Improvising Forward: Persevere, Repair, Sustain

Jun 20, 2020



In collaboration with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) at the University of British Columbia, and Coastal Jazz & Blues Society, Western Front co-presented Improvising Forward: Persevere, Repair, Sustain, the twelfth annual IICSI colloquium, as a free online event.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests against social and racial injustice provided the context for Improvising Forward: Persevere, Repair, Sustain. This online event offered musicians and artists an opportunity to engage with these issues in their own creative practices. The presentations were informed by questions: How does music help us potentially to persevere in the face of crisis? In what ways does improvisation offer sustained hope or sustaining vitality? Does music of the moment, in the present tense, address the possibility of reparation, or of repairing our challenging relationships with each other and with the world? How might the improvising arts encourage communities to move forward?

On June 20, online presentations by Anna Webber and Angela Morris, and Gerald Cleaver were streamed live. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the second day of the colloquium, which was to present Elisa Thorn and Robyn Jacob, Darius Jones, and Fay Victor, was cancelled.


Anna Webber and Angela Morris, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. 

Gerald Cleaver, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. 

Presented with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of Canada, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver and SOCAN Foundation.

Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.