Community Engaged Arts
Stitch In Time – Project
MEDIA RELEASE January 16, 2020
SAWITRI Theatre Group Receives $62,100 OTF Seed Grant for Stitch In Time Project
Mississauga, ON – SAWITRI Theatre Group was recently awarded a coveted Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) Seed grant for the Stitch In Time Project. The program aims at providing participants access to learn anew, or renew sewing and/or embroidery skills to artistically express themselves through fabric-art, making wearable/useable items that connect them to their culture. This program will run from January to October 2020.
The objective of this project is to help break down barriers: socio-economic; language; technology; etc. and make participants feel more connected to their community.
“The Stitch in Time by SAWITRI Theatre aims to provide women with a sense of empowerment,” said Deepak Anand, MPP for Mississauga-Malton. “It will help them to learn and re-discover their creative skills through sewing and creating art. This Seed Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) will help our women gain the resources they need to cultivate friendships, sisterhood, and courage. It is my sincere wish that this program will help women gain their financial freedom which will lead to empowerment and independence for their future. I would like to congratulate SAWITRI Theatre on successfully receiving the grant and initiating this project.”
The Stitch In Time project is a weekly program that will run for a period of approximately 10 months providing women who feel disenfranchised a safe environment to enhance their fabric art skills. SAWITRI Theatre Group will be partnering with Fashion Designers, Haute Couture Creators and other Experts in the industry to impart relevant technical skill to the participants.
“I’m grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for supporting the Stitch In Time project. I’m very excited and hope that this pilot is the start of a much larger movement to help women come together and build community through the art of sewing and embroidery. Fabrics are our second skin that not only protects but also provides us our cultural identity. Functional or fashionable they have been a part of the development of the human race and in these difficult times where more barriers and borders are being put up. We hope that the SIT Project will help take down some of these barriers and erase some of these borders.”, Jasmine Sawant, Artistic Director, SAWITRI Theatre Group.
Here’s what Tanya Theberge, Sustainable Fashion Designer / Master Tailor says about being part of this project as an instructor, “I’m thrilled to partner with Sawitri Theatre Group in the Stitch-In-Time program. It’s a great opportunity for me to pass on what I’ve learned and the skills that I’ve acquired as a sustainable fashion designer and social entrepreneur to the community.”
In order to help facilitate this project, SAWITRI Theatre Group has appointed Asha Ponnachan, a performance artist who is also skilled in sewing and jewelry making as the Project Co-ordinator.
Technology has made us globally connected but locally isolated. People struggle to build and sustain in-person relationships. The stresses of our day-to-day lives do not provide too many opportunities to meet new people and build strong friendships. SAWITRI’s ‘Stitch in Time’ will bring the women, the cultural connections, the sharing of stories and experiences, together, helping participants experience art making, stimulating their imagination and creativity, building confidence, connecting to culture and enriching their lives.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.
Jasmine Sawant, Co-Founder & Artistic Co-Director
SAWITRI Theatre Group
Dispelling Darkness – Project
In collaboration with Sampradaya Dance Creations
“Dispelling Darkness” is a two-year project to engage survivors of sexual and domestic Violence, through a series of workshops led by multi-disciplinary artist Sharada Eswar – script, and collaborators Suma Nair – movement, Jasmine Sawant – theatre and Cathy Nosaty – music. Four brave women, Zubda, Dhandevi, Sandy with little Gurtaj and Sunmeet came together at the Art Gallery of Mississauga to write, to sing, to dance and tell th
eir stories, in their own way. Thanks to a grant awarded to Sampradaya Dance Creations and with the support of the
Punjabi Community Health Services and Case Manager Aman, SAWITRI Theatre Group has the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these women and raise awareness of this critical issue. This grant is administered by the Ontario Arts Council on behalf of the Ministry of the Status”of Women.
From February 27th to April 24th 2018, SAWITRI Theatre worked with Anna Silgardo, founder of Artists in Momentum, on this project. The goal of this project was “to make a difference one starfish at a time”. Working with Anna Silgardo, project was executed and delivered by Jasmine Sawant of Sawitri Theatre Group in collaboration with Suma Nair, Assistant Artistic Director of Sampradaya Dance Creations and Raina Desai of SAWITRI Theatre Group.
The objective was to create a safe and fun environment for a group of women with varying degrees of mental health challenges to reflect on where they are in their life journey. Using art as creative expression for mental well-being, they came away empowered and confident. Participants created masks as tools on how they perceive themselves; built vision boards as tangible expressions of their dreams while engaging in voice and breathing exercises.