Beyond Surviving: Art as Activism




Art as Activism will offer space for participants to consider how art can be used to reclaim power.

What serves and respects our experiences as survivors of violence? How can art or creative exploration be harnessed as a tool, a weapon and a communication channel in finding our voice?

Participants will have an opportunity to engage with sound creation, collage and printing on textiles, with options to explore individually, and/or contribute to a collective piece.

This workshop is facilitated by Melisse Watson. Melisse is a disruptionist, earthworker, counselor and multidisciplinary artist, utilizing direct action, performance, visual, aural and installation art that work to provoke an experience, and an opportunity for the viewer to engage with critical analysis and self reflection. All while being intentional around access and audience. Through the archiving of activism work done by Black and Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island and the explorations of spirituality, Blackness, gender, abolition and liberation, Melisse explores speculative futures and their preparations.

Melisse has presented work internationally through the LAAW Program at the Santa Fe Arts Institute, New Mexico, and locally at Tangled Arts and Disability, Gladstone Hotel, Gladstone Art Hub, Whippersnapper Gallery, Summerworks Festival, Rhubarb Festival and more. They are a member of the Black Artists for Black Lives collective and Drawing With Knives Shadow Puppet Collaborative. In 2014 Melisse wrote and directed an award winning performance "I Was Born White" for the Toronto Fringe Festival. instagram: @coyotewatson

Art materials are provided.All costs for the workshop will go directly to our community workshop facilitator. If the cost is a barrier for your attendance please email Viktoria Belle at

Accessibility information:This workshop is being held at Gallery TPW (thank you again so much for your generous donation of space) everything is on the ground level (including the bathroom) - but there is a very slight ramp/lip to access the front door, and there isn't an automatic door button. Please include other accessibility accommodations needed for participating in the workshop when you register, our goal is to reduce environmental fatigue by making the space as accessible and welcoming and cozy as possible so we can create a space of learning and healing together. Please also include dietary restrictions because there will be snacks!

We have 10 spots max available for this workshop, if you would like to register please email me: or send us a message through facebook. We require payment ahead of time through interac or paypal. When you register we will forward you payment information.

Love,Dandelion Initiative.