County Arts launches Indigenous Voices series

Jennifer Podemski (Submitted Photo)

The Prince Edward County Arts Council (County Arts) are hosting a special launch event on December 8th for their new Indigenous Voices Series: In Conversation with Jennifer Podemski and Shelby Lisk: The Arts as a Platform for Indigenous Storytelling and Activism.

The Indigenous Voices Series is the first initiative to be funded through County Arts’ newly established Indigenous Voices Fund. This Fund will provide direct financial support to Indigenous artists and Indigenous-led arts initiatives with the aim of creating a range of opportunities for Indigenous artists to share their work, knowledge, and perspectives with the broader community.

The Fund’s envisioned outcomes include supporting Indigenous artists and advancing Indigenous-led arts initiatives; fostering understanding, exchange, and collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members; and deepening relationships with Indigenous artists based on mutual understanding, respect, and healing. The Fund is made possible through an anonymous $30,000 multi-year donation ($10,000 per year for three years) from a resident committed to advancing our community’s reconciliation efforts and inclusion of Indigenous voices.

Shelby Lisk. (Submitted Photo)

“We are so excited to welcome these two esteemed artists for what will surely be an enriching and crucial conversation. It is a true honour to be bringing together residents of Prince Edward County, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, and surrounding communities for such a meaningful learning opportunity, and to help us launch our new Indigenous Voices Fund,” said Janna Smith, County Arts’ Executive Director. “We are incredibly thankful to the Indigenous Voices Fund donor for entrusting County Arts with this powerful vehicle to help us elevate and celebrate the work and voices of Indigenous artists in the coming years.”

Jennifer Podemski is an Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi actor, writer, director and producer with a 30+ year career. Her on screen credits include Dance Me Outside, The rez, Degrassi TNG, Blackstone, Empire of Dirt, Departure, and Reservation Dogs. In 2020, Jennifer launched the Shine Network Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to celebrating Indigenous women in film and television through training, mentorship, and professional development.

Shelby Lisk is a multidisciplinary artist, poet and photographer from Kenhtè:ke (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory). Her writing and artwork have appeared in Red Rising Magazine, Room Magazine, Hart House Review and #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women, published by Annick Press. Shelby is also the co-host of TVO’s The Art of Sovereignty podcast, which profiles the lives of eight First Nations artists who are changing the way the world thinks about Indigenous art.

The event will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Macaulay Church Museum. Entry is free or by donation, with all proceeds going to Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na (TTO), a non-profit dedicated to revitalizing Kanyen’kehá:ka/Mohawk language and culture in Tyendinaga. As space is limited, tickets can be reserved at countyarts.regfox.com/indigenous-voices-series-jennifer-podemski-and-shelby-lisk

Learn more about County Arts’ Indigenous Voices Fund at countyarts.ca/indigenous-voices-fund.

-Staff