KITCHENER – The City of Kitchener’s 2019 artist-in-residence, Mary Neil, is a community musician creating opportunities for people to come together and make music through a process known as participatory music-making.

“My practice brings together my passions for music, sustainability, and community building,” says Mary Neil. “As artist-in-residence, I am seeking to uncover the diverse stories of the place I call home, Kitchener. This year, I will facilitate opportunities to create instruments from found materials and co-create compositions that reflect what is important to communities across this great city.  

During her residency, Mary is proposing to engage residents through workshops and play-alongs hosted at community centres and events to build instruments from recycled materials. Mary will not only use this approach to teach basic music-making skills, but also to initiate a conversation on sustainable practices.

“We can’t wait to work with Mary on her residency project,” says Emily Robson, coordinator of Arts and Creative Industries with The City of Kitchener. “Our residency program has explored a variety of topics in the past, but this is the first project that focuses on music. Mary’s accessible and inclusive approach to music-making speaks to the ability for artistic expression to bring communities together and foster a sense of belonging.”

Join Mary as she hosts an introduction to junk music and the benefits of participatory music making on Thursday, March 7, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at Kitchener City Hall. 

Mary is the founder of KW Junk Music, hosting participatory music events around the region. Her practice is situated in deeply understanding the emotion and affect of the participants, the environment, and the location in order to purposefully co-design workshops for particular communities. 

Follow Mary’s KW Junk Music on Facebook and Instagram for updates by the artist.

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