What is ShapeShift Arts?
The name ShapeShift comes from a love of science fiction and a recognition that future-building includes acts of science fiction and suspension of disbelief in the now. To us, ShapeShifters are creators, change makers, code-switchers and people who dare to confront the many parts of self and community that must be faced in order to create/enact/accomplish radical change. We care deeply about the worlds we live in, and believe that art and artmaking are visionary acts that can help transform our current conditions towards futures where all of our communities can thrive.
What does ShapeShift Arts do?
Interdisciplinary Art, Events, Performances, Productions:
We work across the disciplines of Performance, Visual Arts, Film & Media, Literature, and Storytelling. Check out our Projects and keep an eye open for upcoming programming.
We create arts-based workshops that centre social justice and social arts practices. Our workshops are participatory in nature, integrating experiential and arts-based activities, which are designed to uncover the inner workings of our bodies, relationships, arts practices, organizations and our connection to the worlds and communities we live in. Check our listed Workshops for more information. Additionally, we offer a range of custom workshops for your group, collective or organization; one-to-one mentorships; or train-the-trainer programs. Contact us if you are interested in bringing us in and/or want more information on what we can do for/with you.
We are available to work as consultants with you and your collectives, organizations, and businesses. We are interested in working with you to identify, strategize and implement change. We have many years of anti-oppression analysis, curriculum development, facilitation and arts world experience, all of us having worked in/with/for non profits in many parts of the arts and social justice worlds. Contact us if you would like to bring us in as consultants.
Meet Our Team
lee williams boudakian
Creator of ShapeShift Arts, Artist & Facilitator
lee williams boudakian (uses they, them, theirs pronouns) is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, producer, facilitator, and consultant based in Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories. lee’s work emerges from their experiences as a queer, trans, mixed race settler born into an immigrant family. Their work is critical and necessarily intersectional. lee is invested in art and storytelling that integrates ancestral and cultural herstories; grapples with our current worlds; and visions into futures that centre the lives and stories of those of us currently living on the fringe and in the margins. As of 2016, lee has been working under ShapeShift Arts and Kalik. Both of these projects house their creative collaborations and represent models for how they are currently building an arts practice for interdisciplinary collaborative work. (photo by the amazing k.ho; website: http://www.photosbykatherineho.com)
Associate Artist & Facilitator
Pragya (MSW, RSW) is a fat, brown, queer, femme with a South Asian body and Prairie heart. She has naturally gravitated toward supporting people in times of crisis and vulnerability since she was a small child. As an adult, Pragya’s passion has been in working alongside survivors of sexualized violence on both structural and individual levels, as well as supporting youth struggling with mental illness. Her work comes from a healing justice framework, where she recognizes the relationship between social oppression and individual pain. Her approach is informed by feminist, anti-oppressive principles which guide her narrative and somatic-based approach. Mostly, she offers warmth, compassion, witnessing, and gentle invitations to peace and self-love. And she likes cats.
Associate Artist & Facilitator
Kamee was born in Scarborough, Ontario to an Armenian family, by way of Beirut, Lebanon; and arrives in the world today as a queer woman and a multidisciplinary producer / artist / facilitator / storyteller. She has a BFA/BA in film and political science from Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec) and an MA in expressive art therapy from the European Graduate School (Saas Fee, Switzerland) — with a special focus on the integration of digital media. The bedrock of Kamee’s arts training is in classical ballet, theatre, and visual art. In collaboration with fellow artists and allies (lee williams boudakian, Katie Partlow, The Hye-Phen Mag), she continues to develop a body of work inclusive of film, performance, writing, digital art and design (Dear Armen, Alchemy of Waste, Saboteur Productions). Kamee is currently pursuing an MA/PhD in community, liberation and ecopsychologies at Pacifica Graduate Institute (Carpinteria, California) and is based in Portland, Oregon.
Associate Artist & Facilitator
Anoushka Ratnarajah is a queer, mixed race femme, a writer, performer and organizer. She is invested in creating and supporting work that shines a light on histories and contemporary stories that are underrepresented in mainstream theatre and performance, and in collaborating and creating work with other women artists of colour, other queer and femme artists, and *trans artists. Her own solo and collaborative written and performance work focuses on her queer, femme, mixed race body and identity as a site of contradiction, marked by histories of violence and silence, but also a canvas for play, questioning and empowerment. Her most recent creative projects include “Capital, Alice!”, a collaboratively devised anti-capitalist Alice in Wonderland musical, and “Toasted Marshmallows” a documentary film and community building project exploring what it means to be a mixed-race woman in North America today. (photo credit: Nick Siu)
Co-creator of Kismet Workshops, Associate Artist & Facilitator
Gavin Kade is a writer, musician and [gender] activist. Fusing passions of collaborative art making with mixed media and social justice, Gavin aims to connect with people to create space for self-expression, exploration and growth. Gavin is the co-founder of the band Lost Boy Found, performs as a solo artist and open-hearted collaborator while residing on Unceded Coast Salish Territories for the past decade. As a facilitator, Gavin brings people together through workshops using a combination of experiential activities, arts and media to create space for dialogue around personal experience and systemic violence. Gavin has extensive training and lived experience unpacking complex issues around gender, sex, and sexual identity. Their current intention is to work with adults and educators in supporting them to better understand how to support and work with trans* and gender variant youth while creating anti-oppression workshops for groups of 10-30 people. find more info on Gavin at: www.gavinkade.com