Rye alumni offer room for solitude with community-focused post

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By Prapti Bamaniya

In the bleak winter of early 2020, when most were locked in their homes, 2020 graduates Rye Nadia McNairn and Kyle Jarencio wanted to recreate the sense of community.

McNairn was a graduate of Ryerson’s Arts and Contemporary Studies program and RTA’s Jarencio of media production when the two began not knowing how to use their artistic skills in the midst of a pandemic.

They created a Google Form with a variety of questions to collect thoughts on the work, graduation, life, friendship and love of young people across the country. The two received almost 60 submissions and with the help of 30 peers, they began to piece together the project: Amble Magazine.

“It wasn’t just me and [Jarencio], it was a collaborative project of a lot of people, ”McNairn said. “Everyone in the project felt like they weren’t just contributing, they were part of a community. “

According to McNairn, “ugly feelings” was a phrase frequently used by Jarencio to describe the submissions of photos, poems, and essays as they put them together.

“[The submissions] showed sadness, frustration, anger, disappointment, grief and a lot of really heavy things that people individually feel that they maybe had to deal with on their own, ”McNairn said.

Courtesy of: Amble Mag

McNairn said there aren’t many places people can create works of art from these experiences, and Amble Mag was just the space to do it.

“A lot of people felt like they didn’t really have a space to share these ugly feelings, so coming together and creating a space for people to share those feelings in a cathartic way was really the feeling of. Amble. “

After creating a community through Canadian art, McNairn wanted to give back to a similar organization. All the benefits of Amble Mag were given to SoundStock Academy, an initiative for young black artists in Toronto to advance their musical careers.

SoundStock Academy was co-founded by Abel Lulseged, a Bachelor of Commerce graduate [from Ryerson] who worked during the pandemic to give young black artists in the Greater Toronto Area the opportunity to produce art. McNairn chose SoundStock as a place to give back, especially given the loss of artistic income in Toronto due to the pandemic.

According to Toronto Arts Council, there was an estimated loss of $ 16 million in artist and production salaries / fees due to COVID-19 closures in the non-profit arts in Toronto from March 2020 to March 2021.

“The arts have suffered a financial burden. Over the past year and a half, it has been very difficult for organizations to stay on their feet, ”said McNairn. “This little financial support helps them take their next turn, so [Soundstock] has eight young people who support each cycle of this program, ”McNairn said.

“Everyone in the project had the impression that they were not just contributing, they were part of a community”

Although the first edition of Amble Mag captured in a somber tone brought on by a grim global experience, the upcoming second edition will focus on exiting the pandemic, with a lighter tone to juxtapose the previous edition, McNairn said.

“We deserve another time capsule to reflect on what this period is because it is still part of the transition phase. It could be a bit more optimistic and reflect a bit more of the past rather than resting in the present, ”she said.

In February 2022, Amble Mag will begin accepting submissions for its second issue, to be released later this spring.


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