Art Against Precarity | April 28 – May 7, 2017
Festival Program: Website | Facebook | Eventbrite
Festival Program Guide: Pick-up your copy

The 32nd annual Mayworks Festival – Art Against Precarity – is just two weeks away! We invite you to view thefull program, invite your friends and family, and register to guarantee a seat at this year’s Festival. We hope that this year’s Festival draws you in, makes you angry, delights you, inspires you and challenges you to take action. To learn more about this year’s festival, please click here.
Mayworks is honoured to be  working with an incredible lineup of artists, curators, and contributors this year.  Through their work and commitment, they demonstrate the power of art, and artists, to creatively address and confront injustice, while also helping to give form to ways of seeing alternative, and more just, ways of being and relating to each other. We are excited to invite you to meet this year’s set of Mayworks contributors, and to explore with them the ways in which artists, workers, and activists, can work to collectively confront, and overcome, our precarious times.

A Day’s Work

DAVE DESARIO is the executive producer of A Day’s Work, Founding Member of the Alliance for the American Temporary Workforce, and advises on occupational safety & health priorities with U.S. federal researchers – in other words, a “pissed-off temp.”

DAVID GARCIA has worked as a director and producer on projects ranging from music videos to political news, commercials to branded content, and A Day’s Work, his first documentary film. David worked for the advertising / marketing divisions of Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations firm, and he is an abstract mixed media artist that has shown in galleries in New York City.


PATRICK SALVANI/MS.NOOKIE GALORE is a horror writer and genderqueer drag queen. They are the FatherMom to The Drag Musical, a Queer, Trans People of Colour program/show housed in Krafty Queers. Nookie’s work has been featured in CBC Arts, AGO First Thursdays, Rhubarb Festival and in Diaspora Intimacies.

The Sunflower ManHERYKA MIRANDA (dance artist and scholar-activist) is a graduate student at Brock University in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. Her study explores the experiences of Niagara-region migrant farm workers from Guatemala and Mexico in experiential ‘dance for relaxation’ sessions using movement-based, expressive arts therapeutic approaches.

JUAN LUIS MENDOZA DE LA CRUZ (storyteller, emerging dancer) is a Mexican migrant worker, working 25+ years on Canadian farms. He co-created The Sunflower Man dance, which captures the wisdom gained from harvesting sunflowers. He has performed at In the Soil festival (St. Catharines) and The Precarious Generation Forum (Ottawa).

MONICA GUTIERREZ is a Toronto-based, Colombian director and visual artist. Monica’s work explores stories between people, the arts, social justice and the environment through documentary and experimental videos. She has directed Crude Gold (2015), Poetry Saved Our Lives (2016) and Raptors Amongst Us (2016), a TVO Short Doc semi-finalist broadcasted in 2016.

My Journey on the “Pathway”

KARA MANSO, AKA KRISTINA TORRES, emerged in the influence of growing up in Dumaguete, a city known as an “Artist’s Haven” in the Philippines. Her life experiences as a caregiver had a significant influence on her works with themes of oppression, exploitation, resilience, and empowerment through comical yet poignant scenes using different art mediums.

Art & Tomatoes

QUESO is a Mexican gender non-conforming person with Indigenous ancestry.
Since 2012, they began creating political graphics about the knowledge of Indigenous people, Indigenous struggles, collectivity, gender non-conformity, politics, and feminism. To survive in this world of money, Queso works with social organizations, journalists, human rights defenders as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator.

TZAZNÁ MIRANDA LEAL is a queer, mixed Indigenous and Spanish migrant from Mexico who has spent the last 15 years organizing for migrant justice, workers’ rights, Indigenous sovereignty, anti-racist struggles with a community feminist lens. Tzazná organizes with Justice for Migrant Workers and was the campaign coordinator for Harvesting Freedom. She is also a visual artist and illustrator.

The Story of Albert Jackson

MARYAMA AHMED is a community organizer working predominantly in the Jane and Finch community. A member of Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty, Black Creek Community Farm, and Rebels With A Cause collective, she organizes around housing insecurity, sustainable food growing, anti-poverty, anti-police and maintaining and increasing accessibility to city funded programs, library services, and arts programming in priority neighborhoods. Maryama also creates and performs poetry and community theater pieces that are social justice themed.

MARK BROWN represented the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) in various elected positions since 2000 with the most recent being the National Director of the Metro Toronto Region. As such Mark Brown became the first black worker elected to sit on the National Executive Board of the CUPW. He is currently the co-chair of the equity committee of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, a member of the Ontario Federation of Labour’s Worker of Colour committee and an Executive Board member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.

KINGSLEY KWOK works as a respiratory therapist, is president of OPSEU Local 575 for healthcare professionals at Scarborough Hospital and has been a part of the Fight for $15 and Fairness, which is the fight for decent work, and the Make It Fair campaign to change Ontario’s outdated labour laws.

ITAH SADU is a distinguished storyteller and children’s author. She has worked as a social worker, community developer, entrepreneur and educator in Toronto. She is the co-owner of A Different Booklist, one of the few independent bookstores left in Toronto with a focus on finding literary gems that reflect Toronto’s diversity.

Strike A Chord

Born and raised in Spain, COCO GUZMAN is a Toronto-based artist who explores multiple narratives through drawing. Guzman’s work has been shown internationally in America, Europe and Asia and has received the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

CLAUDIA BERNAL is a Montreal-based interdisciplinary artist and researcher. Bernal holds a B.A. in Visual Arts/Creation, an MA in theater, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Études et Pratiques des arts at UQAM. She has exhibited in museums, artist-run centers, and galleries in Canada, Europe and Latin America.

JULIETA MARIA is a Toronto based media artist with an MFA from York University. She has participated in several international exhibitions, including Museo Banco de la República (Colombia) 2016, Asunción Biennial, Paraguay (2015), MUU Performance Voyage 5 (2015), Artist VIllage Taipei (2014), Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo, Montevideo (2013), among others.

DAVID CONSTANTINO SALAZAR is a Toronto based artist. He has participated in over twenty group exhibitions in Canada and abroad and has been commissioned to do public art for 2012 Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 2015 Spadina Museum, Nuit Blanche, Toronto (Canada) and First Capital Realty Inc., Georgetown (Canada).

TAMARA TOLEDO is a curator graduate of OCAD University and holds an MFA from York University. Co-founder of LACAP: Toledo has curated numerous exhibitions; presented her research in Montreal, New York, Vancouver and Toronto; and has written articles for ARM Journal, C Magazine and Fuse. Toledo is Curator/Director of Sur Gallery.

Writing While Black

WHITNEY FRENCH is a writer, storyteller and multi-disciplinary artist. She is a self-described futurist and an avid tree-climber. Whitney is also the founder and co-editor and of the nation-wide publication From the Root Zine as well as the founder of the workshop series Writing While Black. Whitney French is presently working on her upcoming science-fiction novel.


A true preserver of the spirit of folk music, past Juno and CFMA-nominee MARIA DUNN is often compared to Woody Guthrie for her keen social awareness and unvarnished songs about ordinary people. In 2016, she released her sixth independent album Gathering, songs of courage and struggle, local and global. www.mariadunn.com

SHANNON JOHNSON is a 2007 Juno Award winner for her work with her Celtic-world fusion band The McDades. Shannon wows music fans and critics with her strong, pure playing and exceptional improvisational skills. As a composer, she blends classical, Celtic and Canadian styles to create a new and powerful genre of label-bending music.

Musician and producer JEREMIAH MCDADE is also a member of Juno Award winning band The McDades. A multi-instrumental virtuoso, Jeremiah first performed professionally with his family’s traditional folk/roots band at age five. As a composer, he combines traditional world music with jazz while focusing on the energy and spontaneity of improvisation.

DON BOUZEK creates theatre on a variety of social issues. He has collaborated with singer-songwriter, Maria Dunn, on four video ballads: Troublemakers, GWG: Piece by Piece, On The River, and Packingtown. Don has won two awards from the Canadian Association of Labour Media for his work with unions.

CATHERINE C. COLE, MA, FCMA has been principal consultant of Catherine C. Cole & Associates for more than 20 years and previously worked as a curator and heritage interpreter. She has an MA (History) from the University of Alberta and has conducted extensive material culture and oral history research on Alberta’s social, industrial and labour history.