As Latinx creatives in the arts and culture sector, we often experience social, individual, and collective barriers that follow us as we live, work, and create in Canada. Language and other cross-cultural barriers, harmful concepts around tokenism and stereotyping, and disproportionate access to resources are found at every corner of the art world and creative industries. Yet, as artists, we look for ways to challenge these concepts through creativity, resilience, and by making space for our individual, collective and multi-generational self-representation.\n\nBeing Latinx and creating in Canada means being influenced by vibrant flavours, colours, stories, and finding ways to bring them into foreign spaces. It means constantly asking yourself _Where do I belong? Where is home? Can I ever truly be part of, and embrace, my heritage? How?_ It sometimes means cooking food that reminds you of family and home because you need a warm embrace. It means looking for others who ask the same questions. It means finding unity in a commitment to make Latinx creative voices loud, and our multiple and intersectional identities seen. \n\n**How are you building community amidst the pandemic?**\n\nBuilding community during these times has been both a challenge and an opportunity to get creative. Given that Creato emerged in\u2014and greatly because of\u2014the pandemic, we have experimented so far with all virtual community-building initiatives. \n\nAt the moment, we mostly communicate through the online messaging platform Slack in order to connect and get to know each other. We have a wide range of channels within Slack so we talk about everything from job opportunities, events, and resources to sharing recipes, memes, or the latest Bad Bunny drop. It really is a space that a lot of us were missing in our lives and has become the center of where our community is connecting. \n\n![](assets\/National\/blog\/make-room-for-creato\/creato-banner-tweet_mmhcTl.png)\n\n**Tell us about some of the events and\/or initiatives you\u2019ve put together so far.**\n\nApart from our Slack community, which really has been the nucleus for engagement, we organize virtual hangouts every 2 weeks where anyone is welcome to join. Each and every hangout has left us with a huge smile on our faces and our hearts totally full. The calls started as a way to simply put faces to those taking part in online discussions, and now we\u2019ve been setting themes for the calls to help prompt deeper conversations and sharing resources or experiences. We like to say that these hangouts are go-with-the-flow-type of vibe, where we end up revealing weirdness, vulnerabilities, and hilarious stories. Friendships and bonds have formed instantly, and even though we can't wait to do it in person, these calls have been an amazing way to connect with each other.\n\nA huge part of Creato\u2019s mission is to give Latinx creatives in Canada more visibility. Currently, there are very few places where you can find or discover the great talent within our communities, so we are using [Instagram](https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/crea_to_\/) to feature artists on a regular basis; who they are, what they\u2019re about, and samples of their work. Go check them out, they will blow your mind! \n\nWe also have a firm belief that creators in our community don't only need to be seen, but paid. With this in mind, we created a holiday market or \u201cMercadito\u201d guide on Instagram, featuring artists that have beautiful creations for sale. We plan to do more of these in the future on a bigger scale. \n\n**What has surprised or delighted you most about Creato?**\n\nThis whole journey has been a surprise for me. The support and response from the community have been incredible and the constant reassurance that this space is needed is really our biggest motivation\u2014people are excited and happy to help this community grow! So many have found comfort and support with Creato, both on a personal and professional level. There are a number of people in our community who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, others who are newcomers or even students still in or fresh out of school, and we are all doing our part in giving advice or opening doors when possible. We\u2019ve also felt an amazing sense of belonging and connection in the little things like sharing music, recipes, and anecdotes that connect us to each of our roots. \n\nPersonally, this has brought an immense sense of self-worth and purpose that I hadn't felt in a very long time. I love what I do for work, but when your 9 to 5 is the only creative work you\u2019re producing, it\u2019s easy to forget that you are worth more than just your job\u2014which can be pretty deflating at times. Building Creato has been that thing I\u2019ve been searching for without knowing. It\u2019s the intersection of 3 things I\u2019m so deeply passionate about: creativity, community work, and my Latinx identity, and I couldn't be more proud and happy spending my 5 to 9 on this.\n\n**What\u2019s up next for Creato? What goals do you hope to see the group accomplish in the future?**\n\nCreato\u2019s future is looking bright and powerful, just like our gente. As we\u2019ve said, we are a growing community, so self-discovery and ongoing development are crucial for us. We have been working on new community-driven programs, campaigns, and events with the goal of providing tools and learning opportunities to Latinx creatives so they can fully express their creative voices, challenge dominant culture, and maintain a sustainable and rewarding arts practice. We dream to one day have a physical space where artists, creative entrepreneurs, and any Latinx creator can showcase their work. However, for now, we have a very exciting virtual line-up for the year! \n\nIn line with our mission to build on Latinx self-visibility in the arts, we are developing a Latinx Directory of Creatives in Canada - an online database featuring creatives from across disciplines who identify as Latinx \/ Latine. We hope the directory will make collaboration amongst creatives more accessible while shedding light on the work Latinx creatives across Canada do. \n\nWe\u2019ll be launching a mentorship program later in the year with the hopes of better supporting emerging youth artists with arts entrepreneurship tools as they begin their professional arts practices. We also have a very special event lined up for Latinx heritage month (wink wink, October). We don\u2019t want to reveal too much right now but stay tuned for details \u2018cause it's going to be lively and of course, uniquely Latinx. \n\n**Where can other Latinx creatives in Canada find you?**\n\n[Crea-to.com](https:\/\/www.crea-to.com\/) where you can sign up for our upcoming newsletters, our Instagram [@crea_to_](https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/crea_to_\/) or you can always drop us a line at .\n\n_Acknowledgment:_ \nAs a Latinx community made up of distinct cultures shaped by complex historical relations of power, we are in the process of learning more about how we can acknowledge the historical oppression of lands, cultures, and Peoples, as we are committed to challenging the legacies of colonialism. We are forever grateful to be able to create and build community across Indigenous territories in the land that we now know as Canada. Creato is based in the city now known as Toronto, but remains Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the traditional territory of many peoples and nations including the Anishinabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples.\n\n\n\n**This article is part of a special series shouting-out new or rising artists creatives, and\/or collectives from across the country that should be on your radar. Explore more profiles below:**\n- [Make Room For... Desmond Tompkins](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/make-room-for-desmond-tompkins)\n- [Make Room For... Alia G. Peoples](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/make-room-for-alia-g-peoples)","content_fr":null,"should_publish_at":null,"published_at":"2021-02-16 10:46:22","first_published_at":"2021-02-12 15:18:12","deleted_at":null,"created_at":"2021-02-12 15:11:04","updated_at":"2021-04-19 21:46:59","thumbnail_file_id":null,"featured_at":null,"is_featured":false,"is_published":true,"should_publish":false,"status":"published","pivot":{"post_category_id":3,"post_id":65}}" style="scroll-snap-align: start;">


文化日X Fiorella Martinez


I believe that our role is to continue pushing boundaries within the art world, and utilize what privilege we do have to uplift the voices of our peers.\n\n![\"Callisto\", 2019, abstract painting. Courtesy of the artist. ](assets\/National\/blog\/make-room-for-desmond-tompkins\/picture6_s8A31F.png)\n\n**What\u2019s next for you creatively?** \n\nI plan on pursuing formal arts education, and utilizing my degree to become an arts teacher for alternative high school programs. Along with this I hope to continue cultivating my arts practice, and remain active in the arts and culture community through working on new arts opportunities for young artists to have their voices heard.\n\n**Where can people go to keep up with your art projects and creative output?**\n\nMy virtual portfolio can be found on my Instagram [@dezzmonndd](https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/dezzmonndd\/?hl=en) and I can be reached through my email for inquiries.\n\n\n\n**This article is part of a special series shouting-out new or rising artists creatives, and\/or collectives from across the country that should be on your radar. Explore more profiles below:**\n- [Make Room For... Creato](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/make-room-for-creato)\n- [Make Room For... Alia G. Peoples](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/make-room-for-alia-g-peoples)","content_fr":null,"should_publish_at":null,"published_at":"2021-03-15 10:21:12","first_published_at":"2021-03-11 22:49:51","deleted_at":null,"created_at":"2021-03-11 22:44:36","updated_at":"2021-04-19 21:45:40","thumbnail_file_id":null,"featured_at":null,"is_featured":false,"is_published":true,"should_publish":false,"status":"published","pivot":{"post_category_id":3,"post_id":66}}" style="scroll-snap-align: start;">

腾出空间...... Desmond Tompkins

文化日x Desmond Tompkins


Exhibiting my work has proven to be a great tactic (ice breaker), when inviting members of the public to participate in open dialogues, whether it be about art or more pressing matters such as activism or the current social climate. This includes connecting with new artists, reaching out to members of the community as well as other like-minded creators, all coming together for a common cause.\n\nDue to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, social media has become a primary source and powerful platform with few limitations when connecting to a wide range of audiences. This can be a pleasant form of communication, offering the opportunity to cultivate alternative perspectives or critiques between individuals that are keen on pushing boundaries on every level, granting me the opportunity to provide more insight into my goals as a creator and activist.\n\nI highlight the importance of strength in unity, for example, reflecting on moments within the George Floyd protests when white protestors created physical barriers between Black protesters and law enforcement, chanting \u201cBlack Lives Matter\u201d. This gesture alone signified that the first step to becoming an advocate is acknowledgment. Acknowledgment of the global issues surrounding race, colourism, State violence against minorities, or the social inequality that has shattered communities for decades, while being open to having uncomfortable discussions that can lead to necessary, massive changes within our communities. Acknowledgment is an active pillar to every conversation regarding race and the first step to becoming an advocate.\n\nIn conclusion, an advocate should not wait to be invited to the conversation. The conversation has been active throughout history and will continue far into the future. Simply pull up a chair at the table and jump right into the discussion, there\u2019s plenty of room.\n\n![](assets\/National\/blog\/make-room-for-alia-peoples\/thumbnail-image3-2_Puv0Uw.jpg){.pull .right}\n\n**How has the role of community (however you choose to define \u2018community\u2019) impacted your arts practice?**\n\nMy community has acted as a support system throughout my career as a creator, encouraging my artistic drive, passion towards developing meaningful creations and self-expression, no matter the direction or manner I choose to conduct them in. It\u2019s the safety net that allows me to freely convey my truths without fear of judgment or non-acceptance by others.\n\nCommunity is a source of inspiration that has impacted my life in many ways. For example, I love engaging in enlightening conversations with strong female friends, who collectively support one another and encourage me to always speak my truth, no matter the outcome. I\u2019m also inspired by my family members, such as my brother and role model, Mohammed G\u00f6ess Peoples. Mohammed's form of creative expression in giving back to the community was to establish a BLM Zoom platform along with his friend and co-founder, Ikram Aslam. It serves as a safe space for members to share everyday experiences regarding race that have affected them personally and work together towards achieving social reform. Guest speakers from various educational backgrounds, including psychology, join the discussions and shed light on urgent topics such as maintaining mental health during the pandemic and much more. \n\n**What\u2019s next for you creatively?**\n\nCreatively speaking, I plan to place more energy into larger-scaled projects. As a child I found myself sticking to small but detailed doodles due to an inward discomfort or unease with being in my own skin. Over time my artwork has evolved from shy and polite to loud and confident and continues to grow. I\u2019m eager and looking forward to showcasing more of my work in the near future.\n\n**Where can people go to see what you\u2019re working on and keep up with your creative output?**\n\nInstagram: [@Aliagpeoplesart](https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/aliagpeoplesart\/?hl=en)\n\n\n\n**This article is part of a special series shouting-out new or rising artists creatives, and\/or collectives from across the country that should be on your radar. Explore more profiles below:**\n- [Make Room For... Creato](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/make-room-for-creato)\n- [Make Room For... Desmond Tompkins](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/make-room-for-desmond-tompkins)","content_fr":null,"should_publish_at":null,"published_at":"2021-04-19 10:31:12","first_published_at":"2021-04-16 15:22:56","deleted_at":null,"created_at":"2021-04-14 11:45:10","updated_at":"2021-04-22 09:59:58","thumbnail_file_id":null,"featured_at":null,"is_featured":false,"is_published":true,"should_publish":false,"status":"published","pivot":{"post_category_id":3,"post_id":67}}" style="scroll-snap-align: start;">

腾出空间...... Alia G. Peoples

文化日x alia g.民族