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“…trying to give back to that community by creating a place where artists of colour, BIPOC artists feel comfortable to come together, create, meet each other and discuss creative ideas”

~ Jenna Rodgers, founder of Chromatic Theatre

A value-based approach to cultural policy

The urgency for a paradigm shift in Canadian cultural policy is evident from the social and economic disparities revealed by the impact of COVID-­19. It is imperative to engage the lens of equity, diversity and inclusion and the notion of social good against the dominance of economic good in the cultural sector.  In many ways, the pandemic served as a call to action for many to re-evaluate the state of society, as many discrepancies and social inequalities known to have been in existence were amplified. One of the most evident perspectives that has resulted from this phenomenon is recognizing the importance of social value and care—both aspects that the pandemic highlighted the need of especially in Indigenous, Black and racialised communities. The people who take on this responsibility of raising awareness and bringing social value to their communities are artists and cultural entrepreneurs from these communities, yet at the same time, they are the targets of systemic discrimination and challenges that hinder their creativity and community practices. 

We are interested in investigating the social value creation strategies employed by self-employed artists and cultural entrepreneurs from Indigenous, Black and racialised communities, to better understand the nature of the challenges that hinder their

creativity and value creation, to gain insight to the ways in which they address these challenges, and to explore how to collectively envisage a way to bridge these gaps. Using Participatory Action Research and guided by ethics of care, this project offers much needed stakeholder-based knowledge to cultural policy research through the lens of social justice, equity and diversity. By facilitating a cooperative knowledge generation model, the research will situate the voices and perspectives of Indigenous, Black, and racialized self-employed artists and cultural entrepreneurs in the center of the discourse of arts for social good and their implications on cultural policy. To this end, we conduct a series of online interviews and group workshops with Indigenous, Black and racialised cultural entrepreneurs. Findings will be shared in a presentation for feedback in Fall 2023. This research engages diverse audiences, from scholars to artists, policymakers to cultural entrepreneurs and arts managers.

This research brings together researchers from diverse backgrounds and experiences. We invite you to subscribe to get updates about our activities. Please reach out and share with us your thoughts by using the contact form.

Project Timeline

Image showing the timeline including Planning & Design August to December 2022, Cooperative Knowledge generation January to May 2023, Analysis and reflection June to September 2023, Feedback and review October to December 2023, and Sharing and dissemination January to May 2024.

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This research project is supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council