Art into the Heart of it:

This 8-week workshop is for creative folks who arrive at artmaking as a politics and spiritual site/space/practice for survival. It is for those of us who make art as ways to dream into, shift and create new practices and paradigms of/for living.

Throughout our time together, we will unpack the various pieces/parts of our practice(s): We will look at why, where, when and how we create (and we will look at the challenges and barriers we face trying to establish a why, where, when and how to create). We will explore our personal & collective politics of/for artmaking, while also seeking out the magic and sacredness inside our creative acts/practices.

Importantly, we will make art and we will play. We will art our way into answers for some of the harder questions we face. We will investigate (with) heart and spirit, seeking to connect with the thing(s) that call us to make art now.

This is an interdisciplinary workshop: participants are invited to respond to the content of this workshop by writing, drawing, photographing, video-ing, music-ing, dancing/moving or doing your own way into our explorations.

What Sessions Will Look Like:

  • Meet once a week for 3 hours

  • We will read/watch/listen/celebrate/research/fill ourselves with artmaking

  • We will have discussions & ask questions towards arriving at some answers

  • At each session, we will have time to write/make/create (and prompts to help guide those explorations, if you’d like a prompt)

  • There will also be the option of participating in exercises/movement/visualizations

  • We will seek out rituals and practices that make sense for our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits; those that honour our own ancestral ties, while exploring the politics of how we practice these rituals

  • There will be some readings and prompts/explorations to do outside of sessions that will inform our sessions together

  • We will have the option of an in-session or public showcase towards the end of our 8-weeks. The details of that showcase will be determined and led by participants.

  • We will also have snacks, and for folks who are able, we will bring snacks to share.

Who is facilitating:

Hi I’m lee. I am a queer, trans, mixie interdisciplinary artist and facilitator. I have been facilitating workshops for a decade now, and am ongoing in my work of unpacking and building skills for facilitating. I view our workshops as a space we co-create together. As your facilitator, I will come prepared with an agenda, some thoughts/ideas/references/exercises to share, and I will hold space for your processes to unfold. Throughout I will offer artistic/creative teachings I have gathered over time, and/but it is also important that this space be shaped by each and the collective of participants. You will also be coming with lots of knowledge, thoughts, ideas, references and experiences, and it is important to me that the learning space we create honour your many knowings. Part of the methodologies that have been passed down to me and that I have been developing involve rethinking the hierarchical relationships between mentors and mentees and shifting the assumed dynamics of expert and learner into a reciprocal offering that is acknowledged as such. I believe strongly that my role as a facilitator is to work with and alongside you in your process and to hold space while you to discover your way into the work. The work is yours. As is the space we will create together.

I welcome questions and feedback throughout our process, and also value setting boundaries and acknowledging that my role and my place in this workshop has limits.

Access Info:

Site is streetlevel, and wheelchair accessible with one single-stall, all genders washroom. Measurements — Front door clearing: 36 in. Narrowest width in hallway: 38.5in. Washroom door: 33 in, with door that swings inwards. Washroom is all-genders, with a handrail. Sink: 35 inches from the ground, 5.5 in from the wall. Toilet: 11 inch clearance from the wall.

This is a multi-use space, with many different folks accessing it for support services and workshops and more. During our workshops, the space will be mostly private, with the possibility of one or two staff occasionally being onsite in a different room. The space is sometimes used for artmaking, and may therefore have remnants of paint, cleaners and other scents/chemicals present. All participants are asked to help make a scent-reduced space by refraining from wearing perfumes, colognes or other scented products (including essential oils). For more information on how to support folks with multiple chemical sensitivities, check out Peggy Munson’s writing:

If you want to attend this workshop and need ASL interpretation, please be in touch.

If any other/further/particular access details are sought, again, please be in touch.

Topics We Will Cover:

▪️Intuitive connection
▪️Creative Spreads and Readings
▪️What are the stories that the cards come with?
▪️How can we integrate the stories we come with?
▪️And how can we work with all these elements?

Who Is This For:

This workshop will centre and prioritize the participation of folks who identify as living on and making art from the fringes. This is a workshop and space for folks who feel their narratives and experiences and art are not often/or at all reflected in the many stories and movies and shows and books and workshops all around. And specifically, for folks that identify as queer, trans/gender diverse, bipoc, crazy, neurodiverse, sick, disabled, self-taught and lower income. You do not need to identify as an “artist”, nor is there a specific set of “requirements” or “previous art experience” needed to participate. You and your desire to be part of this workshop are the art needed.

Active Listeners:

We will be joined by the wonderful Anoushka Ratnarajah & Pragya Sharma as Active Listeners. They will be available throughout workshops to offer support if participants need to talk with someone and/or need support/resources. More information/bios on our listeners will be announced shortly.

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.

Pragya Sharma (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.


6:15-9:15pm, Thursday Evenings, March 10th-April 28th, 2016


Vancouver Status of Women

2652 East Hastings Street**

Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories

V5K 1Z6


sliding scale $150-300*

*sliding scale suggests that you pay according to what feels affordable to you within the range. folks making a living wage are encouraged to pay the full amount, as it makes space for others who need the reduced prices to access them more readily. If cost is a barrier or you have further questions on how much you can or want to pay, please be in touch. Payment plans are also options.

There is space for up to 12 participants.

Applications Now Closed

Thanks to everyone who applied. We are looking forward to more workshops like this soon.

Find Us

#202-739 Gore Ave
Vancouver, Coast Salish lands

contactshapeshiftarts [at] gmail

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