Industry orgs sign on for Communities Create initiative

Ramona Pringle
Led by digital creator and associate professor at FCAD, Ramona Pringle, the program aims to stimulate creativity through a series of workshops and micro grants.

A host of organizations from the screen sector have signed on to participate in Communities Create, a freshly unveiled initiative from the Creative Innovation Studio at Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication & Design.

The program – led by digital creator and associate professor at FCAD, Ramona Pringle, who describes the initiative as “Peloton meets Art Attack” – aims to stimulate creativity during the COVID-19 pandemic through a series of workshops and micro grants.

The current roster of partners includes TIFF, ImagineNATIVE, Canadian Film Centre, Independent Production Fund, the Canadian Academy, Interactive Ontario, Ontario Creates, National Film Board, the Independent Web Creators of Canada, Humber College, Sheridan College, Second City, the Toronto Public Library, Artscape and Media Smarts, with more to be added in the future.

Starting on Monday, May 4, one organization will hold a live workshop each week, covering topics such as web series production, screenwriting, photography, comedy, design, podcasts, audio production and music. Among the upcoming events is a TIFF workshop looking at screenwriting.

Each individual organization will select the recipient of the micro grant. In order to be eligible, artists much be independent in the sense that they cannot be salaried on a full-time basis at any singular institution. It is open to participants of all ages.

“We are facing unprecedented changes, fears, disconnection, and new ways of being,” said Pringle. “With physical distancing measures in effect, an increasing state of anxiety and restlessness, and the uncertainty of what the next few weeks and months will look like, there is a greater need for us to connect and cultivate a deeper sense of community. We need creativity now more than ever.”