Professor, Community Worker, Multi-Disciplinary Artist and DJ
Cover Photo By Alejandro Santiago
John Caffery is a multidisciplinary artist and community worker who engages art in social change and works on creative responses to oppression. His 20 year career began on the stages of Vaseline, the legendary party thrown by Will Munro where he performed as a dancer. As a founding member of artist collective Kids on TV, he toured internationally, produced film and video, as well as published recordings. John has done project based work with the Art Gallery of York University, Art Gallery of Ontario, National Arts Centre, and Harbourfront Centre. In 2016, John was selected to be part of the Cultural Leaders Lab, created by Toronto Arts Council and The Banff Centre to enhance leadership capacity in Toronto’s arts and culture sectors.
John worked at Supporting Our Youth (SOY) based out of the Sherbourne Health Centre for eight years. There he designed and coordinated the program HEAT (Human Rights Equity Access Team) to engage 2SLGBTQ youth using arts-based methods to develop skills and opportunities that empower them to be active citizens and advocates for social justice.
A toolkit and resource guide created by members of Two Spirit, Trans and Queer communities called Inside The Kaleidoscope was compiled by Kim Katrin Milan, Kusha Dadui, and John, and was published by Artreach.
John acquired a Master's Degree in Environmental Studies focused on arts-based social justice education from York University. As part of the requirements for completion he coordinated a community based project with youth to create an activist poster series titled Hall of Justice. In 2017, John began a new role as a professor at George Brown. In 2020, John started a new role as a part-time professor at Centennial College. The Research and Innovation department at George Brown College funded John to build on the community-based research initiative Hall of Justice and work with students at the college to create new educational posters celebrating LGBTQ2+ activists.