Workshops

Janice Lee offers educational workshops in arts, leadership and anti-oppression in the community. Janice is interested in the questions “What is the artist’s responsibility to the community?” and “How can we use art as a tool towards empowerment, social change, community-building and joy?”PacRim 1

Over the past five years she has facilitated over 80 workshops across Canada at 3 universities, 12 high schools and elementary schools, 5 non-profit organizations, 5 poetry slam series, the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, YouthCanSlam Festival, Verses Festival of Words, Vancouver Writer’s Festival, and at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity in Hawai’i.

If you are interested in bringing Janice in to work with your group, please contact her via email at janjolee@gmail.com for rates and booking. Each workshop can be modified for the needs of your group.

Arts workshop areas include:

At the Underground Individual Poetry Slam. Photo by Lishai.

Photo by Lishai.

  • spoken word, storytelling, poetry slam
  • songwriting, singing, looping pedal
  • short filmmaking
  • grant writing for independent artists

Leadership and anti-oppression workshop areas include:

  • consent and how to build safer spaces
  • feminism, womxn empowerment, male allyship
  • anti-racism, white supremacy, orientalism

 

Selected Previous Workshops:

Speak Your Truth (30-40 mins)
Speak your truth to power. Write about a time you experienced struggle, share it with strength, and embody your performance.

Spoken Word and Activism (1-2 hrs)
How can we use our voices as poets and storytellers to connect with people in our community towards a more socially and environmentally just world? In this workshop we will bridge our differences as individuals through writing, sharing and workshopping our pieces for performance. We will practice an embodied performance to a rhythm we create together and play with beatboxing and melody. We will try to practice fearlessness and joy. Please bring an open and gentle energy, pen and paper.

Art as Activism (1-2 hrs)
What is the artist’s responsibility to their community? How can you channel frustration, fear, rage, joy and love through artistic expression to spark dialogue and create change? This workshop will have you exploring and practising different ways to connect with people through art. From techniques drawn from spoken word, beatbox, theatre of the oppressed, guerilla singing and radical theatre, we will discover how artistic expression can engage in healing and connecting. Let’s make art and let’s get free.

Connecting Arts and Independent Media (1 hr)sunnyside
How can indie media connect with artists in meaningful, non-superficial ways? What kinds of interactions can be beneficial to all sides? This workshop will discuss strategies for journalists, reporters, photographers, radio hosts and bloggers who are interested in covering the arts. We will talk about the importance of cultural context and the artists’ positionality, and how to make your finished piece accessible to the public, useful for the artist, and a piece of contemporary history.

Empowering our voices – how to speak up and claim space (2-3 hrs)
When is it best to speak firmly and loudly? When is it a good idea to place your body in between two people for safety? When is it better to use rhetorical questions to make someone back down rather than calling them out on privilege? This scenario-based workshop will practice methods on how we can claim space in personal and public situations. We will go over methods that respect everyone involved and how we can make sure our voices are heard, make sure our personal physical space is respected, and find confidence interacting in spaces that we are not used to.  Particular emphasis will be placed on group dynamics and scenarios based on racism, sexism, transphobia and homophobia.

Discussion: The joys and power of gender performance (2hrs)
Is wearing lipstick not feminist? Is shaving your legs a hippie copout? Must all anarchists wear black? Must all queers enjoy perma-glitter? Is it wrong to like wearing high heels, or bomber jackets, or power suits because of their gender baggage? Our appearance is constantly subject to expectations from mainstream patriarchal capitalism and even our chosen pockets of radical communities. This discussion will centre around the idea that knowledge and choice in how we dress is part of reclaiming power in our own bodies. We will share stories on the joys of outward performance and talk about clothes, hair, and makeup! With a radical critical analysis, of course. DIY accessorizing tips are welcome.

Introduction to Anti-Oppression (3+ hrs)
It is an aggressively oppressive time to be a woman, trans person, or a person of colour/racialized/immigrant person in Canada. How can we as organizers, artists and activists create relationships, projects and spaces that are as free from systemic oppression as possible? How do we do this work with patience, gentleness, and love for everyone involved including ourselves?

In this workshop we will spend some time defining capitalism, colonialism, orientalism, racism and white supremacy and how these power systems intersect with classism, ableism, and heteronormative patriarchy in our immediate environments on campus and in our lives. We will identify ongoing struggles against systemic oppression, and discuss strategies that we can use everyday to help us all become more free.

How to be Fearless and Gentle: Challenging Oppression and Building Community (2 hr interactive presentation)
How can we, as advocates for social justice act fearlessly and gently with love to bridge differences and build community? Fearlessness is understanding that we may become uncomfortable, emotional, defensive, but staying committed to taking care of one another. To be gentle is to understand our limits – that we have a finite amount of time and energy, and to keep in perspective that we cannot do everything. In this presentation and interactive workshop, Janice Lee will speak about her experiences as an artist/advocate/community organizer and share insightful songs and poems about fighting oppression while building communities to flourish.

 

Youth Workshop: #OneDay (1hr)
I know where I’ve been and where I come from. Now where am I going? How awesome can I  be? In this workshop, we will dream up the most amazing stories that take us to the highest levels of awesome. We will play with spoken word, beatboxing, and melody to create 15 second verses. We will jam out our rhythm in a hip hop cypher and create one piece together. Optional: We will finish by recording a video of our new piece for Instagram/Facebook/Youtube.

 

GAL Club: Girls Arts and Leadership Workshop Series (1-2 hr workshops)
In this series of 8 workshops for girls and trans girls, we will explore art and leadership in a fun and safe environment we create together.

Workshops topics:
1) Intro – Icebreakers, group agreement, making our vision board
2) Speak Your Truth – spoken word – telling your story
3) Music is my weapon – beatboxing, songwriting, dance and rhythm
4) #YesAllGirls – being awesome in the face of adversity
5) #Flawless – loving your body, magazine and advertising activity
6) #Selfie – self portraiture and photography, video art
7) #OneDay – Dreams and Goal Setting, tree of your life activity
8) Coffee House art show

Poetry Slam Club (2hr workshops)
You are the expert of your own life. Write your own story, find rhythm in your words and rock the stage. How can you channel frustration, fear, rage, joy and love through artistic expression to spark dialogue and create change? At Poetry Slam Club, professional spoken word poets will show you how to write rhymes, spit poems and perform for an audience.  We will practice our poems to a rhythm we create together and play with beatboxing and melody. Please bring an open energy, pen and paper. Let’s make art and let’s get free.

1)Remember Your Roots, Speak Your Truth: Who are you? What are your dreams?
2)Music is my Weapon: Intro to songwriting, singing and beatboxing.
3)Master Class: Workshop your piece for performance, writing a short bio
4) Rock the Stage: Performance

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