Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Monday, June 1, 2009


If you are lucky enough to have worked in literacy, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for literacy work is a moveable feast.
                             paraphrasing A. Hotchner 

Here in Toronto, literacy workers used to get together quite a bit. The Metro Toronto Movement for Literacy and the Festival of Literacies used to provide us with many opportunities to meet and share professional wisdom. Neither of these organizations have been able to continue this and for a while we just stopped meeting.

Guy Ewing and Joy Lehman asked why. They asked, "Do we really need funding to get together and learn from each other?" Of course, the answer was no. They started to convene literacy workers at Moveable Feasts.

On Friday, Johanna Pax-Milic, coordinator of the Adult Education Program at LAMP, and a photographer, invited us to an evening of photography and discussion about creativity and community.

We met at a café in the community where Johanna lives, Parkdale. The city was well represented - there were people from all corners. And so was literacy work - there were people who work or volunteer at school board, community based, network and resource programs. They were Leo, Carol, Sue, Linda, David, Phylicia, Nancy, Joy, Johanna, Linda and me.

As usual, we spent some time catching up with each other about how our work is going. And then we talked about creatvity and photography. The theme Johanna suggested was "What moves you when you’re walking in Toronto’s neighbourhoods?"

We went out and took photographs and then returned to the café to discuss what we saw and learned. Those of us with digital cameras shared our photos.

I walked with David, Phylicia, Carol and Joy. Joy used up all her film and David did not bring his camera so the three of us used mine. These are the photos we took. The first three are by David. His pictures show the rainy night.

Then Joy photographed a window with the blind and bottles. She said it was a picture of need and want. That became our theme.

We saw that the Goodwill was still open and decided to get out of the rain. Serendipity because the Goodwill is a palace of need and want. You will see that there were a few raindrops on the lens that I did not notice at first. You will see that an out-of-control witch is only $24.99. You will see need and want comes in all shapes and sizes and is always "as is." You will see why Joy is called Joy.

The photos are in the order we took them so you can see the need and want unfold as we did.

The last three pictures are of a literacy moment that made us all laugh.

If you are interested in hosting a feast or want to be on the feast mailing list contact Guy Ewing - ewingguy [at] gmail [dot] com - or Joy Lehmann - jlehmann [at] idirect [dot] ca.

The song is "Roll On Oblivion" from the album Here's to Being Here by Jason Collett --- a beloved Toronto musician. You gotta love a guy who lists Nick Lowe as an influence. I have bought a few copies of his new CD for me and my friends. You buy one too so he does not get mad at me for putting his song in our slideshow.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting about the rendezvous with art.
I want to send my photos to add...
I enjoyed the company and discussion...Thoughtful and fun.


Anonymous said...

This sounds great!
I love how you put the images together with the music!

Monika JP

Sheila S said...

Thanks so much for writing about the evening, Tracey, and posting the photos...how fabulous! I was sorry to miss it, so very glad to hear more details on line.

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