The idea for the Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts was Dalannah Bowen’s dream for several years.
Her dream is a dream for everyone – to connect to the artist within ourselves, to create, to contribute, to live our dream, and to share our dream with others.
Dalannah knew it would take time to create a good foundation of people and resources to support the idea and bring her vision to life. She began by donating money she raised through her concert performances. In the spring of 2008, Dalannah began to tell the community about her idea and dream to create the Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts.
“I thought it was important to share my story and why the Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts is important to me.
I am an African-Canadian/Cherokee woman, a mother, a friend, a sister, a singer, an actor, a community activist and much more from a long lifetime of experience. I have been abused, homeless, an active drug addict, been lost and disconnected, and have given up.
I now am a recording artist, playwright, published poet, community leader, and the creator and lead organizer of this initiative to establish the Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts.
I share my story because my experience has convinced me about the power of the arts in realizing our human potential and to encourage the idea of possibilities for everyone.”
The communication centre for the Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts was created on September 19th, 2008 to give everyone the opportunity to find a place to participate and contribute to creating the dream. By the spring of 2009, Dalannah had excited the interest of a number of contributors and the Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts held its first Open House on April 23, 2009 at the Interurban Gallery at One East Hastings Street in the heart of the City of Vancouver.