A Brief History of this town is small
this town is small incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2010 following a series of conversations between members of P.E.I.’s visual arts community who recognized a lack of contemporary visual art galleries, artist-run centres, festivals, higher education programs, and other institutions within the visual arts. At the time, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown was the only non-profit organization in the province mandated to support the visual arts, notably with a national perspective; this especially made for a gap in support for emerging and mid-career Island artists. this town is small formed with the vision to be a leader of contemporary art creation, presentation, and events, advocating on behalf of and creating opportunities for visual artists on PEI while promoting and developing a public understanding of contemporary art.
this town is small, since its inception, has operated as a spaceless organization that is committed to community partnerships. Sharing and exchanging resources has become a crucial aspect of increasing capacity within the local arts sector, and this town is small has built its programming on this model.
In 2011, the Art in the Open festival became the organization’s first major project as a partnership with the Confederation Centre Art Gallery and the City of Charlottetown. It was supported through funding from Heritage Canada and private funders and was primarily volunteer led. The one-day summer contemporary art festival has since taken place annually and has become known for its energized presentations of artistic projects in unconventional outdoor spaces located across downtown Charlottetown. With a combination of curated and juried projects, Art in the open has gained a reputation for bringing together both early-career and established artists (locally and from across Canada), as well as creative initiatives that are presented by community groups. With the growth of the festival, Art in the Open has since incorporated as a separate entity and this town is small has continued to support the festival as an active partner.
Around the time of separation from its most notable project in 2017, this town is small secured operational funding provincially, from Innovation PEI through the PEI Culture Action Plan. This enabled TTIS to hire a permanent staff member, renew the mission and vision of the organization, and develop a new programming vision. The organization has especially been successful in establishing professional paid opportunities (following CARFAC fees) for Island artists to present their work in partnering public community spaces (coffee shops, farmers markets, and community centres), as well as advance their artistic practices through group critiques, creative residencies in unconventional spaces, artist talks and presentations, and creative/professional workshops.