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STORIES OF NOW: Nakai Theatre



STORIES OF NOW: Nakai TheatreArtBridges, Arts for Social Change Network, Nakai Theatre | YT | 2022

“STORIES OF NOW” is part of a project ArtBridges is working on with Judith Marcuse Projects’ ASCN (Arts for Social Change Network) and ICASC. It is about gathering and sharing stories emanating from the field now and about what issues and areas of focus matter.

STORIES OF NOW: Nakai Theatre (Whitehorse)
As told by: Jacob Zimmer, Artistic Director – Nakai Theatre, on November 29th, 2021 to Seanna Connell (ArtBridges).


"If you could tell a story about your community-engaged arts initiative now, this year, what would the story be about? What are the main themes?

JZ: It's about how we can contribute delightful surprises in a period of time covered by deeply non-delightful surprises. There are some other things we’re working on, but this is the main question: how to help artists working and engaging in joyful and delightful ways? We live in a time in which artists are mining personal tragedies and putting this into their work. We are supporting artists and supporting them in doing silly and delightful things. It’s not escapism, it’s not about denying the fact that the work is a tire fire – don’t throw more gasoline on it! We need heat and light, but that doesn’t mean throwing our tires on the fire. Look around, find other points of light, head over near a campfire, sit around and have a conversation. What else can we do? There are lots of policies, systems, and communities we can work more closely with, but are not possible to at the moment.

What is possible for an arts organization, what is "capacity" for us? There is a funding incentive to think big. We do processions with puppets around Long Term Care (LTC) homes. What is this doing? It's bringing 15 minutes of delight into the residence for the residents. It's important and it's hard to track metrics on that. So when we don't have the capacity to do indoor theater, what is successful is – we had relationships before (pandemic) with puppet makers and musicians. We pay the musicians. The artists parade around the LTC home at a social distance from residents. This puppet work was the most successful social change thing we've done. Another story is about participating in larger networks – this has been different then giant puppets. Being an advocate for these things in theatre – in crisis around COVID. We're advocating for delight!"

For the full Story, click the Download link or follow the link here:


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ArtBridges, Arts for Social Change Network, Nakai Theatre


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