Making Room Brampton grows out of the success of last year's Secret Rivers Project that brought together community members at the Chinguacousy Branch of the Brampton Library to make art and tell stories of the pathways that led them to the library that day and the pathways of their lives. This line of inquiry led us to learn much about physical rivers participants had known and this became the through-line of the project.
Using Making Room’s established model of community development through the arts, Secret Rivers celebrated the people and places that are the heart of Brampton’s culture by bringing community arts to where people are and putting them at the centre of the story. Lead artists facilitated the development of this story through bi-weekly art workshops, culminating in a live community performance in the main floor of the Library, featuring a collaboratively created audio piece (that resulted in a short video distributed through social media), woven artwork representing pathways, rivers, and journeys, a singer, and a local Brampton storyteller. The project was multi-generational (engaging adults and children) and intercultural, reflecting the diversity of Brampton residents.
Secret Rivers fulfilled the project goal of providing a unique Brampton-based experience, connecting people, exploring the land, and celebrating stories of and by Brampton community members. The project provided an easy, low stakes opportunity for community members to gather and form connections through meditation, art-making, and story sharing. Contributing to Brampton’s vibrant community and thriving arts and culture environment, the project showcased a successful model of arts-based community development and supported municipal efforts to promote and celebrate Brampton’s culture, build community capacity for creative endeavours, and foster connections between people, communities and civic institutions.
This year’s project Story Weaving, continues where Secret Rivers left off.