The Arts for Social & Environmental Justice Symposium

My notebooks are brimming with material for updates - more to come tomorrow but in the meantime, a notion that's near and dear to my heart - from a press release:


On Saturday, May 15, leading artists, educators, scientists, health care professionals, researchers, and business leaders will come to The Royal Conservatory to take part in The Arts for Social and Environmental Justice Symposium. Co-hosted by the Conservatory, the Laurier Centre for Music at Wilfrid Laurier University, and the International School for Interdisciplinary Studies, the event explores the various ways the arts can address – and solve – our most pressing social and environmental issues.

The day-long conference includes four keynote speeches, as well as research presentations, interactive workshops, and artistic performances. Highlights include:

· York University professor and expressive arts expert Dr. Stephen K. Levine examines how the arts can help us deal with traumatic events

· Queen’s University researcher Dr. Rena Upitis explains how to develop environmental habits of mind

· Lawyer and member of the Ermineskin Cree Nation Danika Billie Littlechild explores Aboriginal approaches to water stewardship

· Local artist-educators Melissa Tafler and Jennifer Polo discuss how they successfully implemented an art-making program to engage patients with Parkinson’s disease

· Director and photographer Sheena D. Robertson looks at how media and personal narrative can be valuable tools for empowering youth

“All the speakers are united by their beliefs that the environment needs to be protected and that the arts can be a transformative vehicle for social change,” observes Dr. Ann Patteson, the Director of Academic Research for The Royal Conservatory, and co-organizer of the event. “The goal is cross-fertilization – it is a chance for attendees to share how the arts allow us to express our concerns, envision how to act, and then spur ourselves into action.”

The Royal Conservatory would like to thank the Matthews Family and The Ontario Trillium Foundation for their generous support.

Saturday, May 15, 2010; 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
The Royal Conservatory at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning

273 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Tickets: $75 ($35 for students and seniors) – price includes lunch

They are available at, by calling 416.408.0208, or in person at the Weston Family Box Office

For more information call 1-888-408-5882