FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mawi’Art and artsnb partner to support Indigenous arts in NB and beyond October 2, 2020 (Fredericton) – Mawi’Art: Wabanaki Artists Collective and the New Brunswick Arts Board (artsnb) have signed a partnership agreement to collaborate closely for the benefit of Indigenous artists and arts organizations in New Brunswick and beyond.
For years, artsnb has worked tirelessly to foster the development of Indigenous arts in New Brunswick. Notably, artsnb, with input from its Circle of Elders, inaugurated Equinox several years ago, a grant program open exclusively to NB Indigenous artists and arts organizations to help them bring their plans and ideas to fruition. artsnb also recently ran a number of workshops and a mini-conference aiming to help Indigenous musicians expand into new and wider markets. These projects have led to the release of a full album of original material (All My People) and a couple of music videos which have enjoyed much airplay online. These projects have also brought several of the participants to international venues in French Guyana, Morocco, and Australia.
artsnb worked with the other members of the Atlantic Public Arts Funders (APAF) network to create and run Petapan (First Light), the premier Indigenous arts symposium in the region. The first symposium was held in Nova Scotia in 2014, the second in New Brunswick in 2016, and the third one in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2019. At the last symposium, participants agreed that the next one should be organized by an Indigenous organization and that Mawi’Art should take on that role. APAF members supported this decision and agreed to lend Mawi’Art their knowledge and expertise.
Mawi’Art was established in 2013, originally as an organization to help Indigenous artists in Atlantic Canada develop and sell their work. Mawi’Art’s stated goals are to support their members through their artistic and business development activities, and to increase the profile of Indigenous arts from the Atlantic provinces by building partnerships across Canada, establishing and maintaining markets for members’ work, and providing opportunities for patrons to interact with members.
“Mawi’Art’s involvement in major events such as the Assembly of First Nations held in Fredericton in 2019 demonstrate our effectiveness in raising funds, finding partners, planning, organizing, and delivering complex projects on time and on budget,” stated Charlie Gaffney, Chair of Mawi’Art.
The new partnership agreement lays the groundwork for a closer collaboration between artsnb and Mawi’Art. In the short term, artsnb will share its experience with Mawi’Art to help them organize, promote and run the fourth Petapan symposium, which—COVID permitting—will be held in Fredericton in the summer of 2021. In the longer term, artsnb commits to helping Mawi’Art gather momentum and become a strong advocate for Indigenous artists and arts organizations in New Brunswick and the Atlantic region, so that they can grow and prosper.
“Artsnb is extremely pleased to enter into this important partnership with Mawi’Art. We are committed to the support of Indigenous artists, and happy to be a part of the planning of the fourth Petapan Symposium. We are all stronger together,” said Carol Collicutt, Chair of artsnb.