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Art is the highest form of hope
– Gerhard Richter

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December 2020

Dear friends,

Believe it or not, 2020 is nearing its complete cycle. Amongst our new traditions, for this time of year, is to touch base with you, our supporter, and let you know what happened over the last year and reaffirm how this was achieved, because of generous, supportive and valued people like you.

We had plans for 2020! Oh golly, we had plans.

Plans to bring back Lost in Artspace and invite you to an encore full building experience. Plans to launch a visiting artists residency at a new building near the Qaumajuq. Plans to celebrate “Manitoba 150” by collaborating with local artists and 5468796 Architecture for a large scale facade art piece. Plans to open our doors in new and inventive ways so that Artspace could continue to evolve as a vibrant and relevant arts organization in the heart of the Exchange District. I imagine that you would’ve accepted our invitation to these plans, and we would’ve had a great time sharing in these art moments. As with most plans made this year, we had to change, postpone and cancel them.

This probably sounds all too familiar. Because you too had dreams for 2020. You too were putting efforts and building momentum towards something. And you too were hit with the gale winds, the rising waters that has been this relentless pandemic. 2020 was not how we thought it would be.

The hatches were battened down as to weather the storm. It is still where we find ourselves. But we know there will come a time when we can gather again. We know that in those moments we will need spaces, cultural spaces, to welcome you, to let you create, to let you experience. We owe it to you to exist for those moments that will come.

This year is proof that art isn’t only necessary in the good times, it’s also necessary in the difficult times. We did our best to pivot and focus on what could be done with 2020, and worked to continue building that connection between art and Manitobans. This fall, we launched the project OUR ARTSPACE(S) – pieces from a pandemic. It is the first time we have ever (self) published. This project is a collection of 33 Manitoba artists and art they created during the pandemic. These books exist as something tangible, and you can purchase one for yourself, or as a gift (click here).

Our raison d’être is directly connected to you. Thus, as 2020 is nearing an end, we thought it was important to say ‘hi’. To say ‘we miss you’. To say we know that this year, has been something no one planned for. Artspace was created because of support and belief from the community that art and artists matter. We know that’s still true today. So we want to express our gratitude to you, and to the community.

We do ask that you don’t shy away from expressing how you value the arts here, in Manitoba. By stating it publicly. That is a huge gift you can make. For those in a situation where a financial gift is possible, we ask that you consider making a year end donation (click here). This would be a very strong statement that reaffirm the value of art in Manitoba. The support will ensure that no matter how long the winds blow, no matter how long the waters rise, when the wind let go, when the waters recede… we will be here to engage in community creation with the full power of the arts behind it.

Please accept this email as an affirmation that we are still working hard in order to let the arts in Manitoba have a transformative impact in our communities. If we can provide a home for artists and arts organizations, its because of support from you. For that, we are very grateful.

May the end of 2020 still be filled with gratitude and dreams for what is to come next.

Lynne Stefanchuk and Eric Plamondon

President and Executive Director of Artspace

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For all donations of 225$ or more, Artspace will send you an original print by Winnipeg artist Paul Robles : Nests and Dens– BlackMoons for FullArtspace 

NB: a one time run of 100 prints were made. Offer good until we run out!