Learn the latest news, views and attitudes from safeword
6 / 1 / 22
It's Pride Month, and safeword is celebrating with the launch of our 2022 Season! When putting together the season announcement, I was looking for a shared element that tied the four projects we had planned together and then realized that all of them are being led by trans nonbinary folks! I guess that reveals my implicit bias, but a beautiful bias nonetheless when there is so much beauty, talent and wisdom to celebrate within queer and trans communities. Our season is adorned with the four colours of the nonbinary flag (yellow, white, purple, black) to show that we are fearlessly proud 2 be enby!
We have an exciting season of experiences, programs, and workshops happening this summer and fall that you don’t want to miss! I’m particularly proud of our upcoming 2SLGBTQ+ Arts Jam program which will host an online arts residency and mentorship program for queer and trans youth in Simcoe County, Ontario. As someone who grew up in this area and didn’t feel like my queer identity or expression was in any way safe or welcomed, it gives me immense joy as an adult to be able to reach out to local queer and trans youth from these communities and offer them a tailor-made program that helps them feel seen and respected. This is the first stage of a longer creative project that I can’t quite reveal yet, but the sole purpose of this specific program is to connect with and empower local artists. We are incredibly grateful to our community partner The Gilbert Centre, our funding from the Ontario Arts Council, and a sponsorship from the City of Barrie who have all pitched in to support this project.
The funding we have received has only covered a portion of what we need to fulfill all the program requirements. That’s why I’ve decided to get creative with fundraising and for the first time in my career, I’m teaching a comprehensive workshop called The Artist and Administrator that will help artistic entrepreneurs make their visions come to life. When I first moved to Toronto after theatre school, I was frustrated by the lack of opportunities available and rather than wait around for someone to give me the green light, I decided to create my own opportunities. This is how safeword was born and I have never looked back. I see lots of emerging artists struggling to get their footing after the impacts of a global pandemic and I want to inspire them to be enterprising, adaptive and responsible during a period of time when they may not have access to many opportunities themselves. I strongly urge you to check it out soon because it’s just around the corner (June 22nd)! Please share with anyone who might be interested. All proceeds raised for the workshop will be used to fund our 2SLGBTQ+ Arts Jam program.
We also have two exciting offerings happening this fall. safeword is working alongside Harlot X to co-produce the audio drama premiere of Wasp by award-winning author Rhiannon Collett. The topic of body autonomy is more pertinent than ever and I know audiences will be buzzing over this incredible work of art. Finally, we are honoured to bring back Ronnie Ali from Leaves on a Stream to lead a new iteration of their popular anti-oppression course from last year, Head, Heart, Gut, being offered as an in-person experience this time. More details coming soon! Lastly, I want to do a quick shout-out to our season sponsor GS209 for providing us with extra time to use their green screen studio. Their facility was a dream to work in, affordable and I highly recommend it to any media makers who want to play around with some cool after effects.
All in all, I wish everyone a joyful and most important, a safe Pride month. See you out there on the dance floor!
Peace + love from a proud enby,
Brandon Crone (they/them)
Artistic Director of safeword