Toronto History Museums honour Black History Month with free programming throughout February 2023
The City of Toronto presents month-long free programming at three Toronto History Museums to honour Black History Month throughout the month of February. The events will honour Black Freedom through music, culture and storytelling that will uplift and warm the soul. Programming will take place at Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.), Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.) and Todmorden Mills (67 Pottery Rd.).
The month-long programming series includes:
Dis/Mantle at Spadina Museum
As part of the Awakenings program, Dis/Mantle is the immersive reimagining of Spadina Museum using an Afrofuturism narrative inspired by Black abolitionists: Mrs. Pipkin, the formerly enslaved freedom seeker who worked as a laundress in the house, is now the homeowner and the house is a safe haven for those seeking freedom through the Underground Railroad. The multi-disciplinary exhibition with lead artist Gordon Shadrach, and artists Christine Nawuchi, Sharon Norwood, Jabari “Elicser” Elliott, Moraa Stump and more, includes portraits featuring prominent Black Canadians in culture, including Tanisha Scott, Julien Christian Lutz pka Director X and Toronto Raptors players. The exhibit is open during regular museum hours (Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) until May 28 at Spadina Museum.
Dis/Mantle: Meet the Artists – February 4 at Spadina Museum
Artist Gordon Shadrach, Christine Nnawuchi and Moraa Stump discuss their contributions to Dis/mantle on February 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Spadina Museum
Musical Performance by LOKRE – February 11 at Spadina Museum
Singer and songwriter LOKRE presents a journey of generations with reflections on family, legacy and celebrating culture through live music in Spadina Museum’s historic Palm Room on February 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. Free tickets can be registered for on the Toronto History Museums link above.
Musical Performance by akaMatisse – February 25 at Todmorden Mills
Set in the Papermill Theatre, producer, composer and instrumentalist akaMatisse presents his interpretation of iconic pieces of music representing Black culture from the powerful mediums of film, reflecting on the hero’s journey and that of his own. The performance occurs at Todmorden Mills on February 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. Free tickets are available on the Toronto History Museums webpage above.
Mary Ann Shadd Cary: Breaking the Editorial Ice – Mackenzie House
In 2023, Toronto History Museums will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the first Black woman to publish a newspaper in North America. In 1854, Mary Ann published The Provincial Freeman from King Street in Toronto. Visitors can go to the Mackenzie House print shop to print a customized copy of Mary Ann’s newspaper and a bookmark featuring one of her most famous quotes. This program will run Wednesday to Sunday throughout February at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Free tickets are available on the Toronto History Museums webpage above.
Identity Quilt Making – Spadina Museum – throughout February
This audience-led programming will create an Identity Quilt to accompany the Awakenings-related exhibition Dis/mantle at Spadina Museum. The Identity Quilt program supports the contributions of written reflections to the Dis/Mantle exhibition. This program is available by drop-in during regular Museum hours.
Awakenings Reflections: Dis/Mantle
Toronto History Museums presents a new four-part video series, Dis/Mantle Reflections, that takes viewers behind the scenes and in conversation with Dis/Mantle lead artist Gordon Shadrach to learn more about the artistic process and reimagined Spadina Museum
Black History Month YouTube playlist
Torontonians are invited to explore virtual content through the Black History Month YouTube playlist , featuring videos created by Black artists for Toronto History Museums. The City of Toronto is grateful to community partner Toronto Raptors and media partner 106.5 ELMNT FM for supporting the Awakenings program for Black History Month.
More information about the City’s Black History Month programming at Toronto History Museums on the City’s website. More information on the City’s Black History Month events is available on the City’s website.
Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 museums owned and operated by the City of Toronto that bring Toronto’s history to life for residents and visitors. They include Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse. More information is available at toronto.ca/museums, or follow Toronto History Museums on Twitter at twitter.com/TOHistory, on Instagram at instagram.com/TOHistoryMuseums, on Facebook at facebook.com/TOHistoryMuseums and YouTube at youtube.com/TOHistoryMuseums. Entry to all 10 Toronto History Museums is now permanently free for everyone. More information is available on the Plan Your Museum Visit webpage.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.