Minutes for First JRA Cultural Committee Meeting

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Here’s a synopsis of the meeting in 3 short bullets:
·         The JRA should indeed have a cultural committee, to ensure that culture is embedded into the workings of the organization and remains a priority.  As with other committees, 2 reps will be invited to participate in JRA exec meetings.
·         The cultural committee should be a wide-open grassroots organism with room for cultural programmers in our neighbourhood but driven by residents.
·         The committee will get its launch at the next JRA general meeting July 9, at which time people can volunteer to participate.

15 Comments

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  1. Denise says:

    Can you please explain what this means? ” The cultural committee should be a wide-open grassroots organism with room for cultural programmers in our neighbourhood but driven by residents.” What is the committee’s definition of cultural programmers???

  2. Mary Breen says:

    Hi Denise.

    Full notes are going to be posted shortly, or I can email them to you if you give me your email (reach me at wisedaughters@sympatico.ca). I took the notes and kind of created this term for all of us who put on arts-related events in the Junction: the library, the WTJHS, community organizations, local galleries and other businesses, etc., etc.

  3. Junction Resident says:

    It would be nice if you could have a post outlining who’s who on the blog. I believe that Louis is Louis Marrone, chair of the Residents Association, board member of the JFAC, and also part of the BIA? Is that right? I think the pseudonymous Junctioneer is also a board member at JFAC? I’m not sure who else posts here, but maybe a link to contributor bios would be an idea. Thanks.

  4. Louis says:

    You’re right on all counts except for the BIA part, though I was involved in coordinating the installation of the very first street banners on Dundas, and that was a BIA initiative. Not much else to say about me, but I’ll suggest the bio idea. It’s a good one. Maybe the author’s name can be a link to it. Do we know each other?

    I should note, for this particular post, that I copied and pasted the minutes for the cultural committee, and probably should have noted who attended the meeting – though, I wasn’t there and don’t have the list. Mary Breen from Wise Daughters is spearheading that initiatve. I’ll look into it.

    In the meantime, there is a group set up at our website: http://www.junctionra.ca. Actually, (Denise) that would be a good place to ask your questions about the minutes, also.

    Thanks

  5. Junction resident says:

    Isn’t it funny how Mary Breen neglected to mention THE biggest arts & cultural event in the Junction – that being the Junction Arts Festival. Do I sense sour grapes??

  6. Mike Hunt says:

    This ‘arts and cultural committee’ on the JRA sounds like a reactionary inititative by disgruntled BIA, WTHJS and Junction residents. It’s happened before, the mega joke of last year the: “Local Option Art Awards” that bombed like a lead pipe – but the storekeepers and historical society who ran it sure patted each other on the back for it. The Communities in Bloom fiasco, what happened to that ? And now, from within our very own JRA – comes this new ‘arts and cultural’ behemoth no doubt – but it won’t be deemed a success unless storekeepers see more traffic thru their doors that being the only criteria used in the success of anything around here.

  7. Louis says:

    There seems to be a lot of passion around this issue, which is good. Mary, I’m actually contacting you soon about how the cultural committee can be involved in the Arts Festival. I’m a little hurt about the Communities in Bloom comment. Our 2008 lantern walk was a great success. It’s not easy keeping purely volunteer initiatives going. I think we’re all ultimately interested in making the Junction a better place, and if we just assume the best of each other rather than the worst, that will happen a lot more easily.

  8. Mary Breen says:

    Oh for heck’s sake.

    Let me introduce myself. I just opened Wise Daughters. I have lived in the Junction for 20 years. My shop is just outside the BIA boundary; I have no history with the BIA or JFAC. When I recently wrote a series of articles for the Junction Arts Blog, I talked about how the arts community here is anchored by the arts festival and the programming of the library and historical society, with additional cultural events put on by dozens of independent businesses and community organizations. This was the jumping off point for a conversation about how best to engage the whole neighbourhood in all this amazing arts activity.

    I was pleased to host a brainstorm about what a cultural group under the JRA could do to further all our dreams for an even artsier, craftier, more vibrant community. My personal interest happens to be community arts – I come from a social service background and am very fond of enfranchising disenfranchised members of communities. I also enjoy giving local artists and artisans a showcase for their work.

    The ensuing griping I’ve just read here is disheartening and frankly, dumb. I don’t know the people pointing fingers at me and acusing me of sour grapes. I haven’t a clue what’s going on or who the players are in this ridiculous turf war, nor do I want to.

    If anyone wants the full notes from the meeting before they get posted (if only I knew how, but I am not tech savvy), please email me – wisedaughters@sympatico.ca

  9. junctioneer says:

    Hi everyone,

    Normally as the person who runs this blog, I stay away from having any input of posts by the Junction Residents Association in writing or commenting. (This post was by Louis the chair of the JRA)

    Even after reading the comment stream several times, I still do not understand what’s happening here. I would like to ask everyone to simply be polite and not use phases and wording you would not want to be applied to you, your thoughts or actions. Kindness and thoughtful consideration please.

    Whatever you think of Ms. Breen’s efforts, careful examination clearly shows they are community orientated and altruistic. It seems that most of the comments really are using her efforts to voice opinions on other matters in the community, a post about the meeting she organized is not the place to discuss them.

    If you feel strongly about something send in a post, and start a discussion.

    • Jocelyn says:

      Maybe it’s time to start moderating this blog. Some people are just plain disrespectful and opportunistic ~ enough already!

      • junctioneer says:

        The blog is moderated all the comments for the Junction RA posts are sent to the sent directly to the Chair of JRA, for
        moderation. All new person comments are not displayed until the Chair of JRA approves them (only on JRA posts) and if the chair does approve someones comments their comments go though unmoderated, until they are flagged again by the chair for some reason. They are not sent to the main comment moderation account.

        Your comment only was send to the main comment moderation account because this post if now set to flag all comments with a hold.

  10. Junction Resident says:

    Someone else has used the same name as me (in this case, Junction resident with a lower case R). This isn’t the first time this has happened to me here, and there is no reason to assume it will be the last unless there is some change in the commenting system.

    Louis, I don’t believe we know each other – I just did a quick Google search and that’s what came up. I think it would be helpful to have each contributor’s name linked to a bio. Thanks.

  11. Neil Ross says:

    The first meeting of the JRA Cultural Committee was an exercise in positive creative brainstorming. Perhaps there was not as much time spent on the Junction Arts Festival, big as it is, because it is well established and clearly defined and this was a forum to explore new ideas. There is not an important movement in human history that did not begin with some form of disgruntlement. The Local Option Art Awards, 27 artists in 20 Junction businesses, did not “bomb like a lead pipe” but brought art back to the storefronts over the 2008 Centennial year and culminated in an extremely successful fundraising gala. The number of people through business doors looking for art is unrecorded, but while this is an important gauge, it is not the only way of defining success in the Junction. Community participation and creative expression are vital factors in any society. One of the hallmarks of the Local Option Art Awards is that every piece of art submitted found its place and the business owners were adamant that no one be left out. As for grapes, sour or otherwise . . . where the recreated railway platform is now at Pacific and Dundas was once the manse of Aikenshaw, a vineyard which tradition tells us was cultivated by free Canadians who traveled north on the Underground Railroad. With that tradition in mind, perhaps its time for a bit more freedom for both arts and ideas in the Junction. Welcome the Cultural Committee.

  12. JimR says:

    When I read the comments here, it strikes me that there are a lot of fragile ego’s in our community. If the JRA wants to establish a cultural committee, why should anyone associated with JFAC see that in a negative light? In fact, JFAC supporters should see this in a positive light and realize that they now have a like-minded conduit to the JRA. Instead “Junction resident” and “Mike Hunt” choose to view the move in a negative manner. For “Mike Hunt” to describe the Local Option Art Awards as a joke shows how out of touch he /she really is. Not alone was this a very successful and popular program but the awards event itself was probably the highlight of the year.

  13. Carmen says:

    Jim R Why are you associating any of this with JFAC? I wish the JRA Cultural Committee all the best in all of their endeavours and am very much looking forward to their contribution, in fact if I lived only 2 blocks west I’d hope to be on that committee! And if anyone wants to volunteer for the festival they can drop me a line at: carmen (at) jfac.org

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