My name is Jessa Agilo.
I am an interdisciplinary arts producer, designer, creator, researcher, educator, advocate, and social entrepreneur based in Toronto, Canada.
After more than three decades in arts and culture, I am in the midst of revitalizing my passion for creativity and community-building in response to deeply-rooted systemic barriers on-the-ground and in-the-cloud.
Most recently, I am honoured to have been selected as a 2019 fellow at Toronto Arts Council’s Leaders Lab. In the broader arts community, I have founded and am currently leading several initiatives:
- ArtsPond is a non-profit devoted to propagating a new normal in the facility of multidisciplinary Canadian arts services to collectively eliminate systemic socioeconomic barriers for vulnerable arts and cultural workers from diverse backgrounds.
- Groundstory is a collective impact effort to uproot the effects of gentrification on the arts and other vulnerable, low-income groups in Ontario, supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Trillium Foundation.
- DigitalASO is a cross-sectoral effort to empower the transformation of digital arts services through digital literacy research, training, platform and alliance-building, including the second Digital Arts Services Symposium 2019 supported by Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund and Toronto Arts Council’s Open Door.
- Artse United is a proposed arts management platform cooperative serving both individual creators and producers and larger organizations across all disciplines in Canada.
- DigitalGO is a two-year research initiative on emergent technologies and best practices relevant to the development of innovative digital arts services, supported by Canada Council for the Arts.
- ProduceYou is a two-year research project investigating tools and best practices in the development of effective artist-producer relationships, supported by Canada Council for the Arts.
- Arts Working Group is a research project investigating the potential of Charitable Venture Platforms / Shared Charitable Platforms to address systemic barriers for artists in Ontario, supported by Ontario Arts Council.
As an artist, I was also most recently involved in the following:
- Trees (from the series, The Bush): text and sound design for a full-evening integrated performance production choreographed by Gerry Trentham, produced by pounds per square inch performance. Premiere in Toronto, October 26-28, 2018. Some excerpts are available on Soundcloud.
- Gravity of Descent: sound design for a new adaptation of choreography from Gerry Trentham’s Gravity of Descent (1995). A work-in-progress showing was presented at Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre in February 2019 with performers Sylvie Bouchard and Learie McNicolls. The final work will premiere in Fall 2019.