Help us Pay Artists and Launch Riverbed Reading Series: iteration one
Finding community can be hard at any time, but the arts allow us the opportunity to reach across barriers and come together through creativity and curiosity. In this time of social isolation we are looking for help to launch our Ottawa-based reading series online.
When we set out to start Riverbed Reading Series in the fall of 2019, we – Ellen Chang-Richardson and nina jane drystek – hoped to bring the literary cabaret to life in Ottawa through the curation of live readings – poetry and prose – performance works and music. We imagined Club SAW (our venue partner for 2020) alive with conversation, community exchanges and the brilliance of our performers. We looked forward to welcoming everyone to the space and to the stage on May 20th, 2020 for our inaugural event. Unfortunately, that is not quite coming to fruition in the way we had imagined. With COVID-19 keeping all of us at home, we are unable to gather our writers and musicians in a single space – but we can all gather in a different way to share in the arts and their power to help us carry through.
Instead of giving up on our plans to launch Riverbed Reading Series, we are taking it online!
While we have secured some funding for our first event, we had planned to make up the extra costs through community sponsorships and partnerships, draws and a PWYC cover charge at the door. As these options are no longer available we are hoping that those of you attending or those of you who simply want to help us foster this new Ottawa reading series, will chip in what you can for our debut event. With your help, we can ensure all our performers are paid and continue forward with organising iteration two (in August), three (in November) and four (in February 2021) from a financially stable place.
So what is Riverbed Reading Series and what are we all about?
Co-founded by Ellen Chang-Richardson and nina jane drystek, Riverbed is driven by the belief that the artistic spheres are connected. Inspired by the spirit of Café le Hibou, Ottawa (1965-70) and Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich (1916), Riverbed is an inclusive, experimental gathering space at the very intersection of literature, music and performance.
We are excited to bring you carefully curated iterations on a quarterly basis, beginning in May 2020. We’ll begin with poetry, a practice at the intersection of music, art and literature. iteration one – for which we are crowdfunding – will feature:
- Poetry readings by Conyer Clayton and David Ly, who both have new books out this spring
- Prose readings by Emily Kellogg
- Live improvised music by Linsey Wellman – member of the art-punk band FET.NAT
Upcoming iterations of Riverbed will feature live literature, propelling the solitary nature of writing into a collective space; performances that bridge literature and the arts, offering sensory experiences for you to explore and delight in; and an invited curation, bridging Ottawa’s artistic communities and its myriad riverbeds.
It is our hope that we will soon be able to gather at Club SAW, but until that time we will be hosting our events on Zoom.
For this fundraiser we are asking our communities to contribute whatever they can, be it a few dollars or a few dozen! We believe that artists deserve to be paid for their work and it is our hope to break even on our costs for running and organizing this event. Artists and organizers across Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Turtle Island and the world are helping us through this stressful time, and will continue to do so as we reshape our world.
If you are passionate about the arts, and writing and music in particular, we hope that you will join us online for iteration one. Details are on our website and a Zoom access link will be released via newsletter closer to the date of the event.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about Riverbed and for contributing if you are able. No matter where you go after this webpage, we hope you continue to support artists and organizers wherever you may be.
- Gavin Barrett
- Megan Butcher
- Jeff Blackman
- Mary Catherine Jack