There are so many talented black womxn and non-binary folks in Toronto’s music community but we don’t have a safe space to call our own. As a musician, it's important to connect, learn, and be inspired by your peers. Many of us look for meetups, workshops, open mics, jam sessions, and panel discussions for this exact reason. However, these spaces are often white, cis-male-dominated, exclusive, and inaccessible.
Introducing: Nina’s Daughters Collective. We are a collective of black womxn passionate about creating space for each other to meet, feel safe, share knowledge, and most importantly create. So what can we do? Where can we find support, meet each other, share our networks, and collectively heal?
Black womxn need a space where we can be free to heal and create at our own pace. Prior to COVID-19 restrictions, we began a black womxn jam session of any experience level. As black womxn making art in Toronto, it can be really difficult to find a safe space where you can be supported, make mistakes, and just be. This is an initiative birthed from the desire for us to just be. What started out as a necessary jam session has now grown into our understanding that we need our own space.
As of now, we’ve hosted at various group members' houses but we need proper funding to open this up for more black womxn to attend in a public space. The funding will assist us in:
- Our short term goals of continuing our monthly sessions by paying for rental fees, childcare, travel, food, and additional equipment.
- Our long term goal of obtaining a physical space and maintenance fees of this space.
- Building a recording and rehearsal studio from scratch with proper equipment, furnishing, and acoustic treatment.
- Payment of labor for running studio time, workshops, and skill-sharing sessions.
In this space, we plan to continue our open jam sessions but also run workshops, skill-sharing sessions, and open our studio for marginalized musicians in the city. Black artists in this city experience a significant lack of support and the support gets smaller the more marginalized we are. Black art is the lifeline to our resistance and continuous fight for liberation. We are a community of womxn who have many skills and knowledge to share with each other, especially as it pertains to art. However, we do not want to wait any longer for the resources in the city to finally trickle down to us. We are asking your support in allowing us to take control of our own self-determination.
Finding our place in the music industry is already an uphill battle. "Whether it be songwriters or performing artists, women tend to get the shorter end of the stick. In an Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, they found that from 2012-2017, out of the 600 songs they studied, 12.3% of them were written by female songwriters and of the top nine female songwriters in the study, only three of them were women of color" (Excerpt from "A Failure of the Music Industry The Frustration of Women of Color "). This gap is largely due to the systemic ways that Black womxn and non-binary folks experience systemic barriers, lack of resources, and economic hurdles. It is widely accepted that we are not afforded the same opportunities to succeed as our peers. A lot of these mechanisms are beyond our control but acquiring our own studio space is just the start at allowing us to shorten this gap. We want to thank you in advance for your contributions in assisting us as agents of our own destiny.
Nina’s Daughters Collective
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- William Wellington
- Rayna Slobodian
- Beverly Moore
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