UrbanArts and Artscape Weston Common have been hosting “Run It Black” for the past few weeks, and this Thursday will be their third (of six) live showcases.
You can tune in at 6:00 on Facebook Live to see Mighloe, a Toronto R&B artist perform.
UrbanArts says the series came about to respond to current events:
In response to anti-Black racism, Artscape Weston Common, in partnership with programming partner, UrbanArts, and non-profit organization, MANIFESTO, has launched the ‘Run It Black’ live showcase series to amplify voices of young black artists, celebrate the rich diverse culture in Weston and Greater Toronto Area, and provide paid and safe performance opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 23rd is Shakespeare’s official birthday. He was born in April 1564 and while there is uncertainty about the exact date, he definitely died on that date in 1616 and a convenient legend may have been established since April 23rd is also the feast day of St. George, patron saint of England (among other places).
Shakespeare was no stranger to pandemics and plagues. He may have written King Lear while in quarantine. Theatres were closed over a five-year period beginning in 1603 so the current pandemic, while a lot less deadly, would be familiar to him.
Here in Weston, we have an organization dedicated to bringing Shakespeare’s works to young people, Shakespeare in Action. SIA is one of the two anchor artistic organizations resident in the Weston Hub. They are currently organizing an activity open to all but aimed at people over the age of 55.
Read on below:
Did you know Shakespeare wrote his play King Lear in quarantine? Come join Pete Smith and Shakespeare in Action in our free online drop-in story-telling workshop for folks over 55. Tell a story. Tell your story.
Using Shakespeare’s King Lear as a springboard, you’ll receive guidance, be offered tools, and be inspired, to write, and tell compelling personal and fictional tales.
Through this story-sharing, we hope to create an ensemble and collect stories to turn into a community-based theatre production when social distancing is a thing of the past.
When: Mondays @ 10am – 11am
Dates: May 4th – Jun 1st, 2020 *excluding May 18th*Where: Zoom
Who: Priority for folks over 55 living in York South – Weston, but also open to anyone of any age who wants to be part of this project.
How: If you’re over 55, Email Danna at York West Active Living Centre at [email protected] or click the links below.
Why: Feeling isolated? Want to share stories? Come join!
On April 1, some Artscape tenants didn’t pay their rent because of the COVID pandemic, according to CTV.
A group of artist tenants at apartment building and cultural hub in the city’s Weston neighbourhood say that they plan to jointly withhold rent this week amid a COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted their livelihood.
In a news release issued early Monday morning, the tenants said that they have reached out to their landlord about their situation and have been told that they can defer half of their April rent on request and then pay the balance owing off over a six-month period starting May 1.
The CEO of Artscape was interviewed by NOW Toronto. He said,
“Like our tenants, we’ve also been affected by the crisis,” Artscape CEO Tim Jones tells NOW. “We’ve laid off 54 staff members. We are doing everything we can to provide as much support as we can to them and to tenants. We’re reaching out to all of our lenders, talking to suppliers and organizing advocacy efforts with the federal government…. If there’s a suggestion that we’re not trying to be helpful, it’s just not the case. Unfortunately, as a nonprofit there are constraints.”
Artscape has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. As of March 16th they closed all community hubs for three weeks including Weston and according to nowtoronto.com laid off 54 staff members. On top of that, artists at the 34 John Street Weston Hub live / work spaces are feeling the pinch of cancelled gigs and will not be paying rent when it comes due tomorrow. Non-profit Artscape told tenants that they could defer paying half of their April rent but artists have issued a press release stating that they won’t pay anything at all.
Since the closure is likely to continue far beyond April 6, and with revenues dwindling, Artscape may soon be scrambling for its own existence.
Do you dream of taking the stage?
Have you always wanted to create, perform or design for a theatre play?
Are you over the age of 55?
Now’s your chance!
Shakespeare in Action with the support of the New Horizons For Seniors Program is proud to produce King Lear in Weston, a community-engaged theatre project that is created by and for seniors living in northwest Toronto.
SHAKESPEARE FOR KIDS SUMMER CAMP
has a NEW HOME for 2020!Now in conjunction with SHAKESPEARE IN THE SHELL, The Groundlings (ages 7-11) and King’s Company (ages 12 – 15) will design, rehearse, and perform a play on the by the Artscape Weston Common, Shakespeare in Action’s new home!
Artscape, the organization that currently operates the Weston Hub is looking for a part-time coordinator of youth programs related to the UpstART Youth Mentorship Program. This program seems to have no presence on the web but a full description of duties is in the links below. The pay will range between $20 and $25 hourly.
Find more information here and here. Hurry; applications are due by 5pm on March 6.
Tonight’s the last night to see A Christmas Carol by Shakespeare in Action with the Weston Silver Band. Robin Breon, a theatre reviewer, gives it a rave review:
I’ve seen quite a number of Carols over the years and this one (to paraphrase Dickens) was as good A Christmas Carol as any good old city knew, or any other good old city, village, borough or town in the good old world!