The AMY Project 2017 Year-in-review

Our 2017 season has been really incredible!

We're so proud of all of the work of our artists and participants in this banner year. We couldn't be where we are today without the support of our incredible community. Thank you to everyone who has made a donation, introduced us to a creative young person, promoted our work, given us guidance, and especially to everyone who came to see the work of our superstar participating young artists. Here's a look back at this awesome year!

Our 2017 season got off to a great start in early January as we gathered all of our participants and mentors together for a first dinner. It was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to meet, share a delicious meal from our incredible meal coordinator Wendy Sim, and start to get to know one another as people and as artists. Nourishing in many ways!

Our spring session was filled with incredible creation and learning. We had visits from many guest artists, including Naty Tremblay ("Artful Anti-Oppression"), Ange Loft ("Talking Treaties"), Amy Nostbakken teaching a movement session, and Lisa Bozikovic to guide and inspire some songwriting. We also had visits from AMY alum and some of our amazing partners, including Darwin Lyons from Paprika and Laura Nanni from the SummerWorks Performance Festival. Each week, the participants added to the collection of work that would become our spring workshop presentation. Thanks to Jumblies Theatre for hosting all our rehearsals this year!

Photo by Bessie Cheng
Photo by Bessie Cheng

Our Spring Workshop Presentation of Almeida (The Glorious) at Canadian Stage was an incredible event! We had sold-out audiences at all three shows, and had a wonderful response from everyone. As one audience member put it, Almeida is “Truly beautiful, vulnerable artwork showcasing young passion and talent”. Thanks to Canadian Stage for welcoming us again and being such a great partner! Many thanks to the supporters of the Spring Program, notably the Ontario Arts Council and Theatre Ontario.

Photo by Sean Howard

In May, we had one of the most thrilling moments of our year: The AMY Project was awarded the 2017 Arts for Youth Award from the Toronto Arts Foundation. This award meant so much to us, as it recognizes the amazing impact AMY has had on the arts community over the past 12 years.

Photo by Sean Howard

Our Artistic Director Nikki Shaffeeullah wrote about the impact of the award here, saying:

"To take one’s own lived experiences and craft them into theatre requires a bravery and creativity that many working artists never endeavor to explore; AMY’s young artists do it every year. They do it even when they don’t have stories like their own represented on stages and screens elsewhere. They do it with honesty, grace, and skill, and we work in service of them. We work to build frameworks to help transform performing arts industries into more equitable and interesting places; to make generous and glorious space for storytellers who otherwise have to work thrice as hard to receive a platform; to work against the systemic barriers to artistic training that permeate larger institutions; and to nurture the creation of the kinds of theatre that we want to experience."

Photo by Sean Howard

In July, we held another round of our popular Film Program, led by the inimitable Nicole Stamp and supported by Entertainment One. This year, the program focused on creating unique video content to be integrated into our SummerWorks performance. Thanks to Entertainment One for once again supporting this amazing program.

Photo by Dahlia Katz

In early August, Almeida (The Glorious) finally hit the big stage the SummerWorks Performance Festival.

Photo by Dahlia Katz

We had four incredible performances, including a sold-out closing show! We were thrilled with the response to the show. We had some great reviews!

Photo by Dahlia Katz

"This show is bracingly educational and inspiring." Karen Fricker, The Toronto Star

Photo by Dahlia Katz

"These powerful young people deserve the platform they are fiercely occupying." -Mooney on Theatre

Photo by Dahlia Katz

"What is so evident is that this group is cherished, both by their families and the organizers of the AMY Project, and the result is a group that feels safe enough to voice their innermost concerns and secrets. Bravo to young people—they are our best teachers." -Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Many thanks to SummerWorks for another incredible year of partnership, and to the Toronto Arts Council who are our main supporter for the Summer Performance Program.

2017 has been an amazing year full of growth and learning for AMY! We can't wait to begin an exciting 2017/2018 year as a part of Generator's Company-In-Residence program. Stay tuned for exciting announcements about all that's to come in our 2017/18 season! Keep in touch with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or join our mailing list.

We end this look back at 2017 with enormous gratitude to all of our current supporters, and with an invitation for you to join their ranks! If you are proud of AMY's amazing year, and excited about AMY's future, make a donation now.

Please consider making a monthly donation! Even five or ten dollars a month can make a big difference to the sustainability of AMY's activities. Many thanks!

www.theamyproject.com

info@theamyproject.com

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