INTRODUCTION

Synonym Art Consultation’s events, workshops, and festival (Wall-to-Wall Mural & Culture Festival) are centered around a love for the arts, community, connection, creative expression, kindness, and fun while maintaining a safer space and more inclusive place for all.

Synonym has developed several initiatives and policies to help foster a safer and more inclusive space for all events.

Synonym and Wall-to-Wall’s Safer Spaces Policy, Community Engagement & Collaboration Policy, and Hiring Policy has been developed with help and support of Uzoma Asagwara and Karen Sharma.

If you should have any questions, concerns, or feedback on any of our policies, please contact info@synonymartconsultation.com.


 

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & COLLABORATION POLICY

Synonym Art Consultation and Wall-to-Wall Mural + Culture Festival believes that public art is best realized by centering and reflecting the diverse needs and dreams of the community. Synonym commits to meaningful collaboration that recognizes community assets and systemic barriers, is open, inclusive, accessible, and sustainable when undertaking public art initiatives.

Synonym also recognizes that the development of public art must foster the creative development, agency, and well-being of artists. Synonym commits to fostering artists in creative expression that reflects the needs of the community and maintains our organization’s zero-tolerance policy for racism, ageism, sexism, homophobia, queerphobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, whorephobia, ableism, classism, sizeism, sex-negativity, cultural appropriation or any other conduct that may perpetuate oppression.

In accordance with these principles Synonym will actively:

  • Involve the community in discussions regarding their specific needs and assets when undertaking public art initiatives as part of its annual mural and culture festival.
  • Budget sufficient funds, time, and staff for community engagement in its activities.
  • Prioritize the involvement of artists in community engagement.
  • Document and report on how community members were involved in its programming.
  • Support community dialogue that is meaningful, compassionate, and premised on learning and mutual accountability.
  • Engage in ongoing training to strengthen Synonym’s ability to sustain and improve upon these commitments.

The communities we work with are diverse and ever-changing. Synonym recognizes that engagement techniques and strategies require ongoing efforts, review, and evaluation.


 

SAFER SPACES POLICY

All people have the right to feel safe and included at all Synonym’s events regardless of age, ancestry, colour, family status, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, mental disability, physical disability, place of origin, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or source of income.

Copies of the Synonym Art Consultation Safer Spaces Policy are made available in print at all events. Additionally, key safer spaces information protocols and hotline numbers will be posted in all venue washrooms.

VENUES + SAFER SPACES REPRESENTATIVE

Designated volunteers, venue managers, and organizers are required to attend Safer Spaces training through workshops that are organized by festival organizers (Synonym and Graffiti Art Programming). Workshops will be attended annually to ensure all information regarding safe spaces is up-to-date and ongoing education is occurring.

At each venue, there will be a trained Safer Spaces representatives to attend to any Safer Spaces incident that may arise. We will deal with these situations with respect, dignity, and privacy.

VENUE ACCESSIBILITY

Accessibility varies by venue available.
Detailed information on wheelchair access, seating, and restrooms will be made available on each event page.

FINANCIAL ACCESSIBILITY

Synonym offers an assortment of free events and workshops each year at venues like Studio 393, Graffiti Gallery, The Forks, The Tallest Poppy, and the Goodwill Social Club. Various events will be free for Studio 393 youth, 2SQT+BIPOC partners, and a limited number of tickets will be made available to people for which cost is a barrier.

PARTICIPANT CONDUCT

The following includes anyone attending, performing, creating or volunteering at Synonym and/or Wall-to-Wall events.

We hold a zero-tolerance policy for racism, ageism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, queerphobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, whorephobia, ableism, classism, sizeism, sex-negativity, cultural appropriation, or any other behaviour or language that may perpetuate oppression.

If an incident is reported, Synonym staff and/or volunteers will address the complaint and a corresponding course of action will be determined. If necessary, the accused is ejected and has reasons explained. If ejected twice from any establishment they will receive a permanent ban.

  • If the accused is a performer, Synonym staff and/or the venue will discuss with them the complaint/incident and if deemed appropriate, give them a second chance. If not deemed appropriate and/or second incident occurs, the performer is no longer welcome at the venue.
  • Synonym reserves the right to nullify artist contracts upon discovery of any performer history that is in violation of our policy.
  • All performers and artists working with Synonym Art Consultation and Wall-to-Wall are asked to sign a Safer Spaces Agreement prior/ during their hire.
  • Performers and volunteers with a known history of sexual or discriminatory violence will not be hired unless they have participated in some form of demonstrable rehabilitative and/or restorative process.

Synonym staff, volunteers, and venue staff have the authority to remove accused persons from festival venues or events. Any decision to cancel an accused person’s attendance privileges or permanently ban a person is at the discretion of Synonym staff/ safer spaces volunteers.

The safety of patrons is always our primary consideration, and any decision to cancel an accused person’s pass holder privileges or permanently ban a person will be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with victims when possible.

RESTROOMS

Synonym and Wall-to-Wall will ensure each venue has at minimum one gender-neutral bathroom. This restroom will be clearly marked.
Posters will be hung in bathrooms identifying Safer Spaces trained employees to whom a patron who experiences an incident can speak safely.

As we are a small staff and we may not have the human resources to guarantee an immediate response to concerns about performers and/or volunteer history shared in the days directly before or during events. However, please note all precautionary steps will take place with lead time before or after any/ all events.

Regardless of timing, we take all reported issues and concerns seriously and they will be addressed as efficiently as possible. Please note, we do not have the expertise or authority to mediate all conflicts or provide advice on conflict or crisis resolution.

CRISIS SUPPORT

If you require immediate crisis support, please see the “How to Access Support”:

  • Crisis Response Centre & Mobile Crisis (204) 940-1781
  • Crisis Stabilization Unit (204) 940- 3633
  • Manitoba Suicide Prevention & Support Line 1-877-435-7170
  • Health Sciences Centre Sexual Assault Program (204) 787- 2071

 

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