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H’art Centre debuts first workshops at The Mix

In the heart of downtown Kingston and the heart of the Kingston community is H’art Centre, which has recently expanded to offer a new outreach and inclusive arts space called the Mix.

‘Soft Touch n’ Sew,’ one of four workshops being offered at H’art Centre’s The Mix, kicked off the outreach programming at the new space on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022.

Located at 235 Wellington Street, The Mix is a 4,000 sq. ft. space that includes a multi-purpose workshop, presentation spaces, offices, and a 50-foot inclusive art gallery wall, according to H’art Centre. Made possible in part by community fundraising and an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, The Mix officially opened its doors to the community in early September 2022, those with H’art Centre relayed, and has kicked off broadening the H’art community with workshops aiming to benefit seniors.

These fall workshops concentrate on four different mediums and are all led by professional artists “who combine inclusive practices and their art forms to bring to life welcoming and accessible experiences,” H’art Centre shared in a press release. These workshops are meant to offer a safe and accessible way for older adults with mobility challenges or cognitive issues to engage in meaningful and fun arts-based experiences, explained Katherine Porter, Executive Director of H’art Centre.

“Many people, as they age and experience illness or mobility issues, find it challenging to continue to participate, create, and contribute through the arts. At H’art Centre, we know the heart and soul of a creative person never fade. We don’t want paintings to go unpainted, stories to go unwritten, or songs to go unsung,” said Porter.

“These workshops will build on our legacy of collaboration with seniors and long-term care homes. It’s our response to the sense of isolation many people still feel after years of pandemic restrictions. With our new outreach space, committed professional community artists, and a focus on short, social, and stimulating activities, Kingston’s older adults can create again and share the experience with supportive friends or care partners.”

The first workshop took place on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, but all of the activities in this first instalment of two-hour workshops will follow a similar structure, including:

  • A 15-minute ‘meet and greet’
  • A short ‘goal’ introduction
  • An hour of ‘doing’
  • A final ‘wrap-up and wind down,’ with time for conversation and a beverage

First round of workshops at The Mix

Soft Touch n’ Sew with fabric artist Isidora Spielman

Tuesdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
September 12 to October 17 | October 24 to November 28, 2022

“Come and join us to refresh old knitting, sewing, crocheting, or felting skills. Let’s sip tea and exchange stories. This weekly group activity is about joy and delight. Hand-sew a bright felt pillow, stitch a picture with felt and wool, or knit a lacy scarf. It’s your choice! Isidora is an experienced designer, trained artist, teacher, and writer, working with textiles, fine clothes, costumes, ceramics, and performance. Her focus is on creating a joyful, creative atmosphere,” H’art Centre shared of this workshop.

Antics, Acting & Applause with theatre director Kathryn MacKay

Tuesdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
October 10 to October 31| November 7 to November 28, 2022

“Come play with us! Join us for two four-week workshops in which we will be exploring everything to do with performance. Each session will begin with a warm-up game using some combination of voice, gesture, and imagination. From there we will go on to develop stories around experiences with water which we will animate in a theatrical form. Kathryn is a professional theatre director and Managing Director of PeerLess Productions, a company dedicated to providing opportunities for mixed-ability theatre artists. No experience is necessary, and the focus will be on having fun!” said H’art Centre.

50 Tunes of Grey with musician David Archibald

Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

September 12 to October 17 | October 24 to November 28, 2022

“Dust off that old guitar, limber up those trusty piano fingers and, if you don’t have an instrument close at hand, we’ve got 10 lovely new ukuleles! Come and join award-winning singer/songwriter David Archibald for Wednesday afternoons of fun and great music. The setting is a welcoming and informal jam. The tunes will represent the best of the 20th century,” the Centre said of the workshop for music lovers.

Movement & Music with Camille Spencer of Adapt n’ Dance

Thursdays 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

September 12 to October 17 | October 24 to November 28, 2022

“Come a little early for tea, coffee, and a chat! Designed to be accessible, this class can be entirely done in a seated position. For those with mild physical and/or cognitive differences, there will be opportunities to safely sit or stand. This programming is designed as an out-of-residence opportunity to gather and meet new people. Camille is a local dance artist who has worked with multiple communities around the world sharing her passion for dance, specifically those with neurodiverse abilities, and the Parkinson’s community. Join her while she takes you through creative, musical, and easy-to-follow dance experiences that anyone can do. No dance experience is necessary. Just a willing heart and your positive vibes!” H’art Centre shared.

Registration

Spaces for the workshops are limited, so H’art Centres suggests those interested in participating register as soon as possible by calling the Centre at 613-545-1392 or contacting H’art Centre to sign up.

For more information on The Mix, H’art Centre, and the programming offered through the facilities, visit the H’art Centre website.

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