I’ve been working with a great group called Small Print Toronto. From their website:
Small Print Toronto stages creative writing workshops and literary events for children and young people. Our programming is designed to inspire them to explore a vital question: How do stories work?
Learning to tell one’s own story and to understand those of others builds self-confidence and develops intellectual curiosity. Our programming cultivates an ongoing dialogue between professional creators and their primary audience that invites young people to participate in the diverse imaginative landscape of Toronto.
Every city is a collection of stories; we empower young people to contribute theirs.
Before I go any further – this is a brilliantly volunteer-run organization. I was at the last Totsapalooza – Mouse City Calling and it was truly a great event – stories and rock bands and the main event was about city building. Adam Vaughan was Mayor of Mouse City, he talked to the kids about what you need to build a city, and after that – they did. Using recyclables (egg cartons, milk cartons, bits and pieces of glitter and glue) – the small folks they built a city. Amazing thing to watch.
The annual celebration of the Do-It-Yourself spirit in kid culture, Totsapalooza, turns five this year. To celebrate this milestone, globally renowned visual artist and children’s author Oliver Jeffers will make an exclusive Toronto appearance at this year’s extravaganza of stories, songs, crafts and snacks, hosted by award-winning artist-author Kevin Sylvester.
After delivering multimedia presentations of his recent picture books, such as the bestsellers This Moose Belongs To Me and Stuck, Jeffers will guide the 2-to-8 set through thematically-related crafts, like making penguins that can actually fly.
Perhaps best known for his collaborations with Ron Sexsmith, Rheostatics and Bidiniband, widely acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and producer Don Kerr will unveil his solo project and perform sets of original music. (Rumour has it that Kerr is penning a song inspired by at least one of Jeffers’s beloved tales!)
And don’t miss a special performance by tween rap poets Rhyme Stew Crew, alongside their esteemed mentors, poet Claire Caldwell and veteran rap artist Mindbender.
“Totsapalooza: A Day With Oliver Jeffers, Don Kerr & Kevin Sylvester” promises to be a landmark party for independent spirits of all ages, which is only fitting. After all, it’s not every day that you turn five.
I love working with this group. What we’re working on? Expansion of their organization – the next step. How to become not necessarily bigger, but definitely even better. We plan to make penguins that can actually fly.
I know some of you have small people – bring them out. Cheaper than a movie and far more interesting. Advance tickets are here.
Giving a lecture-workshop-conversation event tonight for b[ART]er – from the eventbrite page – Are you an arts and culture professional looking for a social and informative gathering? b[ART]er, a bi-monthly meet-up and mixer for Toronto area arts and culture professionals will be holding its b[ART]er – Social Media Edition on January 16, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., at Weston Family Learning Centre, AGO (317 Dundas St. West) featuring guest speakers Sue Edworthy (Sue Edworthy Arts Planning) and Ricardo McRae (Wedge 15). Very much looking forward to it – more details and RVSP link here.
All the newsletter that come into your inbox daily? Pick two – one you automatically read and one you automatically delete. Read both. Figure out three reasons you automatically read the first one. Figure out three reasons you started automatically deleting the second one. Look at your own newsletter and make sure you have the first three positives and don’t have the first three negatives.