ArtReach is an organization designed to support community-based arts initiatives that engage youth from equity-deserving populations who have experienced exclusion in Toronto.
A guiding principle of ArtReach is that funding needs to be accessible to youth directly, and should empower youth by placing ownership of projects in their own hands. ArtReach encourages youth to take the lead in defining what art means to them, and what resources they need to achieve their goals.
The structure and processes in place at ArtReach represent a growing awareness that a new way of funding and working with youth is needed. From the beginning, young people have played a significant part in the development of ArtReach, and continue to be involved in all aspects of our organization.
In addition to funding, ArtReach provides free capacity building initiatives that aim to strengthen the community of young artists working towards social change in Toronto. Examples include grant-writing supports for youth applicants, mentorship for funded projects, and free workshops as part of our Grassroots Organizing and Leadership (G.O.A.L.) youth capacity-building series.
ArtReach acknowledges that the land on which we work is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, the Métis, and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. This territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. This territory is also covered by the Upper Canada Treaties. Today, the meeting place of Toronto (from the Haudenosaunee word Tkaronto) is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and live in this territory.