Our artists facilitate music programs in BC prisons, transition homes, and community centres, where women learn to play rock instruments, form bands, manage gear and write songs. Instruments of Change completed a highly successful pilot program at Fraser Valley Institute in June 2012. In 2013, they branched out to serve women at the Carnegie Centre and RainCity Housing, in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside where they continue to run monthly jam sessions. They also worked with women at Columbia Place Transition home in New Westminster.
This initiative was born out of a partnership between Instruments of Change director, Laura Barron, and singer/songwriter, Leah Abramson. Previously, as band coaches at Girls Rock Camp in Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC, they each witnessed the enormously positive impacts of this program when working with 8-18 year-old girls. Consequently, they are eager to share this powerful, rehabilitative experience with women in prison while teaching them team-building skills and cultivating their creativity.
This team of professional artists and activists have joined forces because they realize that they share the necessary aspiration, vision and creative skill set to effect social change through their art.
This like-minded group includes Flick Harrison (media arts), Natalie Gan (dance), Maggie Winston (puppetry, theatre), Juliana Bedoya (sculpture, performance installation), and Laura Barron (flutist, yogi, writer). They had the fortune to meet in 2010, in Judith Marcuse’s SFU course Exploring Arts for Social Change, and this shared experience has already spawned various artistic collaborations which have addressed issues of homelessness, gentrification, sustainability and consumerism. In June 2011, they were selected for a two-year Incubator Residency, serving the Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre, as well as the Sunset Community Centre & Ice Rink. ...(read more)
This program brings educational classical music performances to underserved schools throughout North America, recognizing the crucial role that arts in the schools can play.
Current productions include Bach Rocks and Mozart Swings as well as Music Can Be Anything, performed by Forbidden Flutes, the wildly imaginative duo formed by Laura Barron and Liesa Norman in 1998. In addition to recent concerts for Vancouver's Downtown Eastside schools, Lord Strathcona and Seymour Elementary, Instruments of Change has produced concerts for students in Massachusetts, Arizona and the Yukon.
Giving Room Concerts are benefit house performances, produced by Instruments of Change, which fuse the power of music with our communities' generous spirit of philanthropy in the service of a variety of non-profit organizations.
By bringing world-class live performance into people's home to raise funds for the charity of the host's choice, the Giving Room creates meaningful experiences for its artists, its hosts and its beneficiaries. In 2010, Instruments of Change collectively raised $12,000 for Vancouver's Saint James Music Academy, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Sedona Sunrise Seniors Centre.
This partnership with the Vancouver International Song Institutefacilitates educational activites, for artists and individuals, that explore the burgeoning field of Art for Social Change. Its 2012 initative hosted a five-day Film and Speaker Series, at the VanCity Theatre, highlighting arts-based, community projects around the globe. In 2014, the program is intended to evolve into a series of creative writing and music composition workshops that will bring UBC composers and Carnegie Centre writers into collaboration to create a performance of original art songs.
This pedal-powered, multi-functional stage in development is intended for community-engaged theatre productions.
Instruments of Change artists Juliana Bedoya (sculpture and performance installation), Maggie Winston (puppetry and theatre) and Laura Barron (music and creative writing) advised the preliminary construction of this stage in partnership with students from the UBC Mechanical Engineering Department CAPSTONE course, from 2011-12. This was conceived as an emissions-free creation intended to be an active piece of mobile art that could provide a space for collaboration, innovation and education. The first phase of construction was completed thanks to our partners and a generous donation from an anonymous donor. Click here to download PDF sheet with details about this inventive project.