School of Cities / Event

Creative Communities Commons | Paradigm Shifts: Perspectives on Research Across the Arts and Academia


This joint session between the Creative Communities Commons at School of Cities, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Foundation reflects on the differences between the arts and academia when it comes to research. Led by Dr. Shawn Newman, Research & Impact Manager at Toronto Arts Council & Foundation, we’ll explore opportunities for the arts to shift the ways it views, understands, and engages in research, and for academia to work in stronger support of non-profits. Dr. Tara Vinodrai joins as Discussant and brings insight from an urban policy and creative/cultural economy of cities lens.

The People

Shawn Newman

Having had an international career as a dancer and choreographer—and described as “[one] of Toronto’s finest dancers” (Paula Citron, Toronto Life)—Shawn then completed his PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. He has taught in the Department of Gender Studies and the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s as well as the Department of Dance at York University and the School of Performance at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson). His research spans many artistic disciplines while focusing on representation and power in and through critical race, disability, and gender studies. Currently, he is the Research & Impact Manager at Toronto Arts Council & Foundation.

Tara Vinodrai

Tara is trained as an economic geographer and her research focuses on innovation, economic development, work and labour market dynamics, and technological change in cities. With long-standing interests in the creative/cultural industries, clusters and the geography of innovation her work interrogates the uneven outcomes, patterns and equity implications associated with changes in urban and regional economies.

Recent publications include a widely used, co-edited book, Canadian Cities in Transition (Oxford University Press), which recently received an Award of Planning Excellence Merit from the Canadian Institute of Planners.

About The Creative Communities Commons (CCC) Speaker Series

The CCC exists to provide a node of open participation and the free exchange of intellectual resources and expertise among academia, the arts sector, community leaders, civil society, the private sector, and the public sector who share interest in:

  • Arts and culture as a sector within every human community, as well as
  • How the arts and culture sector interacts with the other sectors in our communities (like the environment, housing, immigration, public health, and transportation)