16-1265 Howe Street
Vancouver BC, V6Z 1R3
Unceded Territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam),
Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh
PHYSICAL DISTANCING NOTICE: 221A’s offices and programming venues are closed until further notice. This is part of broader social distancing measures that we all must take in order to flatten the infection curve of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Staff are working from home. Please get in touch if you have pressing business or questions.
221A works with artists and designers to research and develop social, cultural and ecological infrastructure.
Responsible to community and neighbours
Artists paid fair wage
Contemporary art and design
Tao Fei Program Producer
Michelle Fu Head of Finance & Equity
Madison Mayhew Admin Assistant
Brian McBay Executive Director
Jesse McKee Head of Strategy
Stephan Wright Head of Facilities & Production
Nicole Kelly Westman Education & Learning Programmer
Sungpil Yoon Tenancy Relations Coordinator
Artists’ Fees & Living Wages
221A’s policies require the payment of artists at or above CARFAC-RAAV Professional Fees and the compensation of all staff per the Living Wages for Families Campaign. 221A aims to improve the reciprocal health of the organization, its constituents, and our ecological context.
221A envisions a pluralistic society in which all people have the means to access and make culture.
Beginning as a student-led initiative in 2005, the organization was initially animated by an opposition to the division between contemporary art and design. Leaving the university grounds in 2008 to establish its first public exhibition space, the organization would be shaped by the history and upheavals of its new home in Chinatown, the embattled neighbourhood itself a microcosm of a global economic recession and the transformation of Vancouver before and after the 2010 Winter Olympics.
221A operates under a Research and Infrastructure model. Unlike a typical exhibition model for a Visual Art and Design organization, 221A’s operating model supports cultural workers over extended periods to lead the organization’s artistic pursuits, engaging deeply with contexts, collaborators, ideas, and audiences, with a focus on the development of research that leads to new social, cultural, or ecological infrastructure.
221A leads multi-sectoral capacity building initiatives that include Researchers, External Advisors, and Partnerships in the nonprofit, business and academic sectors. These initiatives develop essential policy knowledge, grow relationships between sectors, engage in public consultation through programming, all in the aim of furthering long-term planning by 221A, as well as the cultural, education and nonprofit sectors.
221A works with artists and designers as Research Fellows to conduct research over a period of 3 to 24 months. Each Research Fellow receives a stipend and open research office at Pollyanna 圖書館 Library where they are supported to lead new research on potential social, cultural or ecological infrastructure. Staff work alongside Fellows to resource and translate research into programs and operational plans towards infrastructure.
221A defines infrastructure as the core facilities and systems of a society. 221A seeks to develop facilities and systems that exceed or cut across traditional forms of production in their capacity to respond to fluctuating realities and needs. 221A develops the work of its Research Fellows into public infrastructures for the cultural, ecological and social commons.