Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Camila Diaz-Varela

Our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline (except performance.)

Camila Diaz-Varela trained in digital production management, online community engagement, and digital curation with Sarah Garton Stanley at SpiderWebShow

(February 28, 2016) Since I checked in last, the team has shifted their focus from day-to-day projects to visioning for the future. At the moment, we’re setting fundraising goals, writing grants, and planning for the next Volume, which begins in the spring/summer.

The editors hard at work during
Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance's first Edit-a-thon
As Volume 6 was beginning to wind down, I was able to assist with Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance (IPAA)’s first Edit-a-thon, which I mentioned in my previous post. An Edit-a-thon is a knowledge sharing event where folks gather to create and edit articles on the PerformanceWiki, live on their computers. IPAA was looking to populate the Indigenous body of work on the PerformanceWiki and gathered a group of enthusiastic volunteers to do just that. We got together on a Friday afternoon, and I showed them the ropes of the site and facilitated the process as a rep of SWS. The event went better than I could have imagined, with lots of laughter, good talks, and of course new articles for the Wiki. Surprisingly though, I found the event to be really meaningful for me. All of the volunteers at the event happened to be women of colour, and part of the indigenous community (from Canada and farther south). It felt radical and wonderful to be a woman of colour myself, sharing empowering digital tools with other women of colour, so they could share their knowledge with even more people of the web. Using the internet to create equitable online spaces felt right. I can’t wait to continue with this.

We also recently had our Volume 6 Retreat, where all of the Makers from across the country meet for half a day. There was lots of brainstorming and talk of the future, with questions like: what should SpiderWebShow look like next Volume, next year, in 5 years? What should it do for the community, locally and nationally? How do we make our work more accessible, and more like a game? It was a so refreshing to be able to sit with the team for a few hours and focus our energies. There are so many brilliant thinkers in the group, and having the opportunity to watch them think through tough questions is a gift in itself. The retreat was certainly motivating for me.

And now Volume 6 is over! What does that mean? Well, the team takes a 2 month break, and then starts up again in the summer.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is October 1, 2016.

Learn more about Theatre Ontario's Professional Theatre Training Program

Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

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