The Creativity Everything lab launches new initiative for Black creatives
The Creativity Everything lab founded by David Gauntlett, Creative Industries professor launches The Black Mosaic, a new support project for Black creatives. Led by Mir Asoh, a Black (Cameroonian-Malagasy) multidisciplinary artist and fourth-year Creative Industries student, The Black Mosaic is a virtual hub for Black creators to come together and share their creative works. The project is one of several initiatives launched by David Gauntlett and the Creativity Everything lab in response to COVID-19. Creativity Everything takes a broad and inclusive approach to creativity and seeks to embrace a diverse range of creators and creative practices.
“David reached out to me, inquiring if I would be interested in being hired to lead and conceptualize an initiative for Black creatives. This was right up my alley!” said Mir Asoh, founder of The Black Mosaic. “The support I received included feedback for ideas, graphic design support, as well as support with promotion and outreach. It’s been wonderful to create and participate in this project for my community. Most of all, it’s incredible to bear witness to Black artistic brilliance.”
The Black Mosaic
The Black Mosaic is a free community-based, peer-support project in the form of bi-weekly sessions for Black creators to exchange feedback on new or existing projects — without the pressure to showcase finished work. From literary arts to film and photography, the sessions touch on a diverse range of creative practices and are inclusive to creators and artists across many disciplines.
“Through The Black Mosaic, participants can connect with other Black creatives, while giving and receiving feedback in a chill and easy-going environment. In this capitalistic world, there is so much pressure to be ‘productive’ and to be constantly churning out super polished work,” said Mir Asoh. “The Black Mosaic aims to push back against this by creating a space where Black creatives can simply share artistic works-in-progress, without the pressure to showcase ‘finished’ work. The focus is also on talking about the creative process and ideas behind the work.”
The project offers group support through themed Zoom meetings, where participants have the opportunity to discuss and share works-in-progress, aspirations and frustrations with like-minded creators. The group support component of the project creates an avenue for participants to connect and collaborate with other Black creatives in the city. The project also offers one-on-one support for those who prefer to share their creative endeavours in a private setting. In celebration of the creators who took part in The Black Mosaic, participants will be provided with the opportunity to submit their works in progress to be compiled in the End of Season Exhibition — a virtual zine created by Mir.
"The COVID pandemic has meant that many people are seeking comfort and nourishment in creative activities. It has also meant that many whose work relies on creative performance and events have had to pivot to all kinds of innovative alternatives,” said Gauntlett. “FCAD's Creativity Everything lab has sought to support both of those groups through several free online classes and courses, videos and interactive initiatives.”
The Black Mosaic is the latest in a stream of many online events, initiatives and videos, external link created by the Creativity Everything lab since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Other initiatives have included Creativity Conversations, an online coaching and support service; two series of online workshops, ‘Keys to Creativity’ and ‘Making it Happen’; and the Creativity Everything podcast, a season of 12 episodes talking to all kinds of creators about all kinds of creativity.
“We are especially pleased to support The Black Mosaic. The initiative is run by Mir, and is by and for Black students and community. We just provide behind-the-scenes communications and design support. It's wonderful to be able to celebrate and sustain the incredible Black artists and creators who have joined so far," said Gauntlett, the Canada Research Chair in Creative Innovation and Leadership.
The Black Mosaic at Creativity Everything is one of the initiatives developed by FCAD to offer platforms for creativity, specifically for the Black creative community at the faculty. To join The Black Mosaic, visit the Creativity Everything, external link website to learn more and register.
FCAD at Ryerson University
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