Helen is an interdisciplinary artist-researcher with the Culture of Cities Centre, Board member with the Centre for Social Innovation, and a Salzburg Global Fellow. She leads the Laboratory for Artistic Intelligence, which develops experimental applications of artistic intelligence for society, particularly in matters of public policy.
As an artist, Helen has has been commissioned, produced, presented and supported through commissions, grants and residencies by organizations in Canada, USA, France, Argentina, UK and Australia. These include: Kresge Foundation, The Banff Centre, Performance Space/Arts House/Australia Council for the Arts, L’Institute international de la marionnette, Le Fondation Tenot, OBORO/Festival Accès Asie, and all three levels of arts councils in Canada. She has been honoured with nominations for the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Toronto Dora awards in the general theatre section (Outstanding Production, Scenic Design, Lighting Design).
Helen has a wide range of research and consulting clients, including public funders, private foundations, creative agencies and advocacy organizations. She has written thought pieces for Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN), Toronto Arts Foundation, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), Canadian Public Arts Funders, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO), The Dance Current, and Ricepaper Magazine.
Helen has played an active role in many working groups, consultations, multi-stakeholder committees and lab/incubator initiatives convened by organizers such as City of Toronto, Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada, Artscape, Canada Council for the Arts and Toronto Arts Council around arts and culture, research, knowledge mobilization, city, civic engagement, advocacy, and community organizing. As an advisory committee member, she has helped the Ontario Nonprofit Network develop a sector-wide Evaluation Strategy and is advising on their Decent Work Strategy.
Speaking engagements include conferences convened by Mowat NFP/Community Knowledge Safety Alliance of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Immigration/Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport/Ismaili Council, Canadian Race Relations Foundation, International Association for the Study of the Culture of Cities, American Comparative Literature Association, Ontario Museums Association, Magnetic North Theatre Festival, University of Toronto, and others.
At the Laboratory for Artistic Intelligence, Helen is currently working with multi-sectoral partners in arts and culture, social innovation, and social services to creatively re-imagine the settlement process for newcomers to Canada.
Helen’s multifaceted practice is rooted in an approach she calls Marginalia: a reflective practice of commentary, connection, creativity and criticality. Her practice emerges out of designing responsive interactions, installations (environments) and interventions rooted in the margins of situations. She blogs infrequently about art-making at marginalia.ca. You can find her posting more regularly and informally on Instagram.