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Morgan-Paige's Moving and Community Building Fund

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Hi everyone! My name is Morgan and I am a Multidisciplinary Artist with focuses in piano and solo performances, composition, sound design, music education for young children of varying levels of learning, and 3D environmental art.

Back in October 2023, I submitted an application for a work-live opportunity by BlackNorth Initiative. This unique opportunity was created to “support Black artists and creatives in developing their practice, showcasing their work, and building relationships in the community while working and living there”. - BlackNorth Initiative

Little did I know that I would be accepted!!! Due to this very quick turnaround and move, I’m reaching out for help to cover piano moving costs and setting up the studio.

After several years of traveling across the city to rent spaces for my piano rehearsals, teach, and create music with a mini travel-friendly studio using headphones as to not disturb the quiet (thank you so much to past neighbours and my siblings for being cool with all of the random noises), I finally have a space to call my own with a studio and I can bring my grand piano that has been wonderfully collecting dust in my family home! However, moving the piano from my family home in Guelph to Toronto requires professional piano movers due to its extreme fragility which ultimately increases moving costs significantly. The grand piano is the most important part of the studio as it will also be an accessible and barrier-free instrument for many at low to no cost. It carries deep sentimental value to me since it was donated to me at a time when it was impossible for my family to even consider such an expense. It is so hard to find accessible piano practise spaces and many times it’s either the choice of “do I put food on the table” or “should I rent a piano to practise for an upcoming gig”. More often than not, several of these spaces booked weeks and months in advance or are only accessible through academic institutions. Not only will I be able to create music in this space, it will also be a multi-purpose space to showcase my works in a gallery setting, perform, teach, produce, and activate the space as a community hub. I’ve included a more detailed budget breakdown of the moving and studio set up costs below.

As a Black queer woman having grown up in poverty, I’ve been surrounded by golden-hearted people who took the time and energy to help my family and me survive near-homelessness and provided us with the chance to blossom building our lives through the arts. This comes second nature to want to return the favour by sharing the same grace and kindness that was given to me, however this is something I truly cannot do on my own. This work-live space is not just the ideal opportunity to be able to call a space my own to live and create, but a nurturing space that I can share with the community that will surround me.

Building a sense of community is not only for bringing people together to commune in one place but allowing accessible freedom to resources that are not immediately available. Arts in all forms are key to helping guide us through life bit by bit. It’s also an effectual asset to speaking our truth and sharing our experiences culturally, a means of healing, and marking a chapter in history that so often enjoys erasing us in marginalized communities. I intend to create a safe space for creation and learning. With my experiences in working with free music and social education establishments, I fervently intend to give back to my community. In doing so, I plan to provide more accessible costs for marginalized communities who need services towards lessons, equipment for recording as well as access to a grand piano. Priority will go to low-income, youth, POC, 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, groups and families.

I am so grateful to BlackNorth Initiative for this work-live opportunity, especially having a roof over my head, a dedicated space to create, and the platform to give back to the community. As part of an initiative to amplify Black artist voices.

If you wish to support in other ways, below is a link to my merch and music!

An alternative to contribute is via PayPal!
Click here:

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this page. Your time and energy is so valuable and I am eternally grateful!


Warmly,
Morgan-Paige Melbourne



ABOUT MORGAN-PAIGE
Bio:

Morgan-Paige (she/they) is a Tkarón:to-based multidisciplinary artist. With experiences ranging from scoring short films to solo performances, her work and story were featured in Musicworks Magazine Winter 2020-2021 Issue 138, The WholeNote Magazine, Ludwig van Toronto and Toronto Guardian. Past projects include Bin Chicken film collaboration with Toronto Dance Theatre and Alyssa Martin, The Magic Wallet short film, Mission Sankofa short film, Hillside Inside’s “The Sound of Light”, “Where Do I Go?” short film with Tapestry Opera and Rock Bottom Movement, 21C Music Festival’s “New Music In A New World”, a commissioned work and performance for Suoni Per Il Popolo, sound art installation “My Ancestor Summons Me” at MOCA Toronto, Debaser Pique, the 21C Music Festival with the world premiere of her improvisational work “A Time to Exist” in Koerner Hall, Wavelength Summer Thing opening for headliner horrorcore rapper Backxwash and featured on most recent album “His Happiness Shall Come First Even Though We Are Suffering”, co-composer with Benjamin Shapiro for Dora Award-winning Sex Dalmatian with Rock Bottom Movement, and prototype premiere of “Resurrectio: Act I” an immersive animated and mixed media musical experience with re:Naissance Opera.


Artist Statement:

My work as an artist speaks to injustice towards POC (People of Colour) and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, which in turn is a reflection of my work as an artist. One voice is all it takes to make noise. Whether spoken or sung, played or brushed, rallied or uplifted, I stand for what is right in our hearts as we remember those who made it possible to have a voice in this lifetime. This is an opportunity for me to continue bringing like-minded people together who wish to innovate and expand the nature of social action. As we all breathe the same breath, many of us are actively a part of history when we witness surreal moments of passion, acknowledgement, and representation in events that uphold community and culture. As we work with the next generation in our ever-changing existence, it is important to uphold the need for equitable action to provide fair opportunities for youth education and social interactions.



BUDGET BREAKDOWN
• Piano move from Guelph - Toronto = $678
• Piano tuning = $250
• 2-months rent (50%) = $2034 (including HST) to cover portion of studio rent while decorating
• Sound proofing materials = $1000
• Decor & furniture = $440
• Studio equipment = $600

TOTAL: $5,002

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Donations 

  • Kuro Lee
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous
    • $10 
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  • Alida Morris
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous
    • $40 
    • 2 mos
  • Pavi Vitha
    • $60 
    • 2 mos
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Organizer

Morgan Melbourne
Organizer
Toronto, ON

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