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Toronto: Abilities Arts Festival Takes it to the Streets!

September 17th, 2012     by Julia Horel     Comments

Experience Toronto through a disabilities perspective September 20-October 11, 2012

As part of the tenth annual Abilities Arts Festival launching September 20 with the ARTrageous! Gala and running September 21-October 11, three events look at our city from a unique perspective featuring a roster of visual and performance-based artworks by artists with disabilities.

In keeping with the theme of storytelling, each event at this year’s festival, including a photography exhibition and book launch, a multi-media extravaganza as part of Nuit Blanche and a unique theatrical experience featuring “podplays”, remind us that “telling tales” lies at the heart of human creativity and in the search to find connection and community with others.

Toronto: Street Level Photography exhibit and book launch September 21-October 11 from noon to 9pm daily Carlton Cinema Gallery, 20 Carlton St. Free.

Ten talented photographers present their view of Toronto through a disability lens in the photography exhibition, Toronto: Street Level. The photography presented at this exhibit is the culmination of an 8-month master class with acclaimed Toronto photographer Vincenzo Pietropaolo, and features the work of Ontario artists: Mark Brose, Allan Cullen, Nicole Flynn, Steve Kean, Mike Monize & Natalia Isak, Jeff Nolan, Peter Owasu-Ansah, Dylan Smith and Kathy Toth. The opening and book launch is Friday, September 21 from 5:30pm-7:30pm.

A Queen Street Cartography Nuit Blanche multi-media extravaganza September 29 from 7pm-midnight Open Gallery (49 McCaul St.) and Queen Street storefronts, Queen Streetcar and environs. Free.

A Queen Street Cartography is a heady mash-up of photography, performance, music and intimate “city” stories. Featuring live performances by the brilliant mulch-instruumentalist Donald Quan of Musideum. The action spills out of OCAD’s Open Gallery and onto Queen Street in shop windows, along laneways and green spaces and onto the walls of the Queen Streetcar for this immersive mixed-media event.

The Listening Post Intimate mobile city stories told through “pod-cast plays” set in and around Queen St. September 30 from 1pm-4pm Leaving from Open Gallery, 49 McCaul St. and heading into neighbouring streets and alleys. Free.

Audience members step into intimate tales of life in the city as they walk the Queen Street corridor, guided by the voices and personal tales of life in the city by a remarkable quartet of artists: Jan Derbyshire, Catherine Frazee, Janna Gorham and Izzy Mackenzie Lay. Each audience of one “attends” each short play, by listening to it on an MP3 player while walking through the setting of the story.

Other programs running as part of the 2012 Abilities Arts Festival:

ARTrageous! 10th Anniversary Gala - A celebration of the last ten years. North America’s first artist-in-residence award for a disability-identfied artist to pursue their art will be announced. September 20 from 6:30pm-9:30pm, Toronto City Archives, 255 Spadina Road. $25.

MIX September 21-23 - films and workshops Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton St. Screenings $8/Attendants free. Desire. War. Court Fools. Speed Dating. All in a weekend of disability media! All films are open captioned. Workshops, panels and discussions are free; but pre-registration is required. If you require ASL or attendant care to be provided, call 48 hours in advance.

Tickets and Info: Call 416-593-9475 or email Visit for full information

Tags: disability, event listings

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