into consideration the rights of:

1. Using the information of the interviewee.

2. Right to publish this information in a public forum.

3. Using the information in the public forum of Social media or in e-news formats. The paragraphs below can form the basis of your agreement.

[Name of Organization/ Artist] would like to thank you for being willing to be interviewed for the Research. It is important that we enter an agreement around the use of the information you provided during your interview, which will act as information and findings in [date of report, book, findings etc.]


[Name of Organization(s)/ Artist] will not disclose personal information or that of this interview [i.e., e-mail, contacts and organization] to anyone, including his/her employer(s), without your prior consent.


Names will not be mentioned unless consent is given by signing this form.


If you may not agree with the terms of this agreement, an agreement with terms of reference or a memorandum of understanding maybe



created collectively.


Any information shared here will ONLY be used for the research and report and for no other reason by the organization. (If the information is to be used outside of the research, permission will be sought by [name of Organization(s) / Artist]).



For consideration that I acknowledge, I consent to the recording of my statements and grant to (Name of Organization(s))(the Company) and Company’s assigns, licensees, and successors the right to copy, reproduce, and use all or a portion of the statements (the “Interview”) for all purposes, including advertising and in perpetuity under the following:


Provide an understanding that will guide in the creation of this report;


To contact me for further clarification on the documentation and information in this report;


To disclose this interview and it’s finding in a published and publicly assessable report to funding bodies, other organizations and on Social Media platforms.

I grant the right to use my image and name in connection with all uses

of the Interview and in agreeing waive the right to give or approve the final process leading up to the publication of the report. [If the interview subject does not wish to waive the right to inspect the final work, strike that sentence and arrange for the interview subject to provide approval].

I may revoke the consent provided herein, in whole or in part, by provid- ing (Name of Organization(s) / Artist) with ten (10) business days upon signing this agreement or before (Date).

Participant’s Signature:


For (Organization(s)/ Artist

[Feel free to add other signatories or info]


Section V: Annotated Bibliography

Bhaskaran, Vivek. “How to Tap Into the Collective Intelligence of Your Workforce.” eWeek26 May 2010. Print.

In our current landscape of workplace environments, harnessing collec- tive intelligence should be a vital part of any organization’s planning and strategies. Aspects of putting this into practice include (i) collaboration— specifically through use of the internet; (ii) competition—but in a way that encourages employees to work hard as opposed to cutting corners to get ahead; and (iii) rewards and incentives—which can work to promote both collaborative and competition productivity in the real world.

Boehm, Mike. “Study sends ‘wake-up call’ about black and Latino arts groups’ meager funding” Los Angeles Times. 12 Oct 2015. Web.


This article is a response to “Diversity In The Arts: The Past, Present, and Future of African American and Latino Museums, Dance Companies, and Theater Companies,” a study conducted by DeVos Institute of Arts Man- agement at the University of Maryland. It highlights the main points of the report (which can also be found in this bibliography) and adds anecdotes from an interview with Michael Kaiser, the current leader of the institute. Kaiser explains that the report was published as a ‘wake up call’ for donors and smaller arts organization indicating that the solution to financial disparities is to “let weaker organizations wither so that the strongest ones can grow.” Another solution includes smaller organizations collaborating with better-funded mainstream organizations “by co-producing star-powered productions of well-known titles with small companies of color in their communities.”


Centi, Micheal et al. “Creating Learning Organizations Through Shared Space.” Prepared by Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. n.d. Print

Through the use of studies, this report examines the trend of sharing space among not-for-profit organizations. The main objective of this trend seems to be the desire to better serve the community, as opposed to for cost efficiency. It has been found that organizations that share space improved their effectiveness in the following ways: “cost saving, improved quality, increased visibility in the community, increased morale and collaboration.” With money saved, organizations are able to create new programs for the community, or hire new staff, thus creating jobs within the community. Recommendations for how to implement a successful shared space are included in the report, such as choosing an organization with similar mission, values and/work place culture, and having an exit strategy in place in case things don’t work out.

Coldwell, Will. “Art collectives help students get their work noticed.” The Guardian. 03 Apr 2013. Web.


Collaboration is a popular option for recent arts graduates, as many form collectives as a way to have their work stand out. The article quotes a few members of visual arts collectives, who agree that the process is beneficial because it allows for ways to step outside your work, to make connections, and to form a strong foundation. It is also noted that, with the use of digi- tal technology, collaboration is easier than ever, as access is widened. The result, according to interviewees, is an increase of opportunities.


“Diversity In The Arts: The Past, Present, and Future of African American and Latino Museums, Dance Companies, and Theater Companies.” Prepared by DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. Sept 2015. Print.


This study conducted by the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland provides a brief history of the current landscape in which small to medium sized arts organizations serving historical- ly-marginalized groups in America (particularly African Americans and Latino communities) are struggling to survive, as they are less secure than mainstream organizations. The report indicates that “the majority [of these organizations] are plagued by chronic financial difficulties that place severe limits on what can be produced, how much can be produced, how many artists are trained, and how many people are served.” The report cites one of the main issues for this is the inability for these organizations to cultivate individual donors, who make up more cumulative funds than government funding. The following recommendations are offered: (i) build stronger boards that lead arts organizations of color; (ii) invest in manage- ment education and effective staffleadership; (iii) prioritize great art rather than new buildings; and (iv) encourage responsible philanthropy that promotes long-termgrowth and fiscal health.

Funnell, Antony et al. “Remix: Technology, Creation and Participation.” Future Tense. 18 May 2014. Audio.


Antony Funnell, host of podcast Future Tense, and guests Amber Naismith (Animal Logic), Lauren Nemroff (Google Cultural Institute), Dr. John McGhee (College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales) and Allegra Burnette (Museum of Modern Art) have a panel discussion about arts and technol- ogyat the Remix Summit in Sydney, Australia.There is an opportunity to


collaborate in the arts by using technology, however it seems that this col- laborative process needs to be facilitated by exterior organizations, such as Google, who are in the technology sector. That said, arts organizations

have collaborated well physically for years.Furthermore, everything that’s going on really in the arts space with technology is really a bit of an ongoing experiment, but it’s important to utilize it in some capacity, because “it means you can get material out to the public a lot quicker, that you are actually more relevant as well, the quicker that you can get it out.” There is

a need to education surrounding tech programs, in post-secondary school

especially, for creative individuals, thereby eliminating a need to addition technicians. The use of technology in art has a way of attracting younger generations, but one drawback is the expectation people have that “when [they] look at art in this digital world they not only want it to be interactive,

they want it to be immersive.”

Galenson, David & Clayne Pope. HuffpostArts& Culture. 02 Dec 2012. Web.


Professors David Galenson & Clayne Pope outline the collaborative success of visual artists Gilbert Proesch and George Passmores before making three predictions—(i) “successful collaborations will be based on a shared

praxis” i.e. either experimental or conceptual; (ii) “most collaborations will be conceptual;” and (iii) larger and more diverse artistic projects will have

a more likely collaboration rate.

Guillamet, Laia & David Roca. “The Double Face of Collaborative Art: The Exchange of Theory and Practice.” InterArtive. n.d. Web.

Collaborative art was seen widely in the early 70s, particularly by performance artists, including those of historically-marginalized groups, in support of social protest. This type of collaboration raises the visibility of these groups and ultimately establishes support of identity on both an individual and


group level. In creating this social dialogue, a learning environment emerges— one that “[allows] the development of knowledge and tools that contribute to the ‘empowerment’ of the group to which these efforts are directed.” Furthermore, collaborative art projects encourage the development of “a network of relationships between members of different groups that coexist in a given social context but which are subject to significant constraints that prevent them relate differently to imposed by tradition and stereotypes.”

Gupta, Amit. “Artist Collaboration Fuels Creative Exploration.” Huffpost Arts& Culture. 22 Oct 2013. Web.


CEO and Founder of Tenlegs (an education-bases tech company in New York) Amit Gupta uses examples of numerous notable duos—Walt Disney & Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol & Jean Michel Basquiat, Jackson Pollack & Lee Krasner, and David Byrne & Brian Eno—to outline that, despite the initial reasoning for the collaboration, the process always sparks a new creativity that would not have existed otherwise.

Kitchener, Amy & Ann Markusen. “Working with Small Arts Organizations:

How and Why It Matters.” GIA Reader: Vol 23(2). Summer 2012. Web.

This article indicates that small organizations often “foster artistic expressions not adequately served by larger organizations,” which naturally includes historically-marginalized communities (who are often underrepresented). It is also noted that the work of these organizations “often challenges the dominant concepts and definitions of art, artistic quality, and value.” Despite this importance, the report indicates that small non-profit arts organizations are often undercounted which “reinforces under apprecia- tion” and subsequently perpetuates underfunding, especially among eth- nic, non-Euro-American, and low-income community-serving arts organiza- tions. Underfunding is also attributed to the difficulty in stating quantifiable


impact. Recommendations for supporting these organizations include (i) “offering flexible funding;” (ii) “including specialized cultural expertise in review processes;” (iii) “offering technical assistance and fostering peer learning networks;” (iv) “helping to define appropriate outcomes and approaches to evaluation;” (v) “working with intermediaries;” and (vi) “learning from other non-profit sectors.”

Kelly, Maura. “Does Artistic Collaboration Ever Work?” The Atlantic. 25 Jul 2012. Web.


Using the notable collaboration of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat in the early 1980s as an example, author/freelance writer Maura Kelly examines whether collaborative artistic practices work well. Though it has been stated that “when it is pure art or self-expression or a deeply original idea that needs to be developed, solitude serves,” Kelly distinguishes between working independently and working in absolute solitude. She contends that successful collaboration is dependent on the stage of the project— specifically at the beginning, or the ‘idea-generating’ stage. Most artists can benefit from the dialogue associated with collaborative practices.

Kolsky, Esteban. “Five Benefits of Using Collective Knowledge.” Stone Co- bra. 16 Jan 2014. Web.

This article describes “collective knowledge” as “using social networks to create, maintain, and provide access to knowledge heretofore unavailable.” The goal is building a “knowledge ecosystem” that benefits an organi- zation, as people who are particularly knowledgeable on a certain topic can weigh in despite the fact that they aren’t directly involved with that organization. That said, the information must be open and accessible, meaning collaborating members should be willing to offer insights freely. The article cites five ways organizations can benefit from collective knowl-


edge: (i) “access to-the-moment expertise;” (ii) “validation for their actions and knowledge;” (iii) “feedback for their products and services;” (iv) “reduced costs through indirect outsourcing;” and (v) “source of knowledge to augment and improve repositories.”

Lyman, Peter et al. “Culture 3.0: Impact of Emerging Technologies on Hu- man Resources in the Cultural Sector.” Prepared by The Cultural Human Resources Council. Oct 2011. Print.


Because digital technologies are becoming increasingly more relevant, this report—through the use of literature review and consultation with 250 arts practitioners and cultural workers—aims to assess its impact on the cultural sector, address its challenges, and provide recommendations take advantage of the opportunities it offers. Many subsectors are already embracing digital technology as part of their branding and production. Subsectors that aren’t able to fully embrace it as part of production are still active in terms of using it for marketing purposes. The levels of digital adoption by each sub-sector varies. It is generally recommended that “improvements in existing mechanisms and the creation of new ones are needed to improve digital skills across all employment levels of all sub-sectors.” Specific areas of interest include business skills learning modules, digital business and marketing skills, continuous learning work- spaces and leadership, mentorship programs, and collaboration tools.

McNally, Owen. “Struggles Of Historically-marginalized Artists Described.” Hartford Courant. 18 Oct 1993. Web.


This article tackles the issue of historically-marginalized artists being unable to make it into mainstream art, causing them to burn out and eventually leave the field or relocate. One main issue is mainstream organizations


representing historically-marginalized groups without having consultations from members of those groups. This was recognized as a problem in Hartford, CT, resulting in the creation of a plan of action that stressed the importance of education, calling it “a key tool in enriching the main- stream with cultural diversity.” It was noted that, due to the increasingly diverse market, arts organizations would have to change and accommo- date in order to avoid dying “just as symphonies have died and ballets have died around the country.”

Miranda, Maria. “Small is beautiful: artist-run collectives count, but they’re facing death by a thousand cuts.” The Conversation. 23 Mar 2016. Web.


Discounting the myth that artist-run centers are solely meant to serve as a starting point for emerging artists, this article argues the necessity of ARCs throughout an artist’s career. The most important benefit cited is that ARCs “point of connection for artists, audiences, ideas and projects.” As a result, they provide invaluable opportunities for the community in which it is lo- cated, especially its historically-marginalized members. However, because funding agencies don’t always recognize this importance, ARC are often underfunded. This article advocates for fair funding practices in regards to non-hierarchical and collaborative organizations.

MIT Sloan Executive Education. “Will collective intelligence change the way we work?” MIT Sloan School’s innovation@work Blog. 03 Apr 2016. Web.


Collective intelligence is most rapidly expanding through the use of the Internet. Through real time connections, it’s possible for humans and machine to “act more intelligently than any one person, group, or computer has acted before.” In organizational structures, this type of collaboration leads to a flattening of traditional hierarchies. As a result, there arises a


“paradox of power,” meaning when the leader gives decision-making power to the group, they subsequently gain a different type of power. That said, the article suggests that leaders will not become obsolete, but rather just need to focus on developing specific qualities such as vision, encouragement, and inclusion. One challenge cited in the article is the fact that some groups are not as smart as others, which is dependent on factors such as “the degree to which all group members participate equally, social perceptiveness within the group, and the number of women in a group.” Issues also arise when herd mentality is in play. Thomas Malone, MIT organizational theorist, describes benefits of collective intelligence including the fact people are more motivated, hardworking, often more creative, and able to adapt to changing situations more easily.

Moosajee, Saad. “Advantages Of Collective Collaboration in Online Art Collectives.” Envato Tuts+. 17 Aug 2010. Web.


While this article offers benefits to joining an art collective (i.e. access to unique critiques, ability to create a fusion of styles, being part of a community, etc.), it’s truly illuminating insight is how virtual relations have impacted collaboration. Online art collectives have the advantage of including members in remote locations, thereby allowing participation of unique styles.

Novick, Rebecca. “Please, Don’t Start a Theater Company!” GIA Reader:

Vol 22(1). Spring 2011. Web.

This article opens by explaining that while the amount of nonprofit theater companies has increased over the past few years, funding has decreased. One reason cited for the increase of companies is the lack of jobs in theatre for emerging artists, prompting them to create their own work. This article provides some suggestions to combat the issue, the most important being


an urge for flexible funding possibilities. As it stands now, funders have constrained the structures of companies, missing that “because organizations do different work, they may need different structures to support their work.”

Olivia, Sandy & Cindy Scott. “Collaboration and Co-Location: How Two Nonprofits Are Beating the Recession and Helping More People.” onPhilanthropy. 28 Jun 2010. Web.


This article serves as a case study for two organizations in Long Island, NY—Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect—who came together create a new center called The Safe Place. Their collaboration was successful both economically and in terms of community impact. The article cites collaborative fundraising and strong communication as a major benefit of the center, as having a compelling joint story and telling it effectively was necessary to keep the endeavour afloat.

Orsi, Janelle. “How Nonprofits Can Share Down Their Costs (Part I).” Shar- able. 21 Jan 2010. Web.


When not-for-profit organizations collaborate, it’s typically with the intention of jointly delivering services, which is attractive for grant makers, as their fund- ing is thought to have a higher impact. This article suggests additional ways for collaboration, aside from the traditional objectives. Sharing space is the most relevant form of collaboration, and can even be done with partners who don’t necessarily have similar missions. This is ideal, as it “creates opportunities for cross pollination, incubation of ideas [and] greater visibility.” Additional forms of collaborations include combining functions, sharing physical items, and sharing bargaining power. All of these forms of collaboration are good for saving costs but also expanding operations.


Penn, Joanna. “7 Benefits Of An Author Collective.” The Creative Penn. 05 Aug 2012. Web.

Written by a member of Triskele Books, an author collective in the UK, this article highlights some of the benefits of collaboration in the publishing in- dustry (though these concepts are not exclusive to only publishing and can be considered on a broader arts landscape): (i) “independence” – the ability to have freedom, but with the comfort of unity; (ii) “identity” – motivation

to be strive for the higher standard associated with the group; (iii) “support”

– opportunity to learn from others and improve; (iv) “Twelve-eye principle”

– multiple people fine tuning work to perfection; (v) “networks” – higher

chances for outreach and opportunities; (vi) “finances” – ease on monetary strain due to shared resources; and (vii) “trust” – growth based on “ trusted opinions and valued integrity.”

Poole, David & Sophie Le-Phat Ho. “Digital Transitions and the Impact of New Technology On the Arts.” Prepared by the Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) network. Jun 2011. Print. -FINAL-EN.pdf

This report summarizes the current digital transition and outline its impact on the arts, as well as supply recommendations for change regarding public art funders. Social media is used commonly among the sector in three ways:

“helping to bring audiences to performances and to artworks by matching art to people who are looking for it, providing a platform to create art and carry on dialogue and debates around communities of interest and giving organizations tools to listen to the public and build arts awareness.” General findings include: digital technology is utilized more efficiently in sub-sectors which are not live in nature, consumers are not willing to pay for arts online, and many funders are looking to switch to an online application process.


“Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy: Statement of Purpose.” Prepared by Grantmakers in the Arts. 20 Jan 2016. Print. -of-purpose.pdf

American granting agency Grantmakers in the Arts put out a statement declaring their dedication to increase arts funding for African, Latino, Asian, Arab, and Native American artists. The reasoning behind this decision was based on evidence proving that “sustained racialized public policies and institutional practices … have resulted in unequal access to resources.” Because all people have a right to celebrate their culture, and because artists have a unique ability to resolve societal inequity and injustice, funding underrepresented artists this has become a priority for the agen- cy. They have created a list of actions to achieve this objective, including “intentionally [considering and selecting] members from ALAANA popu- lations for the GIA board of directors and staff.”

Rosenblatt, Lauren. “For historically-marginalized artists in Pittsburgh, race plays a factor in the hunt for funding.” PublicSorce. 11 Apr 2016. Web.


This article highlights the uneven distribution of funding available to historically-marginalized artists in Pittsburgh, PA, but notes that the issue is not specific to that region. Referencing the disproportionate gap between the percentage of the population represented by individuals of colour vers- es POC working in arts organizations, it is suggested that grants tailored to specific historically-marginalized groups is a necessity. That said, some- times artists of colour feel “pigeonholed into representing ‘her blackness,’” and often have a difficult time obtaining general grants. Furthermore, once the power dynamics in the art world are understood, solutions are possible, provided that they originate from within the community.


Segedin, Leo. “Making It: Race, Gender and Ethnicity in the Artworld.” Segedin. 26 Jan 1993. Web.

This article looks at the difficulties historically-marginalized artists experience while trying to “make it” within the art world, which has a tendency to be very outwardly racist, sexist and ethnophobic. Attempts at diversity are often offensive, because they are usually not coming from the group in which they represent (i.e. they are often filtered through a colonialist perspec- tive). The article cites a history of exclusion regarding who defines “quality art”—art critics had very seldom included anyone other than wealthy cist straight white males. Work outside of what was created by these groups (i.e. that of historically-marginalized groups) became considered low qual- ity, thereby excluding it from prestigious galleries and museums. In other words, “no area of modern intellectual life has been more resistant to rec- ognizing and authorizing people of color than the world of the ‘serious’ visual arts.” In a slow changing environment, there conflict among histori- cally-marginalized artists who must choose between attempting to “make it” in the mainstream art world which is resistant to accept their works, or to be content making works outside of the mainstream, where they will not be attacked for presenting work that is “too ‘ethnic’ on the one hand or too personal, emotional or political on the other”—an unjust criticism that is voiced much too often.

Scutari, Mike. “What Can Other Cities Learn from the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Program?” Inside Philanthropy. 03 Jun 2014. Web.


By focusing on the “Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh” program funded by The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh, PA, this article indicates the benefits of targeted funding, as well as what other cities can learn. It lays out successful aspects of the program (i.e. “identifies the ‘root causes’ of a traditional lack of funding” and “speaks


to the impact of these problems”) before outlining the important objec- tives programs like this should adopt: “(i) build the careers of artists; (ii) increase the sustainability of cultural organizations that focus on black art; (iii) build community awareness around the black arts sector; and (iv) support connections to ‘larger and predominantly European-based arts organizations.’”

Scutari, Mike. “There’s a Disparity in Arts Funding Along Racial Lines. How Can It Be Fixed?” Inside Philanthropy. 19 Apr 2016.



This article reacts to the evident national problem caused by lack of resources and disparity in arts funding for historically-marginalized artists, which is directly related to seemingly unconscious discrimination. Major factors cited include (i) inability to retain exceptional in-house talent, as they often find higher-paying jobs at larger organizations; (ii) lack of diver- sity on grant-making panels; (iii) granting panels overthinking allocation by only rewarding money to projects that explicitly deal with issues relating to ethnicity and/or culture, as opposed to general works by POC; and (iv) “the perverse notion … that people are being reverse racist by creating their own cultural provide grants for “general opportunities,” as opposed to only project specific grants, as this would allow for artists to improve their skills before embarking on specific projects.

Sherwin, Brian. “Collaboration in Art — mutual respect, mutual work, mutual exposure.” Fine Art Views. 21 Aug 2011. Web.


As implied by the title, the tangible benefits to collaborative artistic practices include a mutually created work that gains mutual exposure for all artists involved. The process of completing this work becomes important, as it requires respect and an open mind from both artists, as well as the setting


aside of egos. Brian Sherwin—an art critic, blogger, curator, artist and writ- er based near Chicago—asserts that art is always somewhat of a conversation between the work and the artist, meaning that collaborations simply extend that conversation to involve the work and multiple artists, as opposed to just one. Collaborative art can be a powerful experience, as “each artist will likely inform the other on how to improve the direction of the combined effort.”

Siegel, Beth et al. “Measuring Collaboration: The Benefits and Impacts of Nonprofit Centers.” Prepared by The NonprofitCenters Network and Tides. 2011. Print. Executive_Summary.pdf

This report is the first impact study of shared non-profit facilities (also known as “non-profit centers”) in the US and Canada. After providing an overview of non-profit centers, citing benefits (e.g. revenue generations, productivity, community infrastructure, etc.), and citing impacts for people, place, and society (e.g. more community members served, revitalization of surrounding area, environmental improvements, etc.), the report lists a number of key findings that inform how organizations are taking advantage of this type of collaboration. The most important finding is that “centers produce tangible positive impacts—increasing the availability and quality of services to local residents, supporting the revitalization of economically distressed areas, and promoting the broader social welfare through applying sound environmental design and operations, and serving as a catalyst for improved public policies.”

Smith, Sarah E. K. “‘Working in the Space Between’: Understanding Col- laboration in Contemporary Artistic Practice.” Reviews in CulturalTheory. 01 Nov 2012. Web.

Reviewing the work of Grant Kester, Queens University Professor Sarah E.K. Smith comments on the recent growth of collaborative practices,


describing it as a “paradigm shift within the field of art.” The shift is broken down into the move toward collective production and the changing focus to processed-based work (particularly those with audience participation in mind). Furthermore, Smith highlights that collective projects produce a different form of knowledge that can only form based on the participants’ unique personal experiences. She concludes by quoting Kester, who explains, “thorough evaluation of collaborative art can reveal a more complex model of social change and identity.”

Sullivan, Patrick. “Sharing Spaces, Costs.” The Non Profit Times. 02 Dec 2014. Web.

While this article explains many benefits of shared space arrangements, it is also one of the few that outlines some of the obstacles. The main issue cited is, understandably, scheduling of common spaces such as meeting or conference rooms. Challenges can easily arise in situations where there are no set rules in place. In agreeing to share space, sometimes an organization becomes a landlord for the first time and thus may be inexperienced with handling such conflicts. Other times, however, if both organizations have equal power in the collaboration agreement, it’s easy to get stuck during conflict resolution. This issue can be combatted with proper planning and documented procedures, which have been agreed upon be all affected partied, in place.

Thomson, Kristin et al. “Arts Organizations and Digital Technologies.” Prepared by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. 04 Jan 2013. Print.


Using a survey that polled 1258 arts organizations, this report confirms that “cultural organizations like theater companies, orchestras, and art museums are using the internet, social media, and mobile apps to draw


in and engage audiences, provide deeper context around art, and dissem- inate their work beyond the stage and the gallery.” Key Findings include:

technology use is pervasive in arts organizations, social media allow new forms of audience participation in the arts, and technology expands access to the arts. New challenges with the digital include getting tech funding and bringing staff up to speed. Arts organizations agree the technology is very useful to their organization, however there are negative aspects, including that digital technology negatively impacts the experience at in-person events.

Woodard, Benjamin. “Rogers Park Art Collective Would Help Lonely Art- ists, Organizers Say.” DNAinfo Chicago. 9 May 2014. Web.


This article serves as a call for artists to join a new arts collective in Chicago’s Rogers Park to combat the issue of artists in the area working in isolation. Incentives cited for joining are twofold—there is a benefit to the artists, in that they may gain inspiration and motivation, as well as a benefit to the community, who have the opportunity to be exposed to new works and who may gain inspiration themselves.

Documents produced by funding and/or researcher agencies that suggest collaboration promotes equity in the arts:

Louis, Skye & Leah Burns “Arts& Equity Toolkit.” Prepared by Neighbour- hood Arts Network. n.d. Print.


Mathur, Ashok et al. “Equity within the Arts Ecology: Traditions and Trends.” Prepared by the Centre for Innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada (CICAC). Oct 2011. Web.



“Supporting Cultural Advocacy, Policy, and Equity in New York City.” Pre- pared by New YorkCity Cultural Agenda Fund in The New York Community Trust. n.d. Web.


Torres, F. Javier et al. “Advancing Equity in Arts and Cultural Grantmaking:

Perspectives from Five Funders.” GIA Reader: Vol 23(1). Winter 2012. Web.


Yoshitomi, Jerry et al. “Cultural Equity Dialogues: Artistic Marginalization.” GIA Reader: Vol 23(3). Fall 2012. Web.

Web. The Gathering: Arts Organizations Promoting Pluralism. May

The Gathering: Arts Organizations Promoting Pluralism. May 2016.


Section VI: Workshops on Collaborative Practices


Section VI: Workshops on Collaborative Practices 2015-16 70
Section VI: Workshops on Collaborative Practices 2015-16 70












Section VII: CPAMO Mandate and History

Board Of Directors: John Ryerson, Farwah Gheewala, Alicia Rose, Sheniz Janmohamed, Perry Voulgaris and Astrid Ho

Administrative Staff: charles c. smith (Executive Director), Kevin A. Ormsby (Program Manager), Victoria Glizer (Program Assistant) and Venessa Harris (Report Research Assistant).

Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO) began officially in 2009 as a movement ofIndigenous and racialized artists seeking oppor- tunities to engage with presenters across Ontarioand to enable presenters to develop constructive relationships with Indigenous and racializedartists. However, there was much that happened before then to get to this point. In 2002, the nowExecutive Director of CPAMO, charles c. smith, began meeting with artists and presenters to get asense of the issues, challenges and concerns in the arts communities and to understand what mightneed to be done to promote more diverse performances on stages across Ontario. It wasn’t until apartnership between Ontario Presents that CPAMO received its first grants from the Ontario TrilliumFoundation and the Canada Council for the Arts. Following this, CPAMO was successful in receivinggrants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Ministry of Citizen- ship, Culture and Recreation (as it wasthen). These funds, mostly administered by Ontario Presents, were for projects to support building arelationship between Indigenous, racialized artists and presenters – a process that started in January 2010.

At the center of CPAMO’s work is the belief in pluralism as a way to move beyond simplyacknowledging culturally diverse arts organizations. CPAMO seeks to achieve an energeticengagement with diversity and actively seeks to build relationships based on understanding acrosslines of artistic and cultural difference. CPAMO works to establish a new paradigm of pluralism wherewe do not leave our identities and beliefs behind, instead we hold


our genuine differences not inisolation, but in relationship to each other. This level of understanding is achieved through dialogue,revealing our common understandings and authentic differences.

In this context, CPAMO has functioned as a network of Indigenous and racialized artists involved intheatre, music, dance, visual and literary arts. CPAMO’s overarching goal is to help foster the creation of high quality art from diverse backgrounds and support its presentation on all stages in Ontario. Toachieve this, CPAMO is committed to a grassroots approach, always shaping its programs andactivities from the members needs. Over the past five years CPAMO has engaged a significantnumber of arts organi- zations, artists, facilitators to provide very successful workshops.

CPAMO has been involved in six principle activities:

1) Coordinating public forums/Town Halls on pluralism in the arts 2) Providing showcases of Indigenous and racialized artists 3) Coordinating professional development opportunities 4) Engaging in networking activities within the arts 5) Conducting research and promoting member activities 6) Delivering presentations at conferences and other forums.

CPAMO believes it must be a catalytic entity to support change for Indigenous and racialized artistsand arts organization, in the arts sector and in the broader community as well.

Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario Instagram and Twitter @cpamoontario Facebook search for CPAMO