Awakenings Emancipation Month Programming 2022

Toronto History Museums

Toronto History Museums launches new Awakenings programming to celebrate Emancipation Month that includes a group art show featuring artwork by local Black artists, live performances and a series of interactive art installations.

Toronto History Museums Emancipation Month programming – Dis/Mantle art exhibit

Dis/Mantle
Dis/Mantle, an art exhibit inspired by the efforts of Black abolitionists reimagines Spadina Museum using an Afrofuturism narrative: Mrs. Pipkin, the formerly enslaved freedom seeker who worked as a laundress in the house is now the homeowner and the house is a safe haven for those seeking freedom through the Underground Railroad.

On view from August 5 to December 31, the group show includes soundscapes, ceramics and visual art by Canadian artists from the Afro Caribbean diaspora, including lead artist Gordon Shadrach. Shadrach’s work will feature local and notable figures in the Black community who have shown leadership and contributed to art, sports, commerce and culture including Toronto Raptors players, Tanisha Scott, Julien Christian Lutz pka Director X, Naki Osutei and more, Odario Williams (Live Music), Roger Mooking (Culinary Installation) Sharon Norwood (Ceramics), Jabari “Elicser” Elliott (Graffiti Sculptures), Christine Nnawuchi (Ceramics), Lillian Allen (Soundscape), Alessandra De Oliveira (Apothecary) and Moraa Stump (Quilted Freedom Banner).

Visit the Dis/Mantle webpage. Tag #DisMantle, #Awakenings to add to the Dis/Mantle narrative.


Toronto History Museums Emancipation Month programming – Read(In)

Read(In)
Read(in) by Roger Mooking is a new city-wide initiative that engages the public to unlearn dominant colonial narratives that include erasure and is a call to action for new narratives to be told. This series of interactive art installations invites the public to sit, read, share and discuss what a conscious new world we can create by highlighting diverse authors whose books have been banned in Canada and the United States because of equity-deserving content and inclusive themes.

View the Read(In) promo video on Youtube.

The public is encouraged to participate in the Read(In) movement and share through social media with Toronto History Museums @torontohistorymuseums using hashtags #readin and #Awakenings in organizations, places of education, home and within your life each day as we work to create an awakened and more equitable society. More information is available at the Read(In) webpage.

Awakenings is a series of art projects created within Toronto History Museums by Black, Indigenous, artists of colour and artists within the 2SLGBTQ+ community operating under the principles of anti-oppression, anti-colonialism, and anti-racism.


Toronto History Museums Emancipation Month programming – Think Like a Champion

Think Like a Champion
A new Awakenings program with renowned artist and performer Jully Black, Think Like a Champion, aims to empower the mind, body and soul. A free two-hour session includes a Word to Rite writing workshop on one’s personal experience, followed by an exercise session led by Jully Black’s “The Power of Step” program. Register for free.


Hungry for Comfort: Black Food Sovereignty
On August 20, Hungry for Comfort spotlights Toronto’s Black communities and their significant contribution to the city’s rich and diverse food culture. Learn More.


2022 Program Mentor Ashley McKenzie-Barnes. Photo by Hyghly Alleyne.

Call for Artists: 2022 Awakenings Artist Mentorship – Deadline August 15
Esteemed curator Ashley McKenzie-Barnes has partnered with the 2022 Awakenings Artist Mentorship program. Over the next 12 months, 10 selected artists will develop site-specific artwork responding to an anti-colonialism, anti-oppression and anti-racism Awakening, to be presented during June 2023 (Pride month) at 10 Toronto History Museums across the city.

The work will be self-directed with mentorship from Ashley McKenzie-Barnes. This first-of-its-kind mentorship opportunity is open to emerging and mid-career artists 21 years of age or older, working in contemporary visual art, design and interdisciplinary practices with a focus on projects from the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Emerging and mid-career artists 21 years of age or older are encouraged to apply by August 15, 2022. Find more information and apply!


Toronto History Museums Free General Admission
General admission to all 10 Toronto History Museums is permanently free to provide everyone an opportunity to fully participate in cultural heritage and spaces. Come Visit.

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Toronto History Museums contact:
Tamara Williams
Awakenings, Museums and Heritage Services
Tamara.Williams@toronto.ca