Coinciding with the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) hosted their annual colloquium: an open public gathering of artists, academics, and community members to discuss and support the transformative work of the improvisational arts. IICSI presented the first of five colloquia under the title Improvising Futures, which aimed to invite diverse cultural perspectives into conversation, to expand the scope and depth of interdisciplinary research on improvisation, and to put knowledge into practice through collaborative community initiatives.
As IICSI researchers Ajay Heble, Daniel Fischlin, and George Lipsitz have written, “Improvisation is the creation and development of new, unexpected, and productive co-creative relations among people. It cultivates the capacity to discern elements of possibility, potential, hope, and promise where none are readily apparent.”
The second day of the colloquium took place in the Grand Luxe Hall and began with an open community discussion of the Improvising Futures research initiative. Improvising Futures has research sites around the world, and focuses on four main research streams: Improvisation, Media, and Stories of Change; Improvisation, Public Spaces, and the Practice of Everyday Life; Improvisation, Decolonization, and Making Peace; and Improvisation, Wellbeing, and the Social Determinants of Health. Moderated by Kevin McNeilly, the discussion focused on the aims and collaborative possibilities of Improvising Futures over the next five years, while collecting input on how participants envisioned the future for the study and support of improvising arts.
The discussion was followed by an artist talk by pianist Lisa Cay Miller titled “Creative spaces and collective collaboration: hidden labour, public play.”
Presented in partnership with Coastal Jazz & Blues Society and the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation at the University of British Columbia.
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