Guest post by Hub’s new Artist-in-Residence Megan Monafu

One of the things I love most about the Impact Hub team is that they are willing to take a risk. In this case, a risk on a new arts project, and, a risk on me. We’re starting an Artist-in-Residence pilot project, running between now and June 2017. Artist residencies can be found around the world, and often involve in-kind exchange of space or funds with an artist in return for the artist’s work. Artist residencies frequently take place within arts organizations; bringing artists into other spaces is still an under-utilized way of pursuing innovation.

“Artists are the original social entrepreneurs. They make our society stronger because of who they are, how they approach the world, and the risks they are willing to take.” – Laura Callanan, Upstart Co-Lab

As the first ever Artist-in-Residence at Impact Hub Ottawa, I will be working on my new social enterprise CSArt Ottawaor Community-Supported Art Ottawa, named after the community-supported agriculture model by which is was inspired. Folks can purchase a subscription at the beginning of the season, which goes towards supporting local artists as they create works for the project. Then, throughout the season, subscribers receive a share of the artistic ‘harvest’. It’s a new thing for Ottawa, and the first multidisciplinary CSArt project in Canada. It’s an art business experiment, and the risk-taking, cross-pollinating community of Impact Hub is the perfect match for us.

So, you may be asking, what do Hubbers get out of having me around?

Good question! As a part of the residency, I will be facilitating arts activities and building community collaboration and fun at the Hub through the arts, as well as strengthening the relationship with our vibrant Ottawa arts community. I will also be curating visual art displays for the space based on the work of local CSArt Ottawa artists, as well as changemakers and innovators within the Hub community. (Want to partner on this? Come talk to me!)

Starting this week, you can find me at the Hub Wednesday afternoons from 1-4pm for arts consultation, a new member benefit available to all Hubbers. (Not a member? Find out how to sign-up here) Come see me if you want to brainstorm creative team building, facilitation, event planning, or audience experience incorporating arts elements — or just want to know how to involve more art in what you do.

Thanks as always, Hub, for being a great place to work and connect. I look forward to seeing you each week as we launch this new Artist-in-Residence program.

Megan Monafu is a playwright, director, facilitator and founder of CSArt Ottawa, the first multidisciplinary CSArt project in Canada. A longtime Hubber, she recently returned to Ottawa after working on her Creative Writing MFA at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto. She brings extensive experience as an arts-based facilitator working in diverse communities, as well as in arts production, and has worked with Impact Hub Ottawa in the past to produce our 2015 HUB & Spoke: Intersection of Arts event. Megan has previously designed an artist residency program for the Trillium Foundation-funded “Footprints: Arts and Mental Health” working to create a final exhibition in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association and Artswell: Arts in Healthcare. We are thrilled to work with this incredible local artist, innovator and community builder.

Heather Ward