Too Hot to Handle

Project start date: October Art Crawl

Too Hot to Handle is the community arts component of Art[4]Change: Unmasking Rape Culture

Art[4]Change: Unmasking Rape Culture is a multifaceted project created by Centre[3] that explores the intersection of contemporary art, gender, and sexuality through the lens of scholars, performances, and visual artists. It is graciously funded by the Province of Ontario through The Ministry of the Status of Women, and the Ontario Arts Council.

Too Hot to Handle is a community arts project that explores themes around sexual violence and bystander intervention.  To introduce and launch the project, Centre[3] will host a pop up coffee shop at the October Art Crawl. Coffee will be given away for free for people to engage and interact with its cardboard sleeves—since the coffee would be too hot to handle without one. These won’t be ordinary coffee sleeves. These sleeves will have probing questions and screen printed messages on them—thematically-based on the role of the bystander in situations of sexual violence and harassment. This public activity will produce community market research around the role of the bystander, and will initiate the application process for the Too Hot to Handle series of workshops. Using their own experiences and the research results as jumping off point, 12 participants—who identify as survivors of sexual violence and harassment—will work with professional artist, designer, and activist Sheila Sampath from The Public, an activist design studio specializing in changing the world. Together they will co-design and co-create imagery for generic coffee cup sleeves that explore the role of the bystander in situations of sexual violence and harassment, and discuss best practices for engaging bystanders, how to take action safely and effectively in contexts where sexual violence occurs. Upon completion of the design, the participants will screen print the image onto hundreds of coffee cup sleeves, which will then be distributed across our region through participating coffee shops who will offer the sleeves to their customers—igniting conversation around this very HOT topic. Hope it’s not too hot to handle!

Too Hot to Handle is generously supported by:

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