Arts & Equity Series | Courage Labs & Community Arts Jams

This spring 2017 will bring together all past themes to explore intersectionality, transformative justice and organizational equity in creative, participatory and art-based ways, led by an incredible line up of established artists, activists and facilitators.

Community Arts Jam

Hosted by SKETCH and Neighbourhood Arts Network 

Join us for the third COMMUNITY ARTS JAM – the Arts & Equity Day-long Retreat!

Calling all community-engaged artists, creative facilitators, artist-educators and community arts leaders interested in exploring themes of race and equity in community-based programming, arts for social change and organizational development!

This year, we're coming together to create a collection of ‘recipes’ for social change focusing on direct creative and community-based practices needed to decolonize and indigenize our work; layout frameworks for organizational equity; share tools to address anti-Black racism, power, privilege, ableism Islamophobia AND build a collection of facilitation activities to use when working with group.

DATE: Monday, May 29, 2017
NEW LOCATION: Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St, Toronto​
TIME: 9:00 am - 4pm
COST: $40.00, which includes ticket and food for the day (subsidies and scholarships are available by request.)

Once again, the Community Arts Jam will be an exciting mash-up and peer-to-peer exchange for creative people who lead groups through arts-based programs or workshops either as a facilitator, community artist and community organizers.
Our goal is to create a gathering where we can come together to share best practices, lead or test our creative ideas/activities, build new resources and get creative with one another in a fun, hands-on and supportive environment that will be facilitated using an anti-oppressive lens.
The event will feature special guests, art-making and open space dialogues fueled by what we collectively bring to this unique community arts jam! Here is our line-up of facilitators:


Karen B. K. Chan is a sex and emotional literacy educator in Toronto, Canada. Karen (aka BK) has taught and written about sex, sexuality, and emotional intelligence for over 18 years. She is dedicated to having conversations about sexuality that are real, transformative, and kind. 



Nadia Chaney is a freelance lead facilitator, trainer and process design consultant in arts empowerment and arts-based processes.  She is currently serving as Director of Training at Partners for Youth Empowerment, an organization dedicated to providing transformative experiences for youth around the world by providing capacity-building creative facilitation workshops for frontline social workers and community artists.



Brigid Tierney is the Black Women Film! Partner and Youth Engagement Coordinator at TIFF, Brigid Tierney lives in Toronto and works full time at TIFF as the senior coordinator of youth engagement.  She likes to create symbiotic exchange between young people and arts institutions, to ensure programming stays accessible, dynamic and engaging.  



Naty Tremblay (Naty) carries the conviction and strength of their Métis French Farmer roots, and the experiences as a queer identical twin and rambler to imbue criticality and creativity into everything they engage with. Naty holds a BA in Integrated Media from the Ontario College of Art and Design with a special focus on the theory and practice of making art for social change.

For more information contact Ella Cooper, Equity Program Lead at
This event was made possible with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Catherine Donelly Foundation. 


Courage Lab 2015
 Courage Lab: Arts & Equity Workshop Series, hosted by SKETCH and Neighbourhood Arts Network.

Entering its 3rd year, Courage Labs have convened diverse artists, educators, organizers and activists to courageously investigate, share, experiment and explore ideas, concepts and tools based in arts equity, reconciliation and anti-oppression frameworks.

Featured guest facilitators and artists will be announced just prior to each event!


The hands-on, arts centred series will include:

Courage Lab 1: Intersectionality and our Collective Practices

  • March 9, 2017 | 6-9pm
  • Location: SKETCH Studios, 180 Shaw Street, Artscape Youngplace, SKETCH project studio on the lower level
  • Guest Artist: Melannie Moneceros
  • Facilitator: Naty Tremblay and Ella Cooper

 Guest Artist Bio | Melannie Monoceros is a poet and artist exploring polysensory production through text/ile and performance. They live and work on the traditional land of the Haudenosaunee, Petun, Anishinabe, Mississaugas of New Credit, and Huron Wendat peoples commonly known as Toronto, ON. They have read and performed at the Mayworks Festival Toronto, ON (2015) and at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Toronto, ON (2016). They have been a guest lecturer at Concordia University, Ontario College of Art and Design, and Ryerson University. melannie’s writing has appeared in Make/Shift magazine and When Language Runs Dry. Their first solo exhibition, Point of Origin received critical acclaim at the Tangled Art Gallery, Toronto, ON in 2016. Currently melannie is working on a series titled                  “a n c e s t o r a d i o”.

 Courage Lab 2: Transformative Justice and Creative Organizing

  • March 22, 2017 | 6-9pm
  • Location: SKETCH Studios, 180 Shaw Street, Artscape Youngplace, SKETCH project studio on the lower level
  • Facilitated by Naty Tremblay & Jamaias Dacosta
  • Click here to register

Guest Artist Bio | Jamaias DaCosta (Kanien’keha:ka, Cree, Irish, French, and Jamaican (Colombian, African, Portuguese, Sephardic Jew) is a mother, facilitator, spoken word performer, writer, deejay, radio geek and a lover of futurist resurgence movements. Through spoken word, radio, and arts based facilitation and training, Jamaias’ work focuses on critical deconstruction of colonial narratives, ancestors and identity, and celebration of Black and Indigenous futurism.

Courage Lab 3: Sharing Strategies for Equity and Anti-Oppression in Arts Organizations, Institutions and Systems

  • April 5, 2017 | 6-9pm
  • Location: OCAD University, Graduate Studies Building, 205 Richmond, Room 510  (Richmond & University)
  • Facilitated by Tina Lopes & Ella Cooper
  • Click here to register

Guest Artist Bio | Tina Lopes is an organizational development consultant, facilitator and mediator, skilled in promoting organizational change processes. Since 1990, she has maintained a broad practice, collaborating with people who want to change the systems, structures, policies and cultures of their organizations. Working with governments, community agencies, human service organizations, unions and agencies serving women, Tina develops processes for organizational change, conflict mediation and human rights policies. She also facilitates strategic planning, team building and broad development sessions for salaried and volunteer groups. 

The Courage Lab series builds on the on going Emergence partnership initiative led by SKETCH and Neighbourhood Arts Network, focused on provided space to investigate creative practices for leading social change in the arts in Toronto.
Wheelchair Accessible.
Scent free environment.
Whisper translation and ASL available upon request.

Admission is free. Food will be served.
In thanks to the Mississaugas of the New Credit, Haudenoshonee, Wendat and Metis people, the past and current stewards of the land on which we work and play. These events are made possible with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.