OAAG Cultural Pluralism Consultant
Project Lead, Cultural Pluralism in the Art Movement Ontario
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charles smith is currently Cultural Liaison at the Dean’s Office at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Project Lead for Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, as well as Artistic Director of the wind in the leaves collective, an interdisciplinary performance group combining his poetry with music, dance and visual arts, which he founded in 2009.
Smith's, Pluralism in the Arts in Canada: A Change is Gonna Come, was released in June 2012. This book contains a collection of essays and articles featuring artists such as award-winning poet George Elliot Clarke, dancers and choreographers Charmaine Headley (Collective of Black Artists), Kevin A. Ormsby of Kashedance; theatre and movement artists Amanda Paixao and Shahin Sayadi; and Natasha Bakht, professor of human rights at the University of Ottawa. Smith's book also features a toolkit on community engaged arts prepared by the Neighbourhood Arts Network, the Independent Media Arts Alliance and National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition, and, the Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario.
charles’ poetry has appeared in Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Descant, Dandelion, Amethyst Review, By-Words, Canadian Forum, Quille and Quire, Fiery Spirits (Harper Collins), Poetry Toronto, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Acta Victoriana, Revival Journal (Ireland), Prairie Fire, Anti-Racism in Education: Missing in Action, the Great Black North (edited by Valerie Mason John and Kevan Anthony Cameron, Frontenac House) and Men In the Company of Women (Lenore Publishing House, San Francisco) . He has edited three collections of poetry – Teeth of the Whirlwind (Black Perspectives), Bantu (Black Perspectives), and, Sad Dances in a Field of White (Is Five Press) that includes the works of Dionne Brand, Marlene Nourbese Phillips, Claire Harris, Cyril Dabydeen, Lillian Allen, George Elliot Clarke, Clifton Joseph. charles was the founder of the Black Perspectives Cultural Program in Regent Park and recently received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council’s Writers Reserve Grants Program and the Toronto Arts Council Writers Grants Program. He is currently working on a collection of poetry entitled travelogue of the bereaved.
His first book, Partial Lives, appeared through Williams-Wallace Press and a chap book, Fleurette Africaine (wind in the leaves collective), was released in February 2012. As well, travelogue of the bereaved has been accepted for publication by TSAR Publications and will appear in the spring 2014.
Fore more information on Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario visit www.cpamo.wordpress.com