1mile² was an arts program that inspired communities to explore the diversity of people, places, nature, and the built environment in their own neighbourhood. With a host of collaborators and partners, the 1mile² initiative was Musagetes’ first experimentation with socially engaged artistic practices in Guelph.
The program placed special emphasis on our relationship to the urban environment by inviting artists to work in communities and neighbourhoods of Guelph (such as the Brant neighbourhood, the downtown core, and the University campus) in unusual ways. In order to reach a diverse group of communities,1mile² brought together international, Canadian, and Guelph artists with community participants, activists, leaders, facilitators, designers, and creative researchers. Artists engaged local architects, artists, landscape designers, students, ecologists, community organizations and residents in a series of participatory urban actions, creative workshops, and field explorations. Artists included Mary Mattingly (New York), SYN- Atelier D’Exploration Urbaine (Montreal), DodoLab (Waterloo/Guelph), Lucia Babina and Marjetica Potrc (Rotterdam and Ljubljana), and Dawn Matheson (Guelph). More…
Our partners in this program were Visiting Arts London UK; the City of Guelph; the University of Guelph, the department of Landscape Architecture; Improvisation, Community and Social Practice (ICASP); the Guelph Jazz Festival, Ed Video, and the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre.
Musagetes set up shop in Guelph in January 2009 and since then we have been increasingly active in the community. Aims for this exploratory first set of projects were to build contact, dialogue and trust within and between communities; to encourage a sense of shared futures within communities; and to inspire learning through creative and cultural engagement and expression.