Diasporic Genius celebrates Thorncliffe Park

Spring Ahead! with Diasporic Genius, Circles Not Walls & 7-Minute Feast

Creativity-based city-building org creates connections across boundaries

Presenting a Series of Story Circles & a Thorncliffe Park Celebration

Since 2011 DIASPORIC GENIUS (DG) has been exploring the power of the creative imagination as a community-building tool, looking for new ways to spark positive change grounded in relationship, reciprocity and respect. Using the organizing idea of the “21st-Century Village Square”, DG has worked to activate people through an empowering connection to their own stories and an empathetic connection to the stories of others. It has brought these stories “into form” through workshops, classes, circles, discussions, cultural events, feasts and festivals, looking all the while to create connection across boundaries of culture, language, religion, gender, generation, geography and class.

The work has been modest, focused, powerful and growing, and has been centered on one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in North America, Thorncliffe Park. DG has mostly kept this story “under wraps”, giving it time and space to grow and develop. Now, DG and its partners (including Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, ERA Architects and The Tell) are reaching beyond the core constituency to share the experience with the wider city. This year will be full of action, and we are starting with an opportunity for downtown residents to experience the Story-sharing work, and following up with the Spring 7-Minute Feast. DG founder/director David Buchbinder as well as several key community participants are available to speak about these initiatives and events.

The Spring 7-Minute Feast in Thorncliffe Park

A Sharing Celebration of Food, Music & Culture

 Sunday April 23, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Jenner Jeanne Marie Community Centre, 48 Thorncliffe Park Dr.

Admission by donation of food for the table

For information call (416) 583-5782 or email roula.said@diasporicgenius.com

This coming April 23, make your way among the towers of Thorncliffe Park to the entrance of the Jenner Jeanne Marie Community Centre. Go down the stairs and though the hall, and there, through the doors on your right, come the sound of music, bubbling conversation and laughter, and the delicious smell of home-cooked food. You’ve found the DG 7-Minute Feast, a celebration of community creativity, highlighting music, dance, art and food. The 7-Minute Feast is a form developed to bring together food, stories and performances by professional artists in collaboration with community members. It is this connection, “interweaving” people who would normally never come in contact with each other in a creative, celebratory atmosphere that is the keystone of the Feasts. And pairing performance with imaginative food offerings (including contributions by community members) creates a truly festive experience.

Circles Not Walls! Downtown

Discover the Power of Story: Yours & Others’

Evenings: Thursdays, April, 13, 20 & 27, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Nooners: Wednesday, April 12, 19 & 26, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

The Tell suite 113–401 Richmond Street West

Admission free. Donations accepted

For information call (416) 583-5782 or email roula.said@diasporicgenius.com

Join Diasporic Genius founder David Buchbinder for an evening of exploration and connection. Sit together with a circle of folks who look like your city, tell and listen as your stories flow together, weaving a rich, beautiful tapestry of human knowledge and experience. Activate your creative imagination, open yourself to the joy of creating connections across boundaries, and realize as you do that not only are you truly at home, but that your home just got a whole lot bigger. In the last five years David has led well over 100 Story Circles across Toronto, and is consistently “amazed at the powerful connections and real warmth created by this experience”. Roger Sader, director of The Tell calls the Circle experience “life-changing!”

This kind of activity is not only rewarding in its own right, it’s also a perfect antidote to the messages of fear and division that are rising up. Opening yourself for creative connection, in the face of those who would divide is indeed a radical act!

— Roula Said

Please visit www.diasporicgenius.com for background info

Diasporic Genius is a project of Tides Canada shared platform