Sharada K. Eswar is the newest Cultural Animator contracted to help support the development of community-engaged arts projects. Working with the Mississauga Arts Council, Sharada is raising awareness about OAC’s Artists in the Community/Workplace program and is guiding artists and organizations through the grant application process.
Sharada is an accomplished storyteller, writer and singer who teaches and performs locally and internationally, drawing on her South Asian heritage. She is an experienced practitioner of community-engaged arts and a cultural consultant whose capacity to connect diverse communities through the arts has been widely recognized by a range of arts organizations and cultural institutions.
The Cultural Animator pilot project is intended to increase community-engaged arts practice and partnerships between arts communities and other sectors, such as social services, health, tourism and business. Community arts councils provide important services to artists and arts organizations and are a valuable resource in their communities. Through this partnership with selected regional arts councils, OAC hopes to widen the reach and strengthen the impact of community arts. The initiative is in its second year in Kingston and completed a two-year presence in Windsor in fall 2013.
The Artists in the Community/Workplace program encourages artists and arts organizations from all arts disciplines to develop new artistic works with people and communities outside of the arts sector using collaborative co-creative processes. Grants are designed to integrate the arts into community life through artistic projects.