Thinking Rock Learning Series

The goal of the Thinking Rock Learning Series is to train and mentor local artists in the principles and practices of community-engaged art making.

Through this work, we aim to build local capacity and awareness of how community artists can participate in and start their own projects with and for the people of the North Shore of Lake Huron.




The Art of Community, March 2014
with Ruth Howard (Jumblies Theatre)

A three day intensive workshop on the principles and practices of art that engages with and creates community, blending presentations, discussions, hands-on activities, creative explorations and take-home resources.  Topics include definitions, values & core principles; guiding and safeguarding your vision; project start-up & basics; partnerships (cross-sector); budgets, resources and grants; the ethics and aesthetics of ‘everyone is welcome’.


Oral History and Art-making, August 2014
with Ruth Howard (Jumblies Theatre)

Four-day advanced workshop, exploring the use of spoken memory and personal stories in art-making and performance. Considering approaches, methods, technologies and challenges and explore, through inter-disciplinary activities, different stages of an interview-based arts process: research, creation, presentation and aftermath.


Art of Collaboration, January 2015
with Phyllis Novak (SKETCH), Violetta Ilkiw and Cathy Dyer (New Mentality)

Training in how participatory art-making and creative facilitation methods can be used to enable individual and community growth, inclusivity and resilience as well as address complex community and personal issues.  It also involved exploring the role of multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural, cross-sector collaboration in creating impactful community projects that break down traditional and harmful barriers within communities and how this can lead the way to increased resilience, vibrancy and inclusion. Participants were introduced to practical tools to enable facilitators to work beyond this discomfort to find common goals and value individual strengths, leading to fruitful partnerships and positive community outcomes.


Artful Equity, March 2015
with Naty Tremblay (SKETCH) and Teddy Syrette

A hands-on workshop exploring the key principles of Anti-Oppression work, while building new creative strategies for practicing Anti-O artfully in your life, communities and arts practice.  Some of the concepts artfully explored include: contemporary norms and ideals; systems of advantage and disadvantage; decolonization; intersectionality within our individual identities of characteristics, cultures, etc; and more!


Intro to Puppet Making and Puppeteering, March 2015
with Naty Tremblay (SKETCH) and Varrick Grimes (Jumblies Theatre)

A two day workshop incorporating hands-on skill building with giant puppets, small puppets, shadow puppets, puppet manipulation and storytelling with puppets.


Aboriginal Cultural Competency, April 2015
with the Indigenous Friendship Centre of Sault Ste. Marie

Throughout the training, participants have the opportunity to build a shared understanding of contemporary priorities, the concept of allied relationships, Aboriginal wholistic healing, and the importance of infusing on-going Aboriginal cultural competencies throughout organizational practices through meaningful engagement with the Aboriginal community.


Intro to Stilt Walking and Mask Making, April 2015
with Sarah King-Gold (Myths and Mirrors) and Sean Frey (Jumblies Theatre)

Learn how to walk on stilts and (or!) create masks, inspired by the local stories that have been shared by local community members for the Rivers Speak project.


Intro to Theatre and Movement, June 2015
with Sid Bobb and Penny Couchie (Aanmitaagzi)

Learn how to use voice, body and movement to animate local stories that have been shared by local community members for the Rivers Speak project.