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Aiding Dramatic Change in Development

  • Status:
  • Main Communities Served:
    Adults, All Ages, Children, Seniors, Youth, Newcomers 
  • Main Catchment Area:
    Ontario, Based in Toronto. Projects based in Toronto, Niagara, and South Africa 
  • Languages:
    English, Spanish, South Africa Zulu, Xhosa 
  • Arts Focus:
    Visual arts, media arts, theatre 
  • Main Community-Engaged Arts / Arts for Social Change Activities:
    Main art projects: In Canada we are running Cross-Generation Conversations (Niagara) and The World of AAC (North Yorkers Disabled Persons, Toronto)
    Main arts activities: To facilitate the accessibility of theatre, and art as powerful forces for change, particularly to those in marginalized communities. To work on artistically challenging projects where community and cultural dialogue remain at the core.We also conduct evaluations and/or research in collaboration with all of our community partners to monitor and evaluate effectiveness, improve knowledge translation, and inform the work of stakeholders. 
  • Mandate/Mission:
    Dramatic Change is a non-profit organization working to empower communities in Canada and abroad through participatory arts processes reflecting the culture, desires, and life experiences of the people in the community. 
  • Additional Info:
    Project profile: Cross “X” Generations Conversations

    Main Partner Organisations: Fort Erie Multicultural Centre, Centre for Community Based Research, Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre
    Project summary: Cross “X” Generations Conversations involves a series of Art Dialogue Community Workshops in both St. Catharines and Fort Erie focused on increasing understanding on relevant intergenerational issues within the Niagara Newcomer community. The workshops will use Socio-Drama Topography (SDT) – an arts-based community engagement process that combines community mapping with non-verbal dialogue and socio-drama exercises. It is a community capacity building process that allows the participants to guide the exploration and discussion and ultimately the change in the community. SDT was developed by, Aiding Dramatic Change in Development (ADCID), during their 7 years work with marginalized communities in South Africa. The project also involves a Developmental Evaluation, by the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR), to adapt the SDT tool to a Canadian and Niagara regional context. Project profile continued:

    Voluntary or forced migration to a new country and culture brings many challenges, which can manifest themselves in tension and conflict at home. (Studies on Parenting Issues of Newcomer Families in Ontario, CCBR, 2001)

    Loss of support/extended family, devaluation of culture, feeling marginalized and disempowered in community
    Adult and Youth peer pressure relating to cultural differences and adjustment
    Power and role reversal issues at home due to differences in English skills.
    The FEMC Multicultural Center and partners, working with new immigrants daily, have witnessed the effects of these challenges and recognized the need to provide social support through this transition. Yet, because many of these challenges manifest themselves at home, we find it difficult to engage the community and increase understanding on these issues. We partnered with ADCID, recognizing the potential of SDT as a community facilitation tool, and developed the X Gen Conversations Project to increase our capacity to respond to this need.

    The X Generations Project will provide a forum to gain insight into the intricacies of these dynamics and bring the discussion into a safe, constructive, community context. Both youth and adults will have an opportunity to explore these issues with their peer groups and then come together to engage in dialogue to increase understanding of each other’s perspective. We recognize that tensions can arise when dialoguing around sensitive issues, where words have multiple interpretations and toxicity. The SDT process contains periods of non-verbal participation and dialogue, which allows participants the chance to explore their personal positions and realities in a confidential way, before framing and discussing the social and community realities objectively and constructively. 
  • Main Contact Name:
    Stephen Sillett, Executive Director 
  • Secondary Contact:
    Jennifer Jimenez, Executive Director 
  • Phone:
    (416) 823-4957 
  • Main Contact Email: 
  • Website:
  • Facebook:
  • Address:
    Suite 215, 1000 King Street West
    Toronto, ON  M6K 3N1 

Last updated on 2013-08-28 20:49:34. Submitted by: Stephen Sillett, Aiding Dramatic Change in Development