Thursday, July 12, 2018

Isleville Park Community BBQ & Halifax Bikeweek Updates

Pop-up events are a great way for Art Bikers to test ideas and connect with various communities and groups across the Halifax region. This year, we were invited to join the Halifax Cycling Coalition at the Commons for Bike Week Halifax.

Joined by children and families enjoying a sunny evening at the Oval, we created bike and scooter wheel designs that flashed and swirled as wheels turned. This was a delight for younger children especially!

New signage welcoming folks in multiple languages was a great source of conversation as folks recognized their language or characters from their alphabet!

The North End Community Circle’s Annual Isleville Park BBQ is always a well-attended community event! This year, Art Bikers set up a dynamic and interactive pop-up postcard exchange inspired by an art project called City Mail*.

With a temporary post office, mail box, and mail carrier bags, there were jobs for everyone to do!

This is our very first letter carrier about to deliver the first Isleville Postcard!

Who's the lucky recipient?! Councillor Lindell Smith!
Writing and mailing postcards within the park, tracking down recipients, gathering and sorting kept everyone very busy and engaged.

We had volunteers from the community delivering silkscreened “Isleville Post” postcards all
through the event! Councillor Lindell Smith was among the lucky recipients!  

A highlight was sharing postcards with maintenance crew members and firefighters! 

An extra special thanks to all of the children, teens, and community leaders who helped animate this project!* Artist Alison Creba and friends are inspiration for Isleville Post. Creba’s Citymail was a project that happened in Halifax and by invitation at festivals and events in Atlantic Canada. Alison Creba was also an Art Biker for three seasons, from 2007 - 2009!

Art Bikers Season 12 Extra Training Highlights!

So as we've highlighted on the blog earlier, the beginning of the Art Bikers season is all about training! Because the Art Bikers program is designed with lots of learning and exploration in mind, a range of workshops and skill shares take place over the first several weeks in support of the facilitation the artists will do in neighbourhoods all around the Halifax area. Here's a window into those first few weeks:

This year, Art Bikers participated in a Child Development Workshop led by Sheila Davis who works with young children at Bryony House. Sheila helped us understand different stages of child development, and responded to some of our questions about past work with children and families.

Art Bikers have the opportunity to work with new Canadians and families from a range of places. We encounter many languages in our fieldwork and want to welcome everyone, so we participated in a Non-Verbal Communication Workshop with dancer and actor Liliona Quarmyne. She helped us develop awareness about our body language and gestures. Through role playing and theatre games, we learned so much about ranges of emotions, inclusion, and expression.

Art Bikers work from a community development perspective and an anti-oppression framework.
This season’s Anti-Oppression Training was with Carmella Farahbakhsh from South House.
Art Bikers asked Carmella how to develop and think more about anti-oppressive language and
how to help connect and share the stories of our participants.

Other highlights included joining ISANS for their Building Intercultural Competence Workshop, having
our Basic First Aid Training updated, and a whole host of skill shares that let us share our facilitation
skills; a favourite project, art medium or idea; and a brainstorming session to dream big and imagine
these new skills in our work with communities.

After a Basic Screenprinting Workshop, Art Bikers joined Wonder’neath in their annual tradition of
screenprinting tshirts with grade one students at Saint Joseph’s A. MacKay Elementary School.
We taught students how to make paper stencil designs using geometric shapes to create a unique tshirt.

Former Art Biker Merle Harley, and current staff Eric Diolola, led us in a Community Mapping Workshop
that embraced teachings from both Jumblies Theatre in Toronto and their respective art/music practices.
This allowed us to learn more about each other and explore our vulnerabilities.

Other highlights included:

  • a program overview by co-founder Terri Whetstone;
  • book binding by Imogene;
  • mindfulness by Devon;
  • sound exploration by Eric;
  • mapping our skills, talents, gifts by Terri;
  • and stop motion animation by Jessica!

Our beginning of season pop-ups included Switch! Dartmouth, Halifax Bike Week, O’Baby at the Khyber
as part of the Obey Convention, and the Annual Isleville BBQ.

We also developed a Working Together Agreement that highlights the emotional, physical, and spiritual
needs of the team. We do this to better understand each other and to anticipate the needs of people we
will encounter throughout our work during the summer.

Now that our season is underway, we will keep you posted about our upcoming locations and projects!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Schedule for the first weeks of July 2018!

We are so excited to begin our work outdoors in communities around the Halifax area! Here is our schedule for the first few weeks of July! The remaining July/August dates will be posted once they have been confirmed. Please reach out to us on our blog or social media accounts if you have ideas, comments, or questions and check for any updates if the weather isn't cooperative!

Check out the 4C's Foundation website for more info