Art for Community-building, Wellness & Social Change 

 Community-engaged Arts |Arts Facilitation | Cultural Production

My creative practice centres around projects that improve mental health, prioritize gender & racial equality, share prosperity and promote environmental sustainability. I curate substance-free experiences centered around art, music, movement and dialogue that not only build community, but also increase our awareness of ourselves, others and nature.

'From parking lot into a vibrant community hub' 

is a community-engaged placemaking project that will transform a shipping container into a unique community space in the Vanier neighbourhood.

Ottawa, Ontario

Project in progress May-September 2020

Role: Community-engaged Supporting Artist/Producer

Lead artist, producer & photo credit: Kseniya Tsoy

'COVID-19 Online'

During physical distancing, I continued to engage with the community by hosting:

 

- Monthly online Women's Creative Circles

- Open Mic Events for Emerging Artists

- Virtual Dance Parties for the Canadian Mental Health Association Staff & Community

- Self-massage, music and movement experiences co-facilitated with Registered Massage Therpaist

Zoom

April-October 2020

 

Roles: Producer, Arts Facilitator, DJ, Emcee

'Girlfriends Women's Circle'

A monthly gathering for women to hold meaningful and vulnerable conversations and connect around artmaking.

 

Themes include:

- Racism & Inclusion

- The Environment & Wellness

- Feminity & Masculinity

Ottawa, Ontario & Zoom during distancing

January 2020-Present

Roles: Co-producer, Co-facilitator

'The Poverty Challenge' & 'The Mental Health Challenge'

Community-engaged education events whereby participants were assigned roles and asked to physically navigate simulated systems of care. They later found out that their experience was based on an individual's real story and spoke with the person in whose shoes they had just walked.

University of Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario

May 2018 & November 2019

Roles:

Lead Producer, Emcee, Scriptwriter (2019), Co-producer (2018)

'Francophone Culture Conference & Flash Mob'

As part of a day-long French culture gathering for 250 French immersion high school students, I produced an unexpected flash mob to start their day, complete with original music created by an emerging French-second language artist.

University of Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario

May 2014

Role: Lead Producer, Dancer

'Francophone Culture Event & Concert'

As part of the annual French for the Future conference to promote FSL studies to youth, I produced a field trip that included French culture workshops, a traditional sugar shack lunch and  a musical performance by Mehdi Cayenne.

University of Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario

May 2014

Role: Lead Producer

POETRY

Seated at the kitchen table

Scuffed 

Fingers rush

Keys

Reply loudly

To cold hard wrists

 

Writing of who I am

And I am not 

Half solar return

Of dying and becoming

A monologue

In the making

Static

For my world to see

 

Questioning

Guessing

Trying

Restarting

Refreshing

Avoiding

Argh!

Forcing

Persuading

Storytelling

Talking to myself

of myself

For wealth 

and love

 

I hope

and pray

to convince onlookers

Look!

Witness worthiness!

I AM

larger than life

 

Do not use a glass

Cracks

need not surface

 

Pssst

Imposter!

be quiet

Doubt!

breath

Lost!

breath

FEAR

OK eating instead

 

Finish fixating

on forks and fingernails

Find the next right word

Drag cut drop

Photos not good

Good enough

Trudge

Don’t make a deadline wait

You need her

and need this

How do I look?

 

Braced for slight pain

Replies kind and unhelpful

until angels criticize quietly

What gift!

A new direction

Signs guide my Creation

Small Infinte steps

Forward

Trust and faith

Fuel determination

which I forget to taste 

 

It’s time

Almost done

Hit publish

 

                                                    Sigh 

as shoulders release from earlobes  

The trees go wild!

Fish jump with pride

Relief and worry

Crossed with fingers and hope

Sprit satisfied

whispers

Ya done good girl

Wait and read

Under luxurious windows

like perfectly sweet vanilla cream pie

 

'Publishing My Insides'

- Uneety

Oh what a man

what a man

what a pretty good man

pretty and sweet

soft and smooth

so soft I could crush him

And I did

Sucked the blood right out of his heart

To fill the pockets of emptiness in my veins

so that I would not gasp in free fall

Co-built our home

tried to open my own 

Love vessel

striving for better

 

I am both his hero and guide 

his girl and best man

sidekick and... 

Then I left

Face kick

To the chest

To the gut

Twice!

Heartbreak

His story evaporated

No, incinerated

No arc left

Just despair

He cries hard

Hunched over stairs

Sobbing

I rub his back

as he spits tears

 

I asked him not to send me

prose of grief and hopeless love

but I read wowey daily

and he writes

and I read

and I wish

I could love him as hard

as honestly 

as he does me

But I cannot

it’s a lie

it’s a twisted turn of events

an exercise in intuition

Failed

 

There is a quiet calm sadness in me

no desire for action

just sit

just love you

just love me

Yet I do not

On both counts

Ouch

To be human

Imperfect

Impatient

A Judge 

A Critic

I miss 

Our fantasy

I wish

Understanding

flowed

rather than

Forced

no peace for me

around your pace

 

Somehow

you are I and I am you

we are One

Then why did my heart yell 

Leave! 

why can’t God let me love you 

my mind is a curse

my heart is a curse 

and yet they both serve me

I am no longer in control

a blueprint nudges me

no fighting my nature

or suffer doubly

and perish

premature

And so I express

pray for Dex

that he rise from ashes soon

I pray i pray i pray

That he sees how love and hope

For a better life remain remain remain

'About Derik'

- Uneety

I pull up to a place

Off a former highway

Among blue butterflies

Appears paradise

 

Single willow tree

Endless greenery

Lakeside, wood fire

Peace Shanti Peace

 

A space to appreciate

While I conjure up

A business case

For creativity

Expressed

Thus blessing 

Souls to rest

In freedom of speech

Move

Dance

Coloured release

I wonder if it’ll come with ease

 

Or hard heart work

As hardwood home

Outlived its mother

How did they cope

 

Alone at night

No separating

From evening wind

Single bed camping

 

Simplicity wanted

Wishes granted

How did I land

This land

With Nick, Gina & Lan

 

I followed my heart

Away from a dark

Brother, now ex-lover

No guarantee

He would heal 

Again

I can’t believe

I did this

Again

No choice

Can’t pretend

I was myself

In the end

A shelter awaited she

 

Can’t yet feel

The light switch without seeing

Can’t count the steps until the...

Landing

Imagining 

What the eery 

Sounds mean

A floor that creeks

A fan that squeaks

Guessing whose feet are talking

 

Othering the crumbs on the table

Unable to forgive as if family

Bubbles bursting

Mini at first

One day troubling

Storming

After forming, norming

I have faith

There will come a day

Of High performing

 

As a household

We must ask for more

Of what we need and peeve

Cannot ignore

The elephant in the broom closet

That needs sort-ing

 

I’ll tread for sure

From a distance

Secure

In my room

Figuring out who is who 

Where they move

When they groom 

We have work to do

To become

One True Family

Under this new roof

'New Home'

- Uneety

613-316-2975

123 Slater Street, 6th Floor, Ottawa, ON K1P 5H2

©2020