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Hub 2: Let’s Start at the Beginning

Angela Schleihauf photo

My first meeting with Jean-Stéphane took place at Chez Lucien over burgers, and was joined by the AOE Arts Council’s program coordinator intern Lauriane Lehouillier. We spoke about a range of topics as we got to know each other and established our common ground.

We come from different artistic fields – Jean-Stéphane from theatre, and myself from music. The reason I was interested in working with him is that I like being part of multi-disciplinary projects, so I wanted to get some guidance from someone outside music to learn more about how I can develop my artistic capacities. Additionally, Jean-Stéphane asked such probing questions at our “speed-meeting” during the selection process that I thought he would make a great mentor for me. At our meeting, he mentioned that he felt he could help me get back in touch with my creative side – as I have been working a lot as an arts administrator since I graduated last September, this is a very welcome direction to head in.

After our first meeting, I thought a lot about taking opportunities to re-connect with my creative side, and so I challenged myself in the following ways:

  • Accepted a gig on Manitoulin Island where I performed a full set for the first time as a singer-songwriter since I was active with my band. I accompanied myself on guitar for the first time in live performance. My brother joined me on drums/ukulele/bass/back-up vocals
  • Auditioned for and was accepted as a chorus member for an interdisciplinary workshop with Skeleton Key
  • Participated in an improvisation program at the Orford Academy of Music which led to being selected to tour in Sweden in March 2018 with three of the other participants and percussionist Astrand Anders!

I came into this program feeling a bit burnt out since arts administration requires a lot of effort and working full time is much different than music school, but I have found that this program has already given me a much needed nudge to take my artistic practice seriously. This has helped me rediscover why I love playing music and continued my exploration of where I am heading next with it. With these recent experiences, I now understand better how I want to continue to grow as a musician and in my administrative job, I also feel rejuvenated because I now have an active counterbalance to my work life.
Don’t forget to read the blog posts of the rest of the YALC participants! #YALCMentor

AOE Arts Council–This program is made possible by support from the Ontario 150 Partnership Program and is in partnership with the Cultural Human Resources Council. To find out more about the program, click here!

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