Mutual Productions offers innovative arts-based programming that is designed to engage communities. The focus is on the development of tools which foster communication, responsibility, and action. Project partnerships have been undertaken in Canada as well as Central/South America and Africa. We are pleased to have recently received the announcement from the Canada Council for the Arts allocating funding for a Residency with the Radha Paudel Foundation in Kathmandu, Nepal (proposed for September 2021).
Project activities are based in an inter-sectorial approach, which encourages increasing collaboration and engagement in the focus areas: leadership, health, gender, climate action, and the arts.
The projects have four components:
1) participatory program planning and evaluation which engages community stakeholders,
2) organizational capacity building and skill development,
3) community based awareness programming that incorporates popular education and participatory theatre techniques -- 12-foot (3.6 metre) puppet construction, presentations by community leaders/elders, collectivestory creation, song writing/drumming, performance, etc.
4) production of communication tools for large scale dissemination - video, radio, television broadcast, and social media.
Through the collaborative development of story lines we can look into environmental, social, political, economic, and gender issues. The intention is to foster awareness and action - locally and globally. Also, we work to develop a collective voice and interact with leaders and public officials at the level of policy and funding - from ideation to implementation. This is accomplished through projects with community members - from young people to elders, non-governmental organizations, government bodies, universities / colleges / schools, faith-based groups, media, business, cultural leaders, and creative professionals.
"Puppets give puppeteers permission to explore deeply, yet feel emotional safety as a result of having the distance of being in character. Situations that are part of the social fabric, but are often without voice, are brought into the open through both the comic antics and the serious tones that these giants embody. The fact that giant puppets are visually stunning, employ art forms from music to myth, break the barrier of the printed word, can be presented in local languages, and engage emotion as well as reason ensure they provide a powerful spectacle. We acknowledge grief - and hope - collectively." Odette Laramee