Tett kicks off arts programming with successful inaugural weekend

Librarian Emma Alls leads KFPL programming for children in the Tett's rehearsal room.

By Hollie Pratt-Campbell

Despite the less-than-ideal weather outside, the Tett was buzzing with activity Feb. 7-8 for its inaugural weekend of programming.

On Saturday, Theatre Kingston presented Drop-In Kinder Drama in the rehearsal hall, introducing young actors to the stage. The next day, the Kingston Frontenac Public Library’s mobile library took over the space for a very special story time.

“This setting is fantastic,” said librarian Emma Alls, who led the KFPL event. “It’s still fresh from construction so there’s a little bit of dust in the corners, but we swept it up and it was perfect for the use that we had today.”

Alls even brought with her a mobile check out station, so young visitors could take books home with them.

“We like to support city initiatives, so the Tett Centre is part of that,” Alls said. “We try to enrich the programming that is offered here, and we’re always getting out into the community and creating new relationships with people who might not necessarily have thought to visit us in our buildings.”

KFPL also offered “Lego at the Tett” on Sunday, Feb. 15, and will continue to host free events over the next couple of months, including additional story times and their award-nominated program the Art of Illustration.

There will also be more Kinder Drama sessions, as well as other free programming for children coming up. For a full listing, please refer to the events calendar.

Over at the creativity studios, more fun activities were taking place for adults and older children. On Feb. 7, print-maker Phoebe Cohoe led visitors in experimenting with hand-printing stamps to create unique impressions. Photographer Mark Bergin also demonstrated his Ballerinas Dancing in the Street photo project with a special shoot, and followed it up with a photography Q&A session.

On Feb. 8, artist Brock Jones Clow led a collage session for visitors.

“Some of my work is collage and I also do painting and often use a lot of recycled materials,” explained Jones Clow.

He noted that he hopes these sessions will allow members of the public to come into the Tett and realize that it’s a space for everyone in the community: “You can come in and make art and there are different programs and activities happening.”

Clow Jones said the creativity studio ‘samplings’ are also a way for the Tett artists to determine what the community would like to see from the arts hub.

“Instead of going and telling the community what they need, we want to interact with people to find out for the next sampling what we can focus more on.”

Information about creativity studio samplings and other adult programming offered by Tett art groups is available on the events calendar.

Tett community engagement coordinator Shannon Brown said that one of the main goals of these programs is to bring in people who may not already have their own artistic practice.

“This is a way for them to come and sample the arts and give a try to something that maybe they hadn’t thought about doing before. If anyone is art curious, this is a good experience for them to come down and try something new.”

She added that “for people who might not consider coming down because they are unable to commit to a series of classes, this is a way to try it out and if they like it we’ll be able to offer more registration based classes after.”

Overall, Brown was very pleased with how the first weekend of programming went.

“Despite the crazy weather, we’ve had a pretty good turnout,” she said.

Check out the events calendar to learn about all the great activities happening this coming weekend, including an all ages “open build” taking place with rewowned artist cjfleury in the Malting Tower on Sunday, Feb. 22 from 1 – 4 p.m.

View The Tett's Events