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FRAME fits all styles

Ross Avenue venue makes room for comedy, music, and more

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Ali Tataryn is the program director at FRAME Arts Warehouse, which houses art and artists of all mediums.

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Ali Tataryn is the program director at FRAME Arts Warehouse, which houses art and artists of all mediums. Photo Store

They provide the frame, you provide the art.

FRAME Arts Warehouse (318 Ross Ave.) is a casing for all things creative, providing work, exhibition and performance space to artists of all mediums.

FRAME — which stands for Functional Residences for Artists and Media Enterprises — opened its doors in 2010.

"The initial project was started by Travis Cook, David Fatimehin and myself, and the idea was to provide an accessible space for motivated artists that need that place to start," says Ali Tataryn, 25, FRAME’s program director and head of community collaborations. "These artists have got the drive, the potential and the vision, they just need the resources. That was the driving point.

"Particularly for Travis, it was to have a place of collaboration where we could have all types of art happening simultaneously, instead of being locked away in your corner."

You name it, it happens at FRAME. Visual arts, music, comedy, spoken word, improv, theatre, even zumba, yoga, meditation and a monthly Makers Market, it’s all happening or has happened at FRAME.

One event that Tataryn is particularly proud of is the weekly CaRaVaN open mic which goes down every Monday at 7 p.m.

"That’s an open mic where anything goes," Tataryn says. "Come here and take a risk and try something you haven’t normally done. I wanted something that offered the opportunity to take a risk. Even if you’re not a singer-songwriter, if you’ve got something to share, this is a place where the stage is open to do whatever you want."

"Often, open mics are filled with very prestigious, very good artists or things like poetry or juggling isn’t allowed because it’s a bar."

CaRaVaN takes place in FRAME’s performance space, The Purple Room, which launched in March.

Upcoming events at The Purple Room include its biweekly Sunday hardcore music matinees, a DVD taping by Winnipeg comedians Melanie Dahling and J.D. Renaud on Oct. 18 and 19, a swing dance event on Oct. 25 and an experiment/noise music show on Nov. 1.

Also, every Sunday at 7:30 p.m. is The Purple Room Showcase Series, which rotates between music, spoken word, improv, films and stand-up comedy.

"Those Sunday night shows are meant to give a stage to people that are on their way up," says Paul Little, 31, co-ordinator at The Purple Room. "They don’t have to book a room. I’m booking the shows, along with J.D. Renaud on the comedy side and Aaron Merke on the improv side. We’re putting together shows so people who haven’t had as many opportunities to perform live get that opportunity."

Tataryn says FRAME is working on a second space, called The Media Hub (72 Princess St.), which will focus on digital and new media art.

She says FRAME wants to foster a communal environment, and not just among artists.

"We helped create a community garden with the Centennial Community Improvement Association. We also just finished doing an outdoor movie screening with the Centennial Neighbourhood Residents Association," Tataryn says.

"Travis and I have been working hard at getting more active in community outreach, saying ‘We’re here and we want to do projects together.’"

For more information, go to frameartswarehouse.com

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