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The City of Edmonton, through the Edmonton Arts Council, established the Cultural Diversity in the Arts program in 2014 to recognize that artists from all parts of the world enrich Edmonton’s cultural scene. Artists from these communities can apply to any Edmonton Arts Council program, but many also face cultural, linguistic or historical barriers to accessing support. The intent of this program is to provide an entry point, to help these artists begin to overcome those barriers, to pursue their professional artistic work and develop connections to the greater Edmonton arts community.

Recipients of the 2016 Cultural Diversity in the Arts program:

– Nasra Adem is a multi-disciplinary artist and slam poet, and is currently serving as the City of Edmonton’s second Youth Poet Laureate. She is working to transition Sister2Sisterhood from platform to collective, with a focus on sustainability, accessibility, and healing for women of colour through art.

– Jacob Amon is a multi-disciplinary Canadian/Sudanese artist. His current project of twenty visual arts pieces will explore the theme of change and the settlement process of newcomers in Edmonton.

– Jewish filmmaker Adam Bentley uses film to tell personal stories about space, place, and identity. His current project recounts the story of a young Jewish girl hiding in a Dutch family’s bakery during the Holocaust, inspired by real events associated with one Edmonton family.

– Justin (Justice) Berger is a Métis visual artist whose current project, “The Walls of Justice”, consist of large paintings to be installed in public locations throughout the city.

– As a members of Edmonton based Vaughn String Quartet, cellist Silvia Buttiglione and her quartet members will record their first CD, paying tribute to the cultural origins of the four group members.

– Persian classical musician and composer Farhad Khosravi will stretch the boundaries of the Persian classical genre with his first album “Sleeping in Sorrow – Songs of Child Labour”, shedding light on the challenges of the labour children and orphans in Iran.

– William LeBlanc (a.k.a. Rellik) is an urban, Indigenous hip-hop artist. The music video for his song “The Hour (Mama’s Song)” addresses the subject of losing a parent, a common theme among today’s society and within Aboriginal communities.

– An Assistant Professor in Middle Eastern and African Studies at the University of Alberta, Iman Mersal’s book of lyrical poetry will explore immigrant accents, strung together by a narrative thread of prose.

– Oksana Movchan is a visual artist originally from Kyiv, Ukraine. Her current project will result in a series of six paintings and a polyptych exploring the theme of “home”; something both uniquely personal and universal.

– Dean Musani is a composer/musician who utilizes modern techniques of modular synthesis and sampling in his works. His current project will explore the duality of technology and nature, capturing the sounds of natural Alberta locations of cultural and social significance.

– Adriana Onita is a multilingual poet, visual artist, and educator. Her current project encompasses a multilingual poetry and art book, mentorship from Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, and a photography exhibition.

– Garth Prinsonsky (a.k.a. Garth Prince) is a vocalist and educator of (World) African music. Prinsonsky will be developing an African music book and program for children.

– As the President of the Heart of the City Festival Society of Edmonton, Mike Siek will spearhead the Street Prints Artist Collective, a shared initiative between Heart of the City, E4C, and the Inner City Recreation and Wellness Program to offer support and opportunities to inner-city artists.

– Brandon Wint is a poet and spoken word artists. His spoken word album, “Infinite Mercies”, explores and celebrates the subtle mercies that sustain human life, and will be complemented by classical piano led compositions.

Recorded music credits:
Dean Musani - Love Loss
Voice Industrie - Cloud Raking
Dean Musani - Claude Tender Theme
Dean Musani - Dance of the Olms Finale
Le Fly - Sunset Party