On December 5th, The Manitoba Artist-Run Centres Coalition (MARCC) members gathered at Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) for a meeting to cover quite a few topics. I attended the meeting in part to clarify the role of ARCA in advocacy, representation, research, and networking for the artist-run network across Canada. It was helpful to revisit why ARCA was formed in 2005 and why it was organised by regional associations (including two cultural associations).
Since the dissolution of ANPAC/RACA, artist-run centres were missing from discussions, studies, and other events relative to the visual arts sector at the national level. With its regional structure, ARCA relies on input from the regions who are responsible for relaying relevant info. As a collective, albeit an assymetrical one, ARCA is in a better position to reflect the varied positions that exist within the network on a range of concerns, and to advocate for better conditions in collaboration with other arts service organisations at the Visual Arts Alliance, the Canadian Arts Coalition, and The Canada Council for the Arts, among others. I wish I had taken a group picture for this post! Instead, I have used a photo of Urban Shaman’s recently completed programming archive binder hoping it will inspire others to conserve and organise their institutional memory.
Much like other service associations, MARCC has reached a point in its development where it needs to decide whether or not to incorporate. The proposal is discussed and all agree that even if MARCC remains an informal body, it could use some structuring guidelines. Maybe offering a symbolic fee to one of the members to act as a secretary could facilitate convening, note taking and record-keeping tasks?
It was my first visit to Winnipeg. During my stay, I was also able to visit Ace Art, Urban Shaman, RAW: Gallery of Architecture & Design, Platform, Martha Street Printmaking Studio, MAWA, la Maison des artistes visuels francophones, Plug In, an informal space called Library and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. I look forward to another visit maybe to coincide with MAWA’s upcoming 30th anniversary and plans to celebrate with city-wide feminist-driven programming next September. In the interim, I have returned home with quite a few publications to read. Anne Bertrand, Director.