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Town Hall

The arts sector has well-documented problems when it comes to addressing institutional racism. Exploring the topic of anti-Black racism and how the arts and arts institutions are implicated, Black artists and administrators on an online panel (OAG, June 2020) stressed that the time for broad antiracist statements with no follow-through has expired.

Dismantling racism within arts institutions is about learning how to be effective, transparent and accountable. This work involves coming together to co-create plans and take action, while carefully evaluating the results along the way. Anti-racist organizational change also needs to be led by those most impacted by racism.

Eastern Edge Gallery is committing to developing and implementing anti-racist practices within our artist-run centre. This will require concerted, ongoing efforts by both staff and volunteers. We are committed to building our capacity and resources to do this work. This is an active call to artists and community organizers in NL to join our Board of Directors and Committees to propel this important work forward. Join us for a Town Hall about building equity and anti-racism within Eastern Edge. Learn about antiracism initiatives already underway and how to get involved as we restructure our organization, and work towards anti-racist progress in the arts sector.

Pre-register HERE to find out what EE’s staff and volunteers have been working on together over the past year and how to get involved!

This event will be happening both in person and over zoom. Sign language interpreters and Child Care available on request before October 31st.


This event will feature a panel discussion with the following artists, activists, and community organizers:


Jenelle Duval

Jenelle Duval is a founding member of Eastern Owl and is currently the arts and culture coordinator for First Light in St John’s, where she co-ordinates local arts programming. She has been instrumental in building the annual Spirit Song Festival into a central showcase for the Canadian indigenous arts scene.


Sobia Shaikh

Sobia Shaheen Shaikh is a social work educator, researcher, antiracist-feminist activist and mother from St. John’s NL. As a community-engaged researcher and social policy analyst, Sobia’s work focuses on supporting antiracist and social justice praxes. Her scholarship spans across many different social concerns, but is primarily centred around feminist, antiracist and social justice change in organizations. Sobia’s recent community organizing has crystallized through the Anti-Racism Coalition of NL (ARC-NL) and the Addressing Islamophobia in NL Project. She is also a member of The Quilted Collective of Racialized Writers in St. John’s. She continues to learn from activists and artists of diverse backgrounds.

Santiago Guzmán

Santiago Guzmán (he/him) is a writer, performer, and director for theatre and film from Mexico City, now based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. He holds a BFA in Theatre from Memorial University, Grenfell Campus. It is in Santiago’s keen interest to promote diversity onstage and onscreen, to encourage folks with diverse backgrounds to share their talents and stories with the arts community in NL, but most importantly exhort Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to see their homeland with a diverse perspective. Santiago is the Artistic Director of “TODOS Productions: Theatre and Film for All”, an organization that seeks to promote, produce, and support the work of under-represented artists in NL. He is also the Artistic Associate for Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre in Halifax, NS. His work is very brown, very queer, and very real.

Ritche Perez 

Ritche is currently poised at the forefront of an inspired cultural movement of Filipino- Newfoundlander/Labradorians that is doing more than making CHMR radio waves. Ritche’s art practice, increasingly, has taken a deep dive into his own ‘personal is political’ routes and roots via the Philippines. Reflecting an image of ‘island to island’ borderless locality, Ritche is strategically shaping a visual language and aesthetic that is populist but also spreads into notions of connection that might be described as tender/maternal. Engaged in projects that work to upend the so-called margins, Ritche Perez and dedicated group of im/migrants are enthusiastically planting endlessly experimental media projects into our city’s arts ecosystem. Enlivening his personal ties to his parents’ birthplace and more often than not sharing his findings via youtube, Ritche Perez is articulating his own unique unpretentious brand of community art.