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Arts & Culture

Advancing Art & Ability

January 15, 2014 | 2013 Annual Report

Christine Sun Kim
Christine Sun Kim
In the charitable sector, collaboration often brings remarkable things to life, a concept illustrated in the story of New York artist Christine Sun Kim's performance at the second annual Art + Body Festival in Winnipeg.

Art + Body is a city-wide event featuring works by local artists with disabilities. The exhibition is put on by Arts & Disability Network Manitoba (ADNM), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the full inclusion of artists and audiences with disabilities in the arts community.

Kim is an internationally-renowned artist who has exhibited and performed across North America, Europe and Asia. Deaf since birth, her work often explores the visual and tactile aspects of sound. Kim's performance in Winnipeg and the overall success of Art + Body involved major cooperation between agencies, explains Sue Lamberd, ADNM's volunteer Chairperson. Assistance from Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art was particularly important.

"This year's theme was "See Me Hear" referencing different ways of engaging your senses when one sense is amplified, interrupted, or gone. Send + Receive heard we were having Christine Sun Kim as a guest performer; it just seemed like serendipity," says Lamberd. Send + Receive, a local sound art festival, exhibited some of Kim's artwork ahead of the Festival and generated early buzz. "ADNM brought Christine, and Plug In and Ace Art helped us with the performance and a lot of the details. Plug In took care of volunteer work, AV and technical stuff, the reception, and really helped us out a lot. I'm just so proud of Winnipeg's arts community and amazed that they're so supportive of us."

The Foundation made a grant to Plug In this year to support their role in the Art + Body Festival. Kim's live performance took place at Plug In on October 10. Other Festival events and exhibitions were held at the University of Manitoba's School of Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and La Bibliothéque St. Boniface.

"We're trying to show the world how artists can express themselves," says Lamberd, "not despite, but because of their disability, and bring a new perspective to the world we share."

In 2013, Plug In received grants from the Foundation's Community Building Funds, the Ella Lillian Peters Fund, Carol Joan Manning Fund, Arnold William and Natalie Riedle Memorial Fund, Moffat Family Fund, Kozminski Family Fund, and The Asper Endowment.

"I hope [audiences] understand how much time and support that I require, that I need. It's a platform I really can't have on my own. I have to work out so many things and have so many individuals prepared in advance. Kind of like my life and how I grew up—I rely on all of you to make my voice and experience heard loud and clear."
– Christine Sun Kim, artist