This is VIBE Spotlight: a weekly series that celebrates and shines a light on VIBE Arts’ roster of talented artists. Each Monday, our Instagram and website feature a different VIBE Artist and provide a look into their craft. Stay tuned and get to know the diverse talent that makes up our organization and community with #VIBESpotlight.

On this VIBE Spotlight, we’re shining a light on Collette Murray, a VIBE Artist and dancer specializing in Caribbean, West African and diasporic dance.

VIBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that you would like to share?

CM: I offer a dance mentorship program for Black dance artists (18 to 25 years) offering critical engagement in Afro-diasporic dance styles, history and guided mentorship for career development.  As I finalize my graduate research, it will inform other future initiatives

We’re currently accepting artists who identify as African, Caribbean or Black and are looking to advance their career to join COCO COLLECTIVE’S DANCE MENTORSHIP.

This FREE, culturally- responsive mentorship program includes critical dialogue among group and one-to-one sessions, dance vernacular across the African and Caribbean diaspora, guest presenters and relevant topics, career development and a final creative assignment.

Saturdays 1 to 3pm EST | November 7, 2020 – May 29, 2021 | Online sessions. Interested artists across Ontario should contact cococollectiveto@gmail.com to get involved.

 

VIBE: What has been one of your greatest accomplishments to date?

CM: Being named the 2019 Toronto Arts Foundation Community Arts Award recipient, because I started in my childhood community and, over 20 years later, engage many communities across the province and internationally.

 

VIBE: What has been one of your favourite moments while being on the VIBE roster?

CM: The NExT residency where I was fortunate to mentor a Black emerging artist. The final exhibition at Fort York is a testament to the significance of Black mentorship. It culminated in performances, artwork and creative expression in an intentional way. Black Mentorship matters because we don’t have to be self-taught!

 

VIBE: What are some of your future goals?

CM: Creative projects that continue to support development of dance in African, Caribbean and diasporic expressions.

 

VIBE: What is one of the greatest lessons you have learned thus far?

CM: Always stand true to your purpose and be an evolving student. The path to artistic creation includes lessons in the valley as you evolve toward the peaks.

 

VIBE: What changes would you like to see in Toronto’s Art community?

CM: A genuine interest to learn, respect and support the intellect, techniques and creative endeavors the African, Caribbean and Black arts practitioners, within all levels of institutions.

 

Support Collette: @misscocomurray  | misscocomurray.com

 

Stay tuned for more VIBE Artists on VIBE Spotlight