Call for Your Participation: People of Good Will (September 2, 2014)

Deadline September 2, 2014

Are you an Aboriginal, immigrant, or culturally diverse artist or arts programmer? Are you a community group or cultural organization practicing principles of inclusivity, solidarity, and intercultural relationship-building? We want to hear from you.

We are seeking exciting new ideas and activities for visual art, literature, music, audio, dance, performance, and interdisciplinary work for an community-based artistic project called People of Good Will. People of Good Will is a collaboration between the Guelph Black Heritage Society, the arts organization Musagetes, and the art collective Postcommodity (details below). The home of this project is Guelph Black Heritage Society at 83 Essex Street in Guelph.

People of Good Will reimagines the Underground Railroad narrative as a living history and metaphor of cultural self-determination for all Indigenous, immigrant, and culturally diverse peoples living in Guelph. Historically, Aboriginal people helped newly emancipated slaves as they arrived in the north. This project fosters a creative alliance between these groups.

Over the course of one year, a series of interdisciplinary collaborations among Guelph arts programmers, artists, organizations, and Postcommodity will take place at the Guelph Black Heritage Society. This series of collaborations will generate conversations and activities that:

1) translate the Underground Railroad into a living history of cultural self-determination;
2) examine the contemporary experiences of immigrant, Aboriginal and diverse communities;
3) develop ideas about and responses to issues that are critical, timely and relevant for immigrant, Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities;
4) examine contemporary contexts of intercultural relationships, power and determinism.

Tell us about yourself! Please include:

• Full name and email address
• What you are interested in: visual art, literature, music, audio, dance, performance, interdisciplinary work, or another discipline
• What you are dreaming up: in one paragraph, tell us how about your artistic or programming goals and what your work means to you and your community

Please send your information to! We’re aiming to gather the first round of proposals in the first few weeks of September, but the call will be ongoing.


The Guelph BME (British Methodist Episcopal) Church has stood at 83 Essex Street since 1880. The Guelph BME was built by abolitionists and former fugitive slaves associated with the Underground Railroad. The Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) was formed after the BME Church was listed for sale in November 2011. The purpose of the GBHS is to preserve the historical significance of the BME Church by creating a cultural, historical and social centre within Guelph and Wellington County. The GBHS’s offer to purchase the BME Church was accepted and the sale was finalized in December 2012.

Musagetes is an international organization that makes the arts more central and meaningful in peoples’ lives, in our communities, and in our societies. We work in Guelph (CA), Lecce (IT), and Rijeka (HR) to demonstrate how art can be participatory and socially engaged to establish a greater sense of belonging in communities.

Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, Kade L. Twist and Nathan Young. Postcommodity’s art functions as a shared Indigenous lens and voice to engage the assaultive manifestations of the global market and its supporting institutions, public perceptions, beliefs, and individual actions that comprise the ever-expanding, multinational, multiracial and multiethnic colonizing force that is defining the 21st Century through ever increasing velocities and complex forms of violence.