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1 Week, 5 Shows, 3 Lectures. ARTS AHEAD Runs the Full Emotional Gamut

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I think last week was very emotional for a number of us here at ARTS AHEAD, as we bounced from heartbreaking plays, like Late Company and We Are Proud to Present… at the Theatre Centre, to Micah Lexier’s thought-provoking exhibition Versions at Birch Contemporary to listening to the emblazoned intelligent passion of some of the speakers at Walrus Talks: Philanthropy.

Some of us also attended the play Radical at the Alumnae Theatre and the closing performance of Nirbhaya at the Harbourfront Theatre Centre presented by Nightwood Theatre.

With the dark, heavy content of some of the plays, as you’d expect, some of us were left striped and speechless, especially after bearing witness to the real stories of violence and rape told by abuse survivors in Nirbhaya.

It’s hard after witnessing such hardhitting work not to sink into a state of hopelessness. But learning about the work some organizations like Indspire and the Mastercard Foundation are doing as well as hearing some hard, honest truths about the state of Canadian and International philanthropy today and the ways it needs to improve by decolonizing its traditions and ways of giving was incredibly uplifting.

For me personally, all of these experiences this week again reinforced the importance of one’s individual voice: speaking up, speaking in solidarity with or speaking out against something that is wrong is always better than silence. It is the first step towards any kind of change.