文化365博客

Lumel Studios.

文化日

2021年8月23日

Leah Dorion.

文化日

2021年8月23日

Tea Base is a curious community arts space tucked away in Tkaronto\/Toronto\u2019s Chinatown Centre Mall. Tea Base aims to make accessible space for intergenerational activists and artists who support social justice movements in and around Chinatown. Tea Base is a space that develops solidarity across marginalized groups through relationships, joy, and collaboration.\n\nOne of the first gatherings held at [Tea Base](https:\/\/www.myteabase.com\/) was a wholesome meal. Hot pot is a shared meal where family and friends prepare a variety of raw ingredients to mingle and cook around in a communal pot of boiling broth. The organizers asked their community to bring ingredients, as if the items themselves were a symbolic gesture for the guidance and insight each person offered. Everyone huddled around the pot, breaking the ice by talking about the food items they brought. Throughout the meal, questions like, \u201cWhat kind of programming do you want to see?\u201d and \u201cWhat are the needs we can use this space to address?\u201d were discussed as bellies filled up. This simple act of sharing and asking questions was the impetus of how Tea Base started and continues to be at the centre of their work.\n\n![Tea Base is a curious community arts space tucked away in Tkaronto\/Toronto\u2019s Chinatown Centre Mall. Photo credit: Jae Ng.](assets\/National\/blog\/tea-base\/mg-9439_bSV5iE.jpeg){.overflow}\n\nTea Base opened in January of 2019 and is predominantly run by queer, non-binary, East Asians. Co-owner\/Co-parent Hannia Cheng jokes, \u201cBeing gay and Asian? That\u2019s unheard of.\" Tea Base has become a hub for East and South-East Asians of all genders and sexualities to not only comfortably express themselves, but to also embrace their cultural roots and relate to their heritage. Hannia explains, \u201cOther than Unit 2, Tea Base is one of the only few DIY spaces left downtown that prioritize queer and racialized artists. The collective response we\u2019ve received shows the need for these types of spaces.\u201d \n\nAs Tea Base grows, they hope to create opportunities for more intergenerational relationships between artists and activists through participatory art-based, social, and cultural programming. Hannia describes the overall vibe as \u201cTake off your shoes, living room energy...\u201d, It\u2019s this intention of making space for people to share their stories and lived experiences that make the space feel so cozy, \u201c...Mahjong Monday is mostly an excuse to hang out once a week. The ideas and collaborations happen organically as a result of fostering trust with each other.\u201d Hannia notes, \u201cWe don\u2019t fit into normative capitalist notions of success, we\u2019re in it for the people.\u201d Most of their events are Pay-What-You-Can and sliding scale. Other in-house programming includes Macrame with Jade, Bitch & Stitch, Tea Base & Chill, Mother Tongue language caf\u00e9s, and even a Chinese fermentation tasting workshop with [Paocai Bio](https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/paocaibio\/?hl=en). \n\n![Mahjong Mondays is by far Tea Base's most popular event. They play and teach from 3-8pm every Monday. Photo credit: Jae Ng.](assets\/National\/blog\/tea-base\/tb-optimized_MLBHh5.png){.overflow}\n\nWith a housing crisis upon the city, it\u2019s becoming evident that affordable spaces are nearly impossible to come by, pushing already marginalized communities further to the outskirts of Toronto. That\u2019s why Tea Base has also grown as a hub for local activism. Chinatown has long been the target of displacement gentrification by condo developers. Co-owner\/Co-parent, Florence Yee, emphasizes the importance of the connections made at Tea Base, \u201cThere\u2019s a larger commonality and interest in doing better for the neighbourhood. Fighting gentrification, all these housing and racial injustices, this young queer politically active space is cultivated well.\u201d Joining a longstanding legacy of Chinatown activist groups, a recent ad-hoc watchdog group, Friends of Chinatown Toronto (FOCT) was formed and is based out of Tea Base. Hannia shares, \u201cChinatown activists have been around forever, we want to learn from them and with them.\u201d \n\nHonouring the existing Chinatown community is part of Tea Base\u2019s mandate. \u201cArt spaces can be inadvertently gentrifying...\u201d says Co-creative Director, Chris Carriere, \u201c...It\u2019s exciting when someone who\u2019s [an] elder visits, or when people bring their kids in. It\u2019s easy for us to get 20-year-olds from the art scene, but when we connect to other generations, the intergenerational conversation shows we can be a space that is open [to all].\u201d In the spring of 2019, with a complete volunteer effort, Tea Base turned what was once a pile of bricks sitting in the mall\u2019s courtyard for 7 years into a garden called \u201cThe Anti-Displacement Rainbow Garden''. The courtyard became a thriving common area for the Kumon kids to play in the garden and for the seniors to play Chinese chess on the stage.\n\nCurrently in its second year of operation, Tea Base wants to leverage their platform to support and amplify other grassroots efforts. Policy Director, Jennifer Chan, offers, \u201cAs East Asians, we\u2019re now established as a diaspora\u2026we faced our challenges to get where we are, and \\[now] we need to lift others up.\u201d They hope to continue getting to know different collectives with an intention to build a truly Pan-Asian community arts ecosystem. \n\n![\u201cRelationships move at the speed of trust. Social movements move at the speed of relationships.\u201d - Jennifer Bailey. Photo credit: Jae Ng.](assets\/National\/blog\/tea-base\/mg-9600_5mk7ID.jpeg){.overflow}\n\nIn the midst of the pandemic, they\u2019ve had to reimagine what community engagement looks like. \u201cA lot of people are very isolated, not just in quarantine...people find stability and friendships at Tea Base \\[that] they can rely on,\" states Florence. Most recently, Tea Base wrapped up their 2020 Spring Camp, a series of four online events that gathered their community together for some quality digital connection, like a knot-making workshop and a town hall for example. They\u2019ve also written up their [Community Guidelines](https:\/\/www.myteabase.com\/community-guidelines) (with consultation from the town hall) for a safer space.\n\nPlans for the future are already in the works. \u201cComing out of Covid, we will need time and help to get things going,\u201d Chris asks for a call to action. Tea Base is open 3-4 times throughout the week with events usually on the weekend. You don\u2019t need to purchase anything to exist at Tea Base, genuine human-to-human conversation is enough. Florence suggests, \u201cJust show up! A lot of what we do is about presence, and being there. The small and big ways.\u201d\n\n[Tea Base](https:\/\/www.myteabase.com\/) updates their hours on a weekly basis every Monday via [Instagram](https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/tea.base\/).\n\n\n\n**This article is part of a special blog series\u2014running March-September\u2014featuring writers and creatives from across Canada with stories that both highlight and celebrate Culture Days\u2019 2020 theme of _Unexpected Intersections_. Explore more intersections below:**\n\n- Theatre x Sport: [_Until the Lights Go Out_ by Taylor Basso](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/until-the-lights-go-out)\n- Indigenous Storytelling x Digital Media: [_\u201cPeople are Finally Listening\u201d\u2013Indigenous Animation Rises Up_ by Chris Robinson](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/indigenous-animation-rises-up)\n- Academia x Creativity: [_Building 21: Make zines, not research papers_ by Greta Rainbow](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/building-21)\n- Poetry x (Natural) Environment: [_Listen to the River: An Ode to the Columbia River_ by Saba Dar](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/listen-to-the-river)\n- Traditional Craftsmanship x Youth Outreach: [_At the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, They Build More Than Boats_ by Aleen Leigh Stanton](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/building-boats-changing-lives)\n- Visual Arts x Science: [_What happens when you mix an artist, a scientist and a very bright light?_ by Vivian Orr](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/artist-scientist-light)\n- Book Clubs x Digital Landscapes: [_Strangers and Fiction_ by Anne Logan](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/strangers-and-fiction)","content_fr":null,"should_publish_at":null,"published_at":"2020-07-21 23:39:37","first_published_at":"2020-06-23 13:25:32","deleted_at":null,"created_at":"2020-06-23 12:41:49","updated_at":"2020-09-29 15:25:53","thumbnail_file_id":null,"featured_at":null,"is_featured":false,"is_published":true,"should_publish":false,"status":"published"}" style="scroll-snap-align: start;">

唐人街的起居室:崭露头角的活动家社区的聚会场所

安踏陈文化日

7月21日,2020年