By Kennedy Pawluk
CALGARY – Showing a true commitment to Edmonton’s art scene, on November 4 the Sewing Machine Factory (SMF) will launch their first artist in residency program. The program will run for six months featuring author and spoken word artist Nisha Patel, and musician Mustafa Rafiq, who owns and operates Sweaty Palms, an endeavour that curates live music for events that focus on creating inclusive environments for voices that aren’t easily heard.
While the residency is set up for Patel and Rafiq to work on their individual projects, SMF booker Tab CA explains it will also be used as an open-hours drop-in centre.
“A lot of the time spent will be Nisha and Mustafa individually working on their craft, but we’ll also be making time for them to mentor members of the community who want to learn more about aspects of the medium from Nisha and Mustafa. So, it’s essentially like a drop-in every week for six months, and we’ll do a couple shows throughout the residency to showcase what the artists are doing, while bringing in outside artists for a series of workshops, and giving them an opportunity to teach.”
Due to the venue’s licensing limitations, the residency program is restricted to individuals over 18, but both Patel and Rafiq are accepting appointments to meet upstairs at the Mill Creek Café for those under 18 seeking mentorship.
Every Sunday afternoon, Patel and Rafiq will be working within SMF on a body of work that will culminate in a final showcase at the end of the residency. Rafiq plans on writing and recording an album released as the debut for their project Family Injera, while Patel intends to concentrate on writing a book.
Tab CA hopes the time will also be an opportunity for individuals beyond the traditional community that attends SMF to access the space and experience the venue outside of the typical atmosphere of a show. “I’ll always be there, so if people want to look at the venue or talk about booking shows or if they’ve may be never been to a music venue and they want to come in and just check it out, they can do that.”
The Sewing Machine Factory’s Artist Residency Program launches Nov. 2 with a show featuring Nisha Patel and Timiro Mohamed performing spoken word poetry, a set from Family Injera, and a performance from multi-media group X-Quartet.Family Injera, Nisha Patel, The Sewing Machine Factory, Timiro Mohamed, X-Quartet