AMPD hosts Women in the Arts Roundtable for International Women's Day » School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
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AMPD hosts Women in the Arts Roundtable for International Women's Day

AMPD hosts Women in the Arts Roundtable for International Women's Day

York University School of the Arts, Media Performance and Design (AMPD) Dean, Dr. Sarah Bay-Cheng, sits down with York alumni Amanda Cordner  (Actor, HBO Max’s Sort Of), Laura Friedmann (Producer, Wrapped Productions inc.), Jennifer Holness (Founder, Hungry Eyes Media), Beth Janson (Chief Operating Officer, TIFF) and Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu (Artistic Director, Obsidian Theatre) to talk about the future of work, equity and access in the arts, and the impact of technology on artists of tomorrow.

For event details, click here.

About the Final Mile Club 

The Final Mile Club (FMC) prepares emerging artists, makers, performers, and designers for life after graduation. As a project by AMPD, FMC examines creatives' unique challenges through conversations with prominent alumni and industry experts.  

FMC is hosted by Dr. Sarah Bay-Cheng, Dean of AMPD and a Theatre & Performance Studies professor. Dr. Bay-Cheng’s research focuses on the intersections among theatre, performance, and media. 

Special Guest 


Actor | Director 

Born and raised in Schomberg, Ontario, Amanda Cordner is taking the country by storm playing 7ven, a hip, queer art gallery owner, on the HBO Max hit Canadian show, Sort Of. 

She was hailed for her intelligence and electric intensity in stage shows like Featherweight and The Penelopiad. Body So Fluorescent – one of two shows she created with David di Giovanni, along with Ring The Roses – won her the Jon Kaplan Spotlight Award at SummerWorks. Click Here to Register Today.


Producer | Director  

Wrapped Productions Inc. 

A Colombian-born, Toronto-based creative producer and director Laura Friedmann explores gender equality, human rights, intergenerational trauma, diaspora and healing through TV and film. With over eight years of experience, her work has been featured on CBC, YesTV, and CGoodTV with her production company, Wrapped Productions Inc.  In both her art and industry activity, Friedmann is a longstanding gender equity advocate participating in numerous initiatives promoting the advancement of women and BIPOC creatives in the Canadian arts industry. Initiatives included the Creative Sovereignty Lab, Creators of Colour Incubator & Big Pitch @TIFF, and The Native Film & Storytelling Institute. Click Here to Register Today.


President | Writer | Producer 

Hungry Eyes Media   

Canadian Screen Award winner Jennifer Holness brings thought-proving Black stories to the TV and silver screen with her production company, Hungry Eyes MediaHer films earned global praise at international film festivals, including SXSW, Hot Docs and Tribeca. Her television work is equally prolific, with Shoot the Messenger (CBC, WGN/USA) and Guns (CBC) earning her a Best Writing Canadian Screen Award, four additional Canadian Screen Award wins and a Rose D'or international.  Holness is a dedicated advocate for diversity and mentorship. She is a founding member of the Black Screen Office and mentors diverse talent through organizations like The Reel World Film Festival, Black Women Film!, Through Their Eyes and The Toronto Black Film Festival. Click Here to Register Today.


Chief Operating Officer 

Toronto International Film Festival  (TIFF)

Beth Janson has created space for innovation and diversity in North America's leading cultural sectors for over two decades. In 2003, Janson established the Tribeca Film Festival New Media Fund for transmedia works and then went on to become CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Today, she is ushering in a new era as the Toronto International Film Festival’s Chief Operating Officer. Outside the film industry, Janson helps women jumpstart economically impactful companies with Rent the Runway Foundation's Project Entrepreneur program. Janson knows the importance of developing a robust network to create social change through art. Click Here to Register Today.


Artistic Director 

Obsidian Theatre  

Acclaimed theatre creator and director Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu was raised in Kenya and Victoria, BC. Now, based in Toronto, she is innovating the Canadian Theatre Industry as Artistic Director for Obsidian Theatre.  Her recent works The Brothers Size (Soulpepper), Trout Stanley (Factory Theatre), Here are the Fragments (The Theatre Centre/The ECT Collective), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Soulpepper) and Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape (Obsidian/Soulpepper) have earned her a Dora Award for her Outstanding Direction, Toronto Theatre Critics Awards, a Pauline McGibbon Award, a Mallory Gilbert Protege Award, a Harold Award, and two nominations for the John Hirsch Directing Award.