Application Number: 9
INITIATIVE: What is the title of your initiative?
Institutional Third Spaces: Catalyzing Sites of New Learning and Transforming Practices
RATIONALE: Why was this initiative developed? Briefly describe your vision for this initiative: what changes would you like to see in your community, in the college/university, and for the student experience?
It is widely celebrated that institutions play a significant role in the vibrancy of civic engagement but less is known about whether or not civic engagement impacts institutions. There is a sense that while the university and other institutions have created amazing places and spaces for competitive technology-informed research, teaching, learning and entertainment, they lack designated places to welcome the softer aspects of non-competitive, collaborative engagement, which includes sharing economies, collegiality, caring relationships, shifting identities, community-based practices, social inclusion, and support for multiple ways of knowing and associated methodologies. Rewards within these systems for fostering these aspects, especially among academics for example, are not yet in place. This project will address the celebration of a proliferation of inclusive public-engaged spaces, as well as, reinvention of the institution. The focus of this project is to develop processes, methods and materials that support new democratic spaces within institutions in order to ignite a wave of community-driven third spaces located within universities, libraries, social service centres, hospitals and museums. Our hope is that by bridging institutions to multiple ways of knowing from citizens in surrounding communities, especially the creative intelligence of society’s most marginalized community members, a restorative, transformational process can take place. Ultimately, we would like to catalyze a creative third space network within institutions across Canada. By understanding the expression of multiliteracies and creative capacities imbedded in the community, new potentials to recode the university may be possible.
GOVERNANCE AND PARTNERSHIPS: Who will oversee and manage the initiative? How does it connect with other local, regional, or national projects or networks?
This project will be managed by a Concordia-Vanier team: Associate professor/ Provost fellow for Community Engagement, Applied Human Sciences associate professor, Science teachers from Vanier College, Communications doctoral student, Fine Arts graduate stundents, linking with the coordinator of the Art Hives Network and the lead community partner, Chef de division, Programmes et Services aux arrondissements, Direction des Bibliothèques de Montréal.
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES: Briefly describe the activities of the initiative: when did it start, what organizations and departments are participating? Give a few examples of what participants will be doing.
1. Concordia students (MA and doctoral) have started to collect data about student, faculty and staff-led community-university projects located across Montreal through the Deputy Provost’s Embrace the City Strategy. 2. To be followed by: A series of Round table dialogues in regions, utilizing Universities of the Street Café model. a.) Clustering projects in order to engage members in discussions to enhance partnership/ collaboration. b.) Where there are no university projects, engage members in discussions about needs/interests. . 3. Enhance student experience with a year-long intensive, hands-on entrepreneurial community internships within cultural, health, and educational institutions to assist in set-up and facilitation of welcoming third spaces.
STRATEGIC LEARNING: What will success look like both in the short-term and the long-term? How are you assessing results? What will you do with this information, and with whom are you sharing lessons?
Success will be if we: 1. Understand community-based projects through mapping in order to connect projects for greater institutional and social impact (Utilize mobile methodologies (walking interviews, walk-a-longs, co-driving, etc.) 2. Design and produce a multisectoral-interdisciplinary interactive map to be utilized by the community, students and faculty in order to locate themselves for current and future projects. (Utilize storytelling, film, podcasts). 3. Identify gaps in Concordia’s engagement as well as opportunities for synergy and strategic involvement; 4. Identify multiple ways of knowing embedded in communities. 5. Create student learning conditions for full social participation inside and outside the institution. We will use Appreciative Inquiry, where multiple ways of knowing can be included and celebrated. We will seek to develop emergent creative knowledge mobilization methods informed by the participatory evaluation process. Products: 1. A virtual interactive atlas/map, accessible online and on campus. 2. Addendum to our free online HOW TO GUIDE for Art Hives Network and partner's networks.
Would you consider your initiative to be a social enterprise?
Does the proposed initiative have potential to be applied elsewhere in Canada? If yes, please explain.
YES. We hope to identify and ignite a proliferation of institutional “third spaces” which consider the importance of context, diversity, inclusion and multiple ways of knowing, to be located in libraries, social services institutions, museums, hospitals, and universities throughout Canada. Lexicon: Multiple ways of knowing: Contextualized civic intelligence including practical skills, intuition, past experiences, and ways of doing and making. Examples: Indigenous research, women’s ways of knowing, folkways, children’s ways of doing, embodied ways of knowing. Third Space: A mixing place that disrupts stereotypes, supports meaningful relationships between people and their cultures. “A place of transformation where we can transcend polarity and give rise to new selves”, that is “open, symbolic, playful and generative.” (345). Examples: Science Shops, Fablabs, makerspaces, Art Hives, Mens(ch) Sheds, Nomadic Gardens. Elmborg, J.K. (2011), “Libraries as the spaces between us: recognizing and valuing the third space”, Reference & User Services Quarterly, v50:4, pp. 338_50.
1. APPROACH: Which departments are involved in this initiative? How will they work with community organizations, social enterprise, local government and within post-secondary institutions (i.e. with professors, administration and students)?
The initial phase will entail a working group consisting of community members, Deputy Provost, Office of Community Engagement, Geography, Communication Studies, Fine Arts, Critical Disabilities Working Group and the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling to develop an interactive map, both physical and virtual to identify student-faculty-community initiatives in Montreal. Data collected will highlight accessibility needs, social inclusion and multiple ways of knowing from community-student-faculty, especially marginalized populations (utilizing sensory ethnography). This information will then be used to design pop-up third spaces within the designated institutions, where students, community and institutional partners can informally meet to critically frame and reinvent the institution with new learning and transforming practices. Students will be offered year-long internships to activate knowledge from collection phase. Institutional partners: Les Bibliothèques de Montréal (Louise Lapointe), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Marilyn Lajeunesse), Welcome Mission St Henri (Julia Ovando), Literacy Quebec (Margo Legault), Vanier College (Jailson Lima) and Concordia University (Susan Edy).
2. INFLUENCING POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS: Will research or teaching within the post secondary institution you are a part of or working with be changed as a result of this initiative? How will the administration staff, faculty, and students be involved and recognized for their accomplishments within the college/ university?
Concordia University and Vanier College students and their diverse lifeworlds are at the heart of this community-institution project. Their contribution will be significant, as will be their learning. Instructional strategies to educate students through engaged scholarship will be employed in order deconstruct the usual notions of institutional cognitive authority and power, and equalize participation between community members and the academy in order to co-create and share knowledge. These will include in-depth community-engaged experiences, immersion in transformative third spaces, and participation in experiential processes that are inherently rooted in multiple ways of knowing emphasizing democratization of knowledge, the interchangeability of roles, the variety of forms that knowledge can take, and dialogic processes that juxtapose between and across various perspectives and discourses that create unanticipated connections. Third spaces are transformative by nature, and this includes the institution and its members who are involved. Therefore, this applied research project will help establish the importance of multiple ways of knowing and the necessity of integrating these modalities into community engagement, university teaching and student-faculty learning. These spaces and processes can shape and influence a shift from an (almost) exclusive emphasis on empirical knowledge, objective truths, and a logico-rational teaching paradigm to a contextualized way of reflecting and critiquing the systems and ways of being within the university. Every appropriate opportunity for publishing (both in popular, accessible formats as well as more traditional ones) and presenting this material (in town hall gatherings, through virtual demonstrations, and public performances) will be sought out and include university partners and community collaborators. University award systems will be operationalized, and a white paper on inclusion of these initiatives into promotion and recognition will be circulated.
IMPACT: What will you be able to accomplish now that you could not before the collaboration? In what way will your organization work differently as a result of this initiative?
'Les Bibliothèques de Montréal accueillent avec enthousiasme cette possibilité d’une collaboration avec les Ruches d’art visant à expérimenter la création d’activités et d’espaces favorisant l’inclusion sociale par les arts. Les Bibliothèques de Montréal qui comptent 45 établissements et qui se consacrent au développement social et culturel. Elles se revendiquent du modèle de la bibliothèque “tiers lieu” visant à favoriser la participation culturelle active, le partage des savoirs et des idées, l’apprentissage collaboratif, les conversations citoyennes. Dans plusieurs démarches de co-design réalisées dans les bibliothèques de Montréal en 2014 et 2015, les ateliers de créations artistiques communautaires qui se tiennent dans les Ruches d’art sont apparus comme des modèles souhaités par les citoyens. Ils sont en voie d’inspirer la programmation des nouveaux espaces/labos de créativités/fabs labs/makerspaces en bibliothèque. Suite à une tournée des ruches d’art qui s’est déroulée les 27 et 28 janvier 2016, quelques bibliothèques (Saint-Léonard, Mordecai-Richler et Benny) préparent une offre de service en lien avec les Ruches d’art. Il existe une convergence très forte entre le projet des Ruches d’art autour des communautés créatives et de la création de communauté. De plus, chacune des ruches est unique et se développe suivant l'identité de son quartier, les aspirations des citoyens et des communautés qui l'animent, ce qui répond aux visées des bibliothèques de quartiers qui s’ancrent dans les projets culturels locaux. -Louise Lapointe, Chef de division, Programmes et Services aux arrondissements, Direction des Bibliothèques de Montréal
Dr Janis Timm-Bottos
Phone Number: 514. 848.2424 ext 4799; 514 438-886-7716
Ms Louise Lapointe
Phone Number: 514.872.9578
Ms Tricia Toso
Dr Rosemary Reilly
Other relevant information/comments
Rachel Chainey: Art Hives Network Coordinator 514-848-2424 ext 3231 and cell 514-433-8499 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org