QMAP: QUEER MEDIA ARTS PROJECT
An After-School Drop-In Program for LGBTQ youth in North Etobicoke
Supported by The Rotary Club of Etobicoke
QMAP (Queer Media Arts Project) is the only youth-led program providing safe space and support for youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans gendered /trans sexual, questioning (LGBTQ) in North Etobicoke. This youth-led project engaged 29 participants aged 15-20 in storytelling, performance and zine-making.
Rex Pride presented this program in collaboration with Arts Etobicoke, LOVE-Leave Out Violence, and Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre with support by the Rotary Club of Etobicoke.
Throughout the year, the youth had the opportunity to engage in three workshops, which were tailored to teach skills in expressive arts, build confidence, social and life skills. Each workshop consisted of 6 sessions and included performance and storytelling, zine-making and visual art, music and spoken word. The program culminated in an exhibition, May 1 – Jul 14, 2013 at the Arts Etobicoke Gallery, as part of the 17th annual CONTACT Photography Festival.
Workshop #1 - Dance, Vogue, Gender Bending, Nov 9 to Dec 4, 2012
Instructor: ILL NANA Diverse City Dance Company
This workshop was held with ILL NANA, a dance collective who incorporated contemporary dance techniques with narratives.
Workshop #2 - Storytelling, Around the World and Subliminal Pieces, Feb 1 to Mar 8, 2013
Instructor: Sunny Drake
Youth were taught a multi-layered approach to writing and created performance pieces about their experiences.
Workshop #3 - Zine Music and Movement, Apr 5 to May 10, 2013
Instructor: R3 Collective
Led by the R-3 Collective (Roots, Rhythms, Resistance) the workshops included performance installation, storytelling through movement, music creation, zines, and spoken word as tools for the youth to express themselves.
About Rex Pride
Rex Pride was formed in 2009 to provide a safe-space in Rexdale/Jamestown and give youth who identify as LGBTTIQQ2SPA the opportunity to learn quality artistic skills and create a message for social change in the community. At Rex Pride youth are free to explore the topic of sexual orientation and gender identity in various, self-guided ways.
This is accomplished by creating and supporting innovative, inspiring and creative programs, led by our Youth Advisory Committee. By engaging youth in quality programming that supports them creatively, emotionally and holistically we are able to address both their internal and external journey as it relates to LGBTQ needs. Rex Pride supports local schools, agencies and residents through raising awareness, educating, networking and sharing of resources.
By fostering fluidity through communication, we have begun to establish a network of youth and community partners that are invested in anti-oppression models that take seriously the concerns and needs of LGBTQ youth. By anti-oppression, we mean a model of shared work that acknowledges multiple and connecting forms of oppression (with regard to race, sexuality, gender, age, ability and other forms) and in turn integrates this acknowledgement in program design and implementation. By doing so we are involved in creating a larger and stronger base of youth services, programming and supports that expand a “Safe Space” model to include the multiple communities our youth are a part of and the Jamestown/ Rexdale community as a whole.