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The Embassy Cultural House (ECH) was founded by artists Jamelie Hassan, Ron Benner, and Jazz Musician Eric Stach in 1983 and was located in the restaurant portion of the Embassy Hotel at 732 Dundas Street in East London until disbanding in 1990. The ECH became the answer to a communal desire in London, Ontario, to program a space that could function as more than a gallery - a culturally and socially engaged space that embraced cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural practices in visual art, installation, performance, film, poetry, and music. In July of 2020, the Embassy Cultural House was re-envisioned as a virtual artist-run space and community website. Since then, there have been over a hundred community members to join the ECH community as participants, volunteers and advisors. The programming remains committed to the original spirit of the brick-and-mortar ECH, engaging culturally with the London arts community at home and abroad.
The Embassy Hotel marquee from 1997.
Architectural rendering for the new Embassy Commons, an affordable housing project by Indwell, a not for profit based in Hamilton, Ontario.
A devastating fire destroyed the Embassy Hotel in 2009.
The Embassy Cultural House is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, Attawandaron and Huron-Wendat peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. This land, at the forks of the Deshkan Ziibi/Antler River (Thames River), continues to be home to diverse Indigenous peoples whom we recognize as contemporary stewards of the land and vital contributors of our society.
José Bedia (Cuban, 1959-), "Sunnyside", 1990, Wall mural, Acrylic paint on cement. Ron Benner in front of José Bedia's mural. Photo credit: Sue Bradnam, 2009 (The anarchy graffiti is not a part of the original work) "Sunnyside" was part of a series of exhibitions, Siting Resistance, June-September 1990, held at the Embassy Cultural House and the Forest City Gallery as a critical response to the racist theoretical writings of Philip Rushton, UWO professor of psychology.
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