ArtReach Grant Writing: Workplans Presentation on Slideshare

ArtReach Grant Writing: Workplans Presentation on Slideshare

If you know me, you know that one of my many visions in life is to create a world where artists stop procrastinating. 

In January ArtReach will be doing another Grant Writing 101 workshop, with Paulina O'Kieffe, for their upcoming granting round.

Here's a sneak peek at the slides I will be presenting in January.

Social Media Workshop & Portrait Session at UrbanArts Community Arts Council

Social Media Workshop & Portrait Session at UrbanArts Community Arts Council

Workshop Description:
GAIN MORE VISIBILITY FOR YOUR BRAND ONLINE! Learn tips and strategies to optimize your social media profiles so that you can increase your followers and your social media engagement.
Facilitated by: Tanya Turton
Headshots by: Fonna Seidu

Portrait Session for Black Queer Youth at Supporting Our Youth in Sherbourne Health Centre

Portrait Session for Black Queer Youth at Supporting Our Youth in Sherbourne Health Centre

Date: February 22nd, 2017
Location: Sherbourne Health Centre
Photos by: Fonna Seidu
Youth Group: Black Queer Youth (BQY) is a weekly drop-in group where we celebrate Black queer and trans spectrum people’s trials and accomplishments.

Sept to Nov in 3 minutes & 5 Seconds

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My first video recapping September - November 2013; there are a lot of things that need to be worked on, but I'm still pretty proud of my video!

SONG CREDITS

Morsa - erotic post-ironic ft. Ella morsa

Dd2 remixx - legend da beatslaya

Blank kytt  - sgt frog

Handbook - been a while since you spoke bad panda

Unknown - Flying until the end

Happy Birthday Body Fat! Happy Birthday.

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Asian Arts Freedom School hosted a 3-part workshop series with Catherine Hernandez.

In the first workshop Catherine created a circle of safe vulnerability where we had to connect with our muse (or intuition) by making eye contact with other participants then breaking into a body movement. We then split into small groups to re-create a reading of a eulogy. Following the reading Catherine invited us to write a creative eulogy; some people wrote about their past selves and others spoke of abstract concepts. Here's mine, talking about the death of expectations:

Goodnight sweet expectations. Born before the birth of your mother; plans, hopes, and dreams. You were supposed to bring Fonna the American Dream - husband, some kids, a nice house, with a pleasant job - regurgitating norms.

Fondest farewell as a reclamation is in process. Expectations, you've held back many dreams, disappointed many parents, and shattered countless relationships. We now collectively make space for you in the ground in order to allow creativity, uniqueness, inhibition, and pure joy.

Expectations, ever since your passing you've allowed people to finally be happy and carefree 
(It will be interesting to lose you).

Yesterday Alvis and I were the only participants… and the creation process was choppy but hella connected.

Again, Catherine led us through writing and performing the death and life of something/someone. While performing we played with levels, smudged one another, and re-created ourselves with objects. Below is my eulogy celebrating the death of mislabeling self-care:

We mark the end of a significant time period in which doing nothing all day is seen as lazy and unproductive.

This perspective has brought about many fears amongst people who are taking care of themselves, beautifully tangled bodies, and fabulous folks dealing with chronic illnesses.

Today, gathered in mourning are the capitalist fucktards that reinforce the idea of resting is a weak trait.

We wish to never look back at feelings of shame and hurt; instead looking forward to happier, healthier, healing individuals in this community.

Thank You.

Following death, we always look forward to birth - here is my birth announcement about body fat:

Happy Birthday Body Fat!

Born of brown skin, luscious rolls, curves, crevices, and waves. The world opens in acceptance, to growth, and fullness of your being and existence.

Parented by others with different names - baby fat, chubby, big boned, voluptuous - oh, it is a treat to see you today!

Siblings sausage fingers and chub rub rejoice, excited to see you grow into muffin tops and back boobies.

Today we celebrate the concluding stages of body positivity by gathering together in family feasts in order to see you flourish.

Happy Birthday Body Fat! Happy Birthday.

I hope you liked what I created.

- Fonna

P.S. I'm currently jamming' out to Elton John!

A Sunday with Catherine Hernandez

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Sundays are typically known to be resting days, but on the 17th I participated in a workshop facilitated by Catherine Hernandez (hosted by Asian Arts Freedom School). Right after check-in Catherine introduced us to the concept of muse and ego. With artists our muse is also known as our intuition - where we trust our instincts and create whatever is necessary in the moment. The ego often hinders the creative spirit of the muse by re-enforcing socialized norms and rules. The activity required us to be vulnerable, make eye-contact one at a time with other participants then bust out a movement we were feeling in that particular moment. We did this three times to three different songs and I realized my ego is hella dominant. Simply "going with the flow" and "trusting my intuition" was tough for me - I was afraid of embarrasing myself by making the wrong type of movement. Thankfully, we will be doing two more workshops in the upcoming weeks, so I can learn how to quiet my screaming ego.

Afterwards, I offered some videography services to Catherine for Operation Lifeboat by Sulong Theatre. It was a lucky opportunity because I had a camera on me - plus I haven't had money to donate relief funds to the Philippines, so shooting videos was my contribution at the time. We filmed Alvis Choi, Katie Sly, & Ill Nana Diverse City Dance Company. They all spoke about really relevant topics and I'm excited to see their videos.

So far here are some of the videos where my film clips were included:

Strange Sisters: The Insatiable Redux

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6 mixed-media images from The Femme Chronicles were showcased during Strange Sisters on October 25th. Kim Crosby & Gein Wong posted a final thank you notice on the blog.

8 performance artists

Catherine Hernandez, India Davis,Juliet November,Donna Michelle St. Bernard, Alvis Parsley, Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene, cassy walker & Masti Khor 

2 visual artists

Francesca Nocera & Fonna Seidu

Fonna Seidu, ”would like to thank all the youth group participants who attended, Rufina Bernabe (mom!) & Drey Anozie (filmmaker) for supporting my artistic decisions, and my models Juli(a), Bridget, and Julian.”

I am grateful for the experience and got my life watching the performances - especially Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene's femme empowerment piece and India Davis' hoop & pole performances.

Bridget
Julian
Julian
Juli(a)
Juli(a)
Bridget

I look forward to show more of my work in group exhibitions in the upcoming months!

Requiem for a Dream: The Drag Musical

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Drag Musical - Xem by Akriti Photo Credit: Akriti Jain

Requiem for a Dream: The Drag Musical

Performing is one heck of an experience.

Our team completed 12 weeks of workshops to create our final piece that was performed on Oct. 30th. The surprising calm I experienced before the performance was eerily awesome, but it made time for me to take pictures! Over 200 attendees cheered, wooed, and sung with the drag musical team. I am eternally grateful for the support behind my insecurities and vulnerabilities throughout this entire experience.  Now to have our final celebration party!

Suburbia: Initially Re-Segregation and Now a Conformist, Repetitive, and Mundane Culture

While listening to an online lecture for my Music in the City course, the guest lecturer (Dr. Chris McDonald) speaks about the band Rush. Throughout their discography, Rush was evidently a conscious group and criticized many aspects of society with their lyrics. McDonald included the song "Subdivisions" as part of the lecture,  a song that describes the boredom, conformity, and feelings of isolation that is often found in suburban neighborhoods - especially for kids that were different.

The lecturer also shared the history of suburbia. Apparently, after WWII there was a rise in institutionally educated individuals due to free tuition; we all know that institutional education is a one-sided situation, so that's one issue. But now that various movements were happening and other oppressed groups were demanding equality, there was backlash. Due to racial tensions, and other issues, White folks moved away from the city. It was instilled that the city was/is a dirty, noisy, dangerous, and diverse area. On the other hand, the suburbs were seen as safe, comfortable, spacious places to build a family. The suburbs were also known as areas where middle- and upper-class people moved to where the working-class would stay in the city. McDonald also mentioned how non-Eurocentric countries and communities are reversed. In these communities, the farther away from the city one is, the poorer they were. Unfortunately, I'm not making time to look further into the history, but this topic really piqued my interest.

One question I wonder is "Why choose to settle in the suburbs?"

Okay, I understand that there's a certain amount of privacy (other than the gossiping and behind-curtain peeping), the suburbs can potentially promote a tighter-knit family unit (despite that fact that everyone has big rooms to themselves and have all types of entertainment in their rooms to keep them entertained all day), and a spacious amount of land (sure, a pool and patio furniture is nice to have), but I still don't get it. In my mind suburbia is uncomfortable, elitist, and conformist... Suburbia

I don't blame the kids that tire of the place and want to do something different - whether it means changing their clothing style from preppy to punk, or getting into MMORPGs where they can be anyone/anything they wish, or closing off and diving into their creative talents rather than following their peers to the mall (that is a 20-30 minute drive away)... Suburbia is just not for me. Repetition and conformity is held in moderation, but having to live it day in and day out? No thank you. I'd rather live in the diverse, sorta community-oriented, small living space, culturally variant hub of Toronto and chill with a group of QTPOCs (and allies) than try to be fake in suburbia.

I'm tired of typing suburbs and suburbia, so I'm going to close off with a question...

If you live in suburbia, what attracted you and what keeps you there?

Why You Should Follow Your Passions

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As a budding artist, stumbling across The Passion Project by Andre'D. Wagner is thoroughly inspiring.

Look through it and feel the creativity flow through your veins as you dive into Andre' D. Wagner's passion.

"Living a life with passion will change your surroundings and the people that are in your life. Living a life with passion will organically mainfest as greatness in the things you are called to do and the people you meet. It will demand people around you to be and do their best and the energy will multiply tenfold. So, I guess the only thing I want in return from you, is for you to live harder, to work harder, to love harder, give harder...and to pursue your passion!"

- Andre' D. Wagner