Building Anti-Racist Solidarity and Allyship Skills for Artists & Arts Organizations

A 2-Day Anti-Racism workshop for artists and arts organizations. Highlighting the ways People of Colour (POC) move through the world impacted by systemic and interpersonal racism, this workshop will provide context and skills for arts practitioners and administrators to practice empathetic and proactive allyship. Together, we will work to understand how dominant social power dynamics play out in artistic communities, and how we can work individually and together towards undoing these dynamics and fostering an arts culture where people of colour are reflected, represented and centred.

This workshop will be held in Coast Salish Territories, on the traditional unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. We acknowledge the histories of the land and it’s continued colonial occupation, knowing that decolonization is ongoing work.

Why this workshop is needed for artists and arts communities:

In the last few years, the lack of representation for folks who are indigenous, black, and people of colour in our local and broader arts communities has been called to the front of the room innumerable times. Many of these conversations end stalled, with folks feeling like they don’t know how to address the racial inequities in their workplaces, communities and arts practices.

Anti-racism work and undoing white supremacy is even more urgent in these devastating times for racialized communities; and this rise in white supremacist power has not come out of nowhere. As artists and arts organizers we are implicated, not separated, from the world around us. Our work must move beyond the languages of diversity and inclusion, to confront and address the impacts of our creative practices and the ways in which power and access operate inside/outside our organizations. As artists, we have an empowered responsibility to adjust and amplify our voices to push back against violence and oppression; not only for justice, but for the joy and challenge of creating and uplifting important, nuanced, complex stories.

About the facilitators:

Anoushka Ratnarajah is a mixed race (Tamil Sri Lankan and white) queer femme, and an artist and organizer. She was born and raised on unceded Coast Salish Territories (Tsawwassen Nation). As a mixed race person from settler/immigrant histories, Anoushka works from a place of unlearning and re-learning the complex histories that dictate the ways in which we move through the world. She believes in the power of storytelling as a way to heal and create new futures where we can breathe deep.

lee williams boudakian (uses they, them, theirs pronouns) is a queer, non-binary trans, Armenian-Liverpudlian mixie with familial ties to Lebanon, Syria, what is current-day southeastern Turkey, and Liverpool, England. Born in Scarborough General Hospital and having moved many times, lee currently works as an interdisciplinary artist, writer, producer and facilitator based in Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories. Current love projects include Kalik, ShapeShift Arts, and The HyePhen Mag. lee arrives at the work they do as acts of resistance, world&future visioning, and celebration towards liberation and healing.

This workshop is designed for:

  • Professional Artists & Arts Organizations of all racial and ethnic identities and across all arts practices

  • Artists and Arts Organizers aware of the inequities within their professions and organizations, and need support to address them

  • Artists and Arts Organizations who want to participate in anti-racism training

  • Artists and Arts Organizations who desire to create and support representative, challenging work and programming for diverse audiences


10am-4pm, Saturday March 4th and Sunday March 5th, 2017

(Please note that this is a TWO day workshop and participants are required to commit to both days)


Progress Lab, 1422 William St, Vancouver.


$125-$175 sliding scale*

We are able to offer group discounts to smaller companies sending several members to participate. Please contact us if you would like to attend as a group.

*sliding scale suggests that you pay according to what is affordable to you within the suggested range. Folks making a living wage are encouraged to pay the full amount. If cost is a barrier or you have further questions on how much you can or want to pay, please be in touch with the organizers.

Venue Access Info:

PL1422’s main floor is wheelchair and scooter accessible, however the bathroom does not accommodate motorized wheelchairs. For further accessibility info, please see the PL1422 Accessbility Audit (using the RAMP Audit Template). Gender inclusive washrooms are onsite.

Registrations Now Closed

Thanks to everyone who registered. 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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