In November 2020, the annual ARTPRENEUR Conference brought together leading local and national creative experts and business leaders for as a series of webinars to assist artists in building their creative professions. Recorded over the course of the three-day conference, this podcast provides those who were unable to attend access to sessions in audio form.
Portfolio Careers with Jacqui du Toit, Sarah Hopkin, and Claudia Gutierrez. Facilitated by Jenna Richards
Portfolio Careers: How artists build and sustain their practice, and what a pandemic means for these multifaceted professionals
What does it mean to be an “artist”, “dancer”, “musician”, “writer”, etc…? The arts industry offers many career options for the emerging professional, but there are no set paths, especially in this time of pandemic. How do we build a career that will sustain us, artistically and financially? How has COVID-19 affected this delicate balance? Jenna Richards leads a panel discussion with Jacqui Du Toit, Sarah Hopkin, and Claudia Gutierrez about arts entrepreneurship, identity, and portfolio careers.
Jacqui Du Toit is an award-winning, internationally celebrated theatrical and movement storyteller from Kimberley, South Africa. Since graduating from the University of Cape Town with a BA in Theatre and Performance in 2005, Jacqui has worked extensively as a professional actress, dancer, and storyteller for over a decade.
Jacqui was awarded the 2019 Prix Rideau Award for Outstanding Female Performance in Drowning Girls and received an Outstanding Female Performance nomination for her role in Omnibus Bill at the 2019 Prix Rideau Awards. She wrote, performed, and produced The Hottentot Venus – Untold, a monodrama nominated for best actress at the 2017 Rideaux Awards and the Capital Critics Awards. Jacqui was featured in Creatorland, a 2018 documentary series following the lives of celebrated creators, inventors, and entrepreneurs. In the autumn of 2020, Jacqui was directed by award-winning director Diane Roberts in having narrated the audiobook version of This Book Betrays My Brother (named to Kirkus’ Best Books of 2018; winner of the Ottawa Book Award, English Fiction, 2019), a Young Adult novel written by award-winning writer Kagiso Lesogo Molope.
Jacqui has performed her theatre, dance, and African storytelling across Canada and the world. In 2008, she toured Canada with the African circus troupe Amakhosi, Kings of Africa ______. Recent performance highlights include: Canada Performs, the National Arts Centre; the Ottawa Jazz Festival, Black History Celebration, Parliament of Canada; Westfest; the International Children’s Festival of the Arts; the African Women Diplomatic Forum.
Jacqui now resides in Ottawa, where she performs as the creative director of her company 8thGeneration Storytelling. She is also the co-owner and co-director of The Origin Arts and Community Centre in the capital city of Canada.
Sarah Hopkin is a freelance dance artist from Nova Scotia. She is currently dancing for the Ottawa Dance Directive led by artistic director Yvonne Coutts, TAKE UP SPACE led by Elizabeth Emond-Stevenson, and for choreographers Peggy Baker (with the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts), Cathy Kyle Fenton (with the support of the City of Ottawa) and Allison Burns. She has danced as a junior company member for Toronto Dance Theatre (2015-2016), an intern for Mocean Dance (2015), and in Dance Ontario’s Dance Weekend (2015). She has worked as a demonstrator for Peggy Baker at Canada’s National Ballet School in the summers of 2016 and 2017, and teaches contemporary dance in the professional ballet division at The School of Dance in Ottawa.
Sarah has choreographed and performed at Ottawa Chamberfest and in Ottawa’s Dark Horse Dance Projects 2017. Sarah was commissioned by composer Julia Mermelstein to choreograph a solo with the support of the Toronto Arts Council in 2016. Sarah continues her choreographic explorations through her work with the ballet students at The School of Dance, collaborating with composer Pierre-Luc Clément. During the pandemic Sarah has been a part of two creative processes and performances online, as well as teaching contemporary dance classes for The School of Dance via Zoom. She has also partnered with TAKE UP SPACE and the Ottawa Dance Directive to run dance classes outdoors for the professional dance community.
Claudia Gutierrez is a Latin-Canadian artist living in Ottawa, Canada. Her studies specialized in painting and printmaking, recently informing her exploration of textile work after completing two residencies in Ottawa, Canada and Oaxaca, Mexico. She has been an active advocate and cultural worker for the local arts community for the past decade. By utilizing her training in embroidery, hand dying and printmaking, Gutierrez imbues a sense of methodical mark making, repetitive and meditative contrasting her process which is often reliant on chance and improvisation. Gutierrez’s work explores the shifts in the role and meaning of objects and visual references representing a movement between known and unknown, oddity and banality, dark and light, masculine and feminine until what is left are new forms entirely – forms born by past follies, ritual, communion, heritage, and memories.
Before completing high school, Jenna Richards had earned her ARCT diploma in both piano and violin, studying in her native Halifax. Jenna completed her Bachelor of Music in Performance at the University of Toronto, garnering consecutive Glenn Gould Scholarships, the Fey Hethrington Scholarship, and the Lydia Wong scholarship for excelling in instrumental collaboration as well as nine consecutive Nova Scotia Talent Trust awards. Jenna’s passion for collaborative music has led her to perform at Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival (St. John’s), the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts (Toronto), Ottawa Chamberfest (Ottawa), Centre d’Arts Orford (Quebec), National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Festival Pontiac Enchanté (Quebec), and for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s “Young People’s Concert Series” among many others.
Following her performance degree, Jenna completed her Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton to pursue a multifaceted career. She is a collaborative pianist with the Ottawa Classical Choir, Canadian Centennial Choir, and a host of instrumentalists. She is equally an arts administrator, serving on the artistic team of Ottawa Chamberfest to help program over 100 events a year. Completing Jenna’s portfolio career is her life as a researcher, in which she is currently pursuing her PhD in Interdisciplinary Research in Music. In her (little) spare time, Jenna loves to be in nature, learn languages, and play soccer.