DDMAAC > DDMAAC UPDATES
VISION: Through DDMAAC, Stage Left cultivates grassroots conduits of cultural affinity, artistic autonomy and disability justice in Canada's Deaf/ Disability/ Mad Arts domain, and promotes the collective interests of artists whose lived experience of disablement advances artistic and aesthetic non-normativity.
March '21 update: No 2020 Year in Review
Stage Left and our DDMAAC network remains ridiculously disappointed that the principals of equity, for the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, have been dropped like a hot potato amid the worst public crisis (so far) in recent memory; ironically, we've noted that public health crises have most often emerged throughout history during times of greatest social inequality. So.
We're not providing a public summary of our 2020 activities, as too many of us haven't even made it to the "recovery" stage yet. We're not willing to exploit this very real struggle, for the far too many of us who are back on the margins again, for the benefit of this Network's public profile. We're still deeply immersed in the struggle for basic human needs, as so many of our collaborators have to navigate the added inequities from the bottom up.
Making Systemic Impact: Recommendations Accepted
We're thrilled to report that each of the recommendations we put forward to the Canada Council for the Arts were integrated into their recently released ETA II strategy.
Making Market Impact: Non-Normalization Affirmed
We're equally thrilled to report that Closet Freaks is premiering in GCTC's 2020/21 season. This intercultural QueerCrip production is advancing non-normalizing creation techniques and accommodated presenting models that are opening up new market access for diverse DDMSTC* Arts producers.
Making Regional Impact: Equity Integrated
Through a unique partnership with Calgary Arts Development, and an evidence-based approached to systemic arts equity, we helped to create their first Demographic Profile, by developing equity & diversity reporting tools and immersing their staff and board in foundational Arts Equity training.
Making Economic Impact: Diversity Valued
Through the combined efforts of many other Calgary-based arts equity advocates as well, the sector's public funding was doubled overall! Most importantly to us though, Calgary Arts Development dedicated an exclusive portion of that increase to historically excluded arts organizations and individuals.
Making Practice Impact: Mental Wellness Decolonized
Through reciprocal collaborations with Drs. Lindsay Crowshoe and Cindy Jardine, and in partnership with many First Nations across Treat 6, 7 & 8 Territories, we're decolonizing Stage Left's applied Theatre of the Oppressed Practice – along with western notions of "mental wellness".
Making Public Impact: Arts Equity "Canadianized"
We successfully adapted the American model of advocacy currently being advanced in the ecology into a Canadian arts sector context. It is evidence-based, attends to the concerns of all equity-seeking constituencies, strengthens intercultural competencies – in individual, cultural and civic spheres of influence – and is being put to potent use, in every region!
Making Sector Impact: Knowledge Shared
We've gotten the permissions needed from Stage Left's advisory team to begin publicly releasing the 20 years of national DDMSTC* Arts knowledge we've managed to amass. We've posted a sampling of it here, with a lot more to come....
We especially won't be sharing any of the "we promise to do better, at long last" virtue signalling that we're seeing too much of now. We will, however, keep reminding our colleagues that Stage Left and DDMAAC's team of arts-based activists have been "building back better" since 1999...
Our thanks to all of you who keep reaching out, wanting to support us or join us. We'll soon be letting you know how you can be more directly involved in DDMAAC's disability justice efforts. though our services will remain limited to the more under-serviced among us, our systemic-change advocacy remains radically inclusive.
Thanks for your solidarity. Sorry we can't quite yet put it to more potent use. Soon...
Forging Reciprocal Relations: ASO Sector Organizing
Several members of DDMAAC, in partnership with CAPACOA and Mass Culture, have come together in an effort to diversify and equalize the arts service sector. If our joint funding application is approved, we'll be co-producing the 2020 annual gathering of ASO sector advocates. Stay tuned...
Advancing Disability Justice: Canada Council Consultation
In September, 2019, DDMAAC's core team followed up with policy and granting staff at the Canada Council. We presented the more recent outcomes of our solidarity-building Retreat (see Dis/Engaged below) and offered-up the recommendations we've heard across the national domain since we last reported from the field in 2018.
Decolonizing DDMSTC* Arts: Prismatic Showcase
DDMAAC consultant Barak adé Soleil was invited to co-curate, with Leslie McClure, Prismatic Festival's The Talk. Stage Left's artistic team was invited to showcase Closet Freaks, a highly original QueerCrip Physical Theatre production that is decolonizing DDMSTC Arts in both process and product!
Cripping Queer Arts: Undercurrents Showcase
Stage Left's artistic team was also invited to showcase Closet Freaks at undercurrent festivals's 2019 Fresh Meat Cabaret.
Expanding Impact: A DDMAAC Team
Stage Left was finally able to engage a team of paid staff to advance DDMAAC's disability justice efforts, specifically Jenna Reid, Barak adé Soleil, and Sara Meurling. Dec 2019 update: Unfortunately, thanks to recent budget cuts [and now also Covid] we've lost DDMAAC's paid team.
Building Solidarity Dis/Engaged: A National Retreat
14 members of DDMAAC's national network converged at The Banff Centre, from Aug 27 to Sept 1 to forge needed cross-cultural solidarities in DDMSTC* Arts activity Dis/Engaged represents the twelfth national DDMSTC Arts gathering of diverse advocates in Stage Left's DDMAAC network.
Representing Multiversality: ETA II Feedback
At their invitation, DDMAAC passed on to the Canada Council many recommendations, from long-excluded, diverse DDMSTC Arts contributors, on the integration of disability justice tenets and practice-centric knowledge in their forthcoming national DDMSTC Arts policy - ETA .
*DDMSTC Arts: D/deaf/ hard of hearing; Disabled/ person with a disability; Sick/ spoonie/ survivor; Traumatized; Colonized....