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Cultural Appropriation in the Arts Workshops

Upcoming Nelson & District Arts Council Workshops:

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Kama La Mackerel
9:00am – 10:00am PST
For visual artists
Presented by Kama La Mackerel

The subject of cultural appropriation has been at the forefront of many discussions in recent years, particularly in the fields of arts and culture. In this workshop, we will break down the notions of “multicultural melting pot” that we often believe the arts should be, which lead to appropriative artistic practices. We will look at the urgent questions we need to ask ourselves as arts practitioners: what are the colonial assumptions we carry within us as creators; what are the ethical interrogations we need to make space for in our work; how do we make art that is truthful, respectful, and allows us to uphold the sacredness of our relationship to others? The workshop will be comprised of theoretical frameworks, practical tools and concrete scenarios to work with.

Simone Blais
10:15am – 11:45am
For dancers and choreographers
Presented by Simone Blais

In this workshop, you will watch the 25 minute film, Dance Like Everybody’s Watching,’ which follows three Black dancers in Victoria, BC as they expose their worlds of flamenco, hip hop, and dancehall. While the dancers grapple with racism, tokenism, and stereotypes, we are reminded that dance is always political. This film screening is followed by a facilitated discussion with director Simone Blais.

Jacqueline Valencia
12:00pm – 1:00pm PST
For writers
Presented by Jacqueline Valencia 

A look at the ethics in writing and cultural appropriation. How to write without harm.


Carla Stephenson
1:15pm – 2:45pm
For venues, festivals, and arts organizations
Presented by Carla Stephenson

In this 90-minute workshop, we will discuss best practices to avoid cultural appropriation at your events from inception through to curation and delivery.

We will dive into challenging questions and conversations and will offer concrete resources to bring back to your organizations to continue the conversation.

Dawn Pemberton
3:00pm – 4:30pm
For musicians and composers
Presented by Dawn Pemberton

Join Dawn Pemberton as she explores the necessary tools to empower you to seek justice, honour equality, diversity, and inclusion in your classrooms, your choirs, your repertoire choices and in your life. We’ll examine style as cultural expression and discuss how personal experiences affect culture, especially within the music of the African diaspora. We’ll look at how cultural appropriation, tokenism, and colonization impact our musical choices and how we can truly be allies in and out of the classroom.

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