The month of March 2023 sees The Alcove Centre for the Arts take up residency in the cSPACE Eau Claire Neighbourhood Hub. Hosting a series of drop-in art making sessions, workshops, and live performances, cSPACE is excited to have this dynamic collective igniting the community. Learn more about The Alcove below.
The Alcove Centre for the Arts is a nonprofit organization based in Calgary, AB that is aimed at making art more accessible in the community and to support the local arts industry.
The Alcove’s main activities include hosting live performances and public events, facilitating workshops teaching a variety of artistic mediums, curating a Collaborative Arts Space, and is working towards opening a full-time recreational arts facility. Our vision is to have a city where anyone, regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, background, socioeconomic status have a welcoming space where they can foster their creativity.
This excites us as we move away from pop-up style events and build towards creating a permanent arts community hub. The residency is an amazing opportunity to showcase what is to come when we attain a permanent space. During our time at cSPACE Eau Claire we hope to spark inspiration and hope for a city that not only creates viable opportunities for artists to thrive, but also community members to feel like they belong here. — Bethel Afework
The Alcove’s goal is to open and run a permanent full-time recreational arts facility. The co-founders of The Alcove, Bethel Afework and Dennis Lee, have been able to transform many under-utilized spaces in downtown with the help of dozens of volunteers, to bring thousands of Calgarians and visitors to socialize and connect through creativity year round.
Living in the “western world” rooted in colonialism has set negative precedents that creativity and arts are a luxury, instead of a necessity. As a city, Calgary is not known for its arts and culture even though there is rich talent and immense, untapped potential. With enough attention, Calgary is on the trajectory to be the arts and culture destination of not only the prairies but North America, and even the world.
The Alcove hopes to receive a positive reaction from the community and expression of support for a permanent recreational arts facility. They appreciate the insurmountable public support they have already received in the short span of two years. The Alcove Collective is motivated by the reassuring and supportive Calgary community that shares their collective vision.
We recognize the expanding arts and culture within the city and contribute to building a flourishing community. We provide opportunities for artist and art supporters to collaborate and meet to enrich the growth to make Calgary’s arts and culture scene thrive. We are paving the way and becoming stewards of change for arts and culture to exist in spaces that traditionally thought of art as radical and underground (i.e. commercial spaces), instead of being an integral fabric to humanity’s existence.
We want Calgary to be put on the map internationally for how to make arts thrive in a colonial space where art is seen as a commodified luxury for the “ruling class”, instead of a necessity for everyone’s well-being. The Alcove hopes to be a blueprint on how we can create community art spaces that encourage the sharing of innovative ideas, intergenerational knowledge, and “marginalized” communities to have a voice. We want Calgary to be a blueprint for Alberta, Canada, and cities around the world. We want to bring back the roots of what brings humanity together, where culture and diversity is celebrated rather than afterthought. — Bethel Afework