In the well-known Edward Lear nonsense poem from which Ruth Howard’s unorthodox Toronto community arts organization derives its name, the Jumblies set off to sea in a Sieve, less than than adequately provisioned, and thirsty for adventure. On their return some twenty years later, everyone remarks on how they’ve grown. In this conversation Howard traces Jumblies’ journey from its early roots in the Community Play movement, to their May-June 2017 Touching Ground Festival which, while true to the company’s twenty year tradition of professional caliber neighbourhood-based art-making, breaks new ground both for Jumblies and offers new perspectives, and hope, for traditional arts organizations seeking fundamentally new ways of engaging with the communities in which they are based.
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