June 2020

Hello and greetings.

When the Truth and Reconciliation Committee released its report in 2015 (the summary is online here) every First Nation, Metis and Inuit public figure in Canada was suddenly very popular.  My husband, a Cree scholar who teaches law at the University of Toronto, says " it was like every non Jew suddenly discovered the Holocaust and then sought out all their Jewish friends to ask them about it."  It was exhausting, shocking how few people knew their own history, and re-traumatizing for the burden of this teaching to come to the people who had experienced it.  And yet, it was a moment when Canadians seemed to care and want to fix things so First Nations, Inuit and Metis bore the burden of educating their non Indigenous friends, colleagues, acquaintances.  This moment must be similarly exhausting for Black and Indigenous and People of Colour as the rest of North America wakes up to the burden of an unjust society.  Once again, it is not the job or the responsibility of the people who have suffered from systemic racism to fix it, but the people who create, sustain and benefit from it.

I see many of our members actively doing the work of education and support: researching and sharing information and resources on social media, attending and organizing protests and rallies.  There are no links to anti-racist educational tools in this newsletter but we do support being better humans and the creation of a more just and equitable society for all. Here are some ways we try to support each other in our collective:

First, no one person should have to bear the burden of education alone.  In our case we always have a support person to support the teaching artist. 

Second, we recognize a non hierarchical circular model of teaching and learning, giving and needing help, and recognize that while today I can help you, tomorrow I may need help.

Third, we recognize the work of artists and creators and look for ways to make sure our time is valued and paid for. 

Fourth, we recognize that my thing may not be your thing.  The artists and eco-minded makers in the collective all have their own practices; we come together under the Works-in-Progress umbrella to work on projects with shared goals, but also work on our own projects and goals.

Being part of this collective should benefit, not burden the members of the collective.
So, while you are contemplating what to do next, might we recommend some kite flying? In the spirit of pride and inclusion it could be a multi-coloured pride kite. It could be a beautiful black kite. We have a father - daughter team running a workshop this week, just in time for Father's day. Join (Dominican-Canadian-Indigenous) artists Gomo and Abby Bird-George as they share a lifetime (or two) of kite making knowledge, made from items at hand in your home. Email us for more info and an invitation to the zoom meet up. all ages welcome.
In this newsletter:
  • Kite Making Workshop
  • Repair workshops x 2!
  • Community partner update: Building Roots Do it together workshops/ volunteers needed
  • Housekeeping- grant results
  • Links

Kite making ONLINE Workshop this THURSDAY, June 18th 3-4 pm

Kites made by Gomo George and Atik Bird for our daughter's 5th birthday in 2005.  Gomo and His daughter Abby will be guiding us through a two kite styles you can make using items on hand.
Free drop in workshop, participants limited, so email to register ASAP.  Artist Gomo George usually works in watercolour, acrylic and sculpture, but he also has made kites much of his life and taught his family and now he and his daughter Abby will share what they know.  It is a great present for yourself and your dad and a lovely activity that can be done together apart.

Read more about this event on our blog
register now via email

Visible Mending and repair teach-ins x2!

We continue our collaboration with the Textile Museum of Canada with another Sustainable Textile Teach-in: Mending and Repair with Works-In-Progress lead by Marnie Saskin and supported by Tanya Murdoch. This is actually sold out- they have a pretty eager base of makers- but you can attend a slightly more casual version on the 25th of June as part of our bi-weekly drop in up-cycling series.

you can get an idea of the flavour of these workshops by checking out our past blog post on maskmaking here and you can register for the Works-in-Progress hosted workshop by emailing us OR by clicking the button below.
register now via email

Community partners update: Building Roots

Our community partner Building Roots has been expanding on their Farmer's Market in Moss Park- still open to the public on Saturdays 11-4, but also they sort and deliver food to front line services every Tuesday. Contact them via their website if you can volunteer to drive or donate food.  Also, read more about how your garden can contribute to food security in the city.


Works-in-Progress artist Leah Sanchez spoke at a recent Building Roots Skillshare event about Resurrection Furniture, the furniture store she co-founded.  In 2009 Typhoon Ketsana led to massive flooding across the Philippines and warehouses full of destroyed furniture "junk really" that Leah and her fellow architect began collecting and using as material to design new items. You can check out their cool objects on the Resurrection Furniture website and we will feature her artist talk on an upcoming WIP blog.

To participate in future Building roots Skillshare sessions, please email them directly


Art in the Community:

These signs were created by Works-in-Progress members Tanya Murdoch and Leona Breslaw with layout by Adam Bernard and have finally found a home in the newly reopened community space  Renata's Garden in June Rowland's park this Spring.


rejection #1: We did not receive funding from the TAC Artists Community grant we applied for in February (it is a slow process) but still have a couple more in the works.

Alternate funding ideas: WIP artist Ines Scepanovic told us about an online life drawing class hold in Scotland, the Scottish Borders Life Drawing Class.  They use a service called "Buy me a coffee" to support their models and the group. Check out their facebook group!

or these drawing below by Works-in-Progress artist Tanya Murdoch and Ursa Sanderson
Call for Submissions:

Our Community partner Oakwood BIA has a call for submissions to repaint three concrete benches in Oakwood Village.  The proposal must include a plan to educate and employ local youth in the process. All the details can be found on their facebook site.

Dates to Remember

Coming up :
  • June 17th 5:30-7 Sustainable Textile Teach-in: Mending and Repair with Works-In-Progress
    Hosted by the Textile Museum of Canada (FULL)
  • June 18th Kitemaking workshop 3-4 PM Email us for details and invitation:
  • June 21st National Aboriginal Day, Summer Solstice and Father's Day- woo hoo!
  • Due date for call for artist's submission
  • June 25th Mending and Repair workshop 3-4 PM Email us for details and invitation:


Gomo George website
Textile Museum of Canada
Building Roots
Resurrection Furniture
Scottish Borders Life Drawing
Truth and Reconciliation Report
visit our blog
With support from the  
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Works-in-Progress · 362 Balliol St. · Toronto, On M4S 1E2 · Canada

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