Crafting Communities Workshop

art studio supplies on shelves

Prior to the world going to hell, I participated in a wonderful six days of professional development put on by Thinking Rock Community Arts and Jumblies Theatre. Titled “Crafting Communities” this workshop was based on Jumblies well-known Artfare Essentials training which is focused on skill building connected to community arts facilitation.

“Crafting Communities” focused on creative facilitation approaches to community arts, with a focus on textile art/craft. The workshop covered the a range of topics including: the basics of what community arts are, different styles of arts based facilitation, how to plan a community arts project, common challenges associated with community arts projects, and potential funding for community arts.

Personally, I loved that much of this content was delivered through active art making and engagement. Instead of simply talking about facilitation techniques we participated in facilitated activities and had conversations while making art.

I also really enjoyed that this workshop helped develop a community of practitioners. It brought together fiber and textile practitioners, folks engaged in music as community arts, and others working on dance, movement, drama, and art based community projects. We had the opportunity to connect with practitioners who live in work in Northern Ontario as well as community arts folks from the Toronto region. This mixture of geographic backgrounds helped fill the workshop with a range of perspectives and experiences.

The next phase of the Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall project includes more of an art and participatory focus. It also includes the development of hands-on workshops for visitors to the site, allowing them to learn about colonization, decolonization, and Residential Schools in a more engaged manner. I’m looking forward to trying and testing out some of the facilitation techniques learned during this workshop in the Reclaiming Shingwauk space.

Photo by Katya Austin on Unsplash

The Covid-19 Chroniclers

Covid 19 logo

I’m participating alongside Andrea Eidinger, Britt Luby, Carolyn Podruchny, and Sarah York-Bertram in a “The Covid-19 Chroniclers” project. This initiative aims to document our experiences working in academia during the era of Covid-19.

We are chronicling our experiences working in academe throughout the coronavirus outbreak. We are writing as support staff, a tenured faculty member, a pre-tenured faculty member, a sessional instructor, and a graduate student. We feel that our personal lives could reveal how privilege in the academy shapes our experiences. We’ll be posting new content daily on the website and hope that chronicling this experience can be useful to reflect on academic life and to build community within academia.

Historical Reminiscents Podcast EP 66: Don’t Throw Out That VCR

Stack of VHS tapes on left of image, right reads Episode 66 Don't Throw Our That VCR

In today’s episode I’m talking about digitization of VHS tapes, digital preservation, and my recent trials and tribulations of using VCRs. I chat about the labour intensive work behind digitization and the challenges of video preservation. 

Mentioned in this episode:
-Samantha Thompson, “Why Don’t Archivists Digitize Everything?
-National Archives, Video Guidance: Playback and Digitization of Materials

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Download or Listen Now:

Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Inclusion in Library Spaces Webinar Recording

On Thursday February 27, 2020 I presented a webinar on “Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Inclusion in Libraries.” Sponsored by the ACRL University Libraries Section Professional Development Committee this session provided an overview of a diverse range of gender identities and experiences and best practices for working with transgender colleagues, students, and patrons.

The slides and speaker notes from my presentation can be found here. You can also check out the PADLET I created as part of the session to allow participants to share what their libraries are doing to support trans and gender variant inclusion. The chat was super lively during the webinar and the collated links from the cat can be found here.

Lastly, if you want you can watch the whole webinar video. Thanks again for all the work of ACRL in supporting this webinar.

OE Fellows Open Ed Week Kick-Off Webinar

OE Fellows graphic

As part of my role as an eCampus Ontario Open Education Fellow, I’m participating in a community conversation webinar about open education. This webinar will kick off Open Education Week on March 2nd at 12:30 pm and bring together the 2019-20 cohort of OE Fellows.

From the webinar description:
Learn more about their experience acting as open ed ambassadors on campus, and learn all about their final projects and contributions to the field of open education as they wrap up the year. Come with all of your questions

You can register at: https://ecampusontario.zoom.us/webinar/register/1015797962352/WN_a_AUj4fQSFiWcoQF1dartg

Historical Reminiscents Podcast EP 65: Letting Go To Make Space

Building with words time is precious. Right side reads Episode 65: Letting Go To Make Space

In today’s episode I’m thinking about making space for new opportunities by letting go of old ones. I discuss balancing commitments, knowing when it is time to move on, and changing interests. 

Mentioned in this episode:
Thinking Rock Community Arts
-Erin Wunker, “Surthrival” on the Hook & Eye blog

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

Download or Listen Now:

Context Matters: Indigenous Knowledge and OER

Title slide of presentation

As part of my eCampus Ontario Open Education Fellows project I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with Skylee-Storm Hogan on a couple of projects. As always, this collaboration has been a joy and I’ve learned so much from work with Skylee-Storm.

Part of this work has included creating a video that explores the intersection of Indigenous knowledge and OER. I’ve shared the video below and if you’re interested you can also checkout our slides and notes here.

Historical Reminiscents Podcast EP 64: Professional Growth Within An Organization

Plant in a pot with the word grow

I’ve been working at Algoma University, in the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, since 2010. That’s a decade. In today’s episode I’m talking about means to stay at one institution for a long period of time and how to grow within local opportunities. 

Mentioned in this episode:
-Erin White, “What It Means to Stay

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

Download or Listen Now:

Webinar: Trans and Gender Non-conforming Inclusion in Libraries

Rainbow coloured lights

UPDATE: Registration for this webinar is now full (wow! thanks folks!). If you are interested in receiving a copy of the recording you can email Laura Gariepy at lwgariepy[at]vcu[dot]edu and she will make sure you get access to the recording.

On Thursday February 27, 2020 I’m presenting a free webinar on “Trans and Gender Non-conforming Inclusion in Libraries.”

Sponsored by the ACRL University Libraries Section Professional Development Committee this session will provide an overview of a diverse range of gender identities and experiences and best practices for working with transgender colleagues, students, and patrons. Through the sharing of examples, this session will challenge participants to create trans affirming spaces while critically examining library policies, languages, and practices.

Folks can register at: https://www.acrl.ala.org/ULS/trans-and-gender-non-conforming-inclusion-in-libraries/ If you can’t make this session but wish to view a recording later, please register so that you’ll receive an email that includes a link to the video of the presentation.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Organizing Ideas Podcast

Person with headphones against a pink background

I recently had the joy of talking with Allison Jones and Karen Ng of the Organizing Ideas Podcast, a fantastic podcast looking at the relationship between organizing information and community organizing.

We talked about public history, archival process, the need for archives to move away from colonial mindsets, and I gushed about embroidery briefly. You can listen to our conversation in “EP 18 – Public History with Krista McCracken.”

Photo by Elice Moore on Unsplash