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MEET ArtReach's 2021 Grantees!

ArtReach is proud to announce the 30 projects that were awarded funding in our 2021 granting round.

$300,000 in annual grant funding for youth-led community arts projects is available thanks to our partnership with the Toronto Arts Council- click here for more info!

For project descriptions of previously funded groups, check out our website!


Adornment Stories Collective- Adornment Stories $10,000 Adornment Stories offers the community a 7-month long program to support the mental health of Black women, femmes and non-binary people and be a platform for their voices. Our programming provides hands on access to multimedia, storytelling training, facilitation and opportunities for youth to be leaders in their community. Our model focuses on recognizing the unique ways gender, race and intersectional identity impacts mental health. It is through storytelling, facilitation training and the arts that we provide a platform for those who have often not been heard in Mental Health Dialogue to have space and share their narratives. Beautiful Minds- V.I.E.W. Vision Idea Exploration Wisdom $10,000 Our project Vision,Idea, Exploration, Wisdom (VIEW) is a program for 18-29 year olds that teaches watercolour painting skills online via Zoom. Participants will learn techniques for creating watercolor landscape paintings and character design. The program will have two, 8-week-long, sessions. Each week will have a theme and include learning a painting skill, a mindfulness tool, reflective journaling and a group discussion. We aim to have 10 youth complete each session. There will also be a community showcase for the artists at the end of each program. The program will be for youth in Scarborough, Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park. Between Them Collected- Between the Lines $5,000 Between the Lines is a wellness-inspired online literary arts immersion program for Toronto’s TIQLBG Black, African, Caribbean communities. Participants from within and throughout the diaspora are welcome to be inspired by Black authors to world-build, share, and create. Similar to a book club, participants are invited to read and engage with reflective discussion, critical thinking, writing and other creative exercises. Inspired by African, Caribbean, and Black writing, we will exchange recipes, music, engage with craft-making and share ideas influenced by the texts. Bilal Baig- Trans Gemmes 3.0 $9,900 Bilal Baig will run Trans Gemmes 3.0, a six-week virtual program focusing on developing skills in writing and performance made by and for trans women and trans femmes of colour. The program centers participants' needs and skill building, nurturing a creative space to build trust, self confidence, leadership and gain clarity of life and artistic purpose. The project will serve trans women and trans femmes of colour who are newcomers and youth under the age of 25. Colectivo Satelital- Cuarenteca Aspiring DJ Incubator $9,900 "Cuarenteca Aspiring DJ Incubator" is an online educational program organized by Colectivo Satelital and led by Cuarenteca's co-founders and resident DJs, ANA LUISA (Ana Luisa Bernardez) and Lil Arepa (Camila Salcedo). Four Toronto-based youth with little to no experience in DJing will participate in a series of workshops related to the craft (basics and techniques, making mixes, organizing online parties, and live streaming). Participants will have the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice by recording a commissioned mix, which will be promoted by Cuarenteca. At the end of the Incubator, participants will perform DJ sets in an online party organized by them and hosted by Cuarenteca. Colr Your Life Initiative- Colr Your Life Initiative $9,535 Colr Your Life is an 8-week screenwriting program for black youth, ages 15-18. Youth will have the opportunity to develop a screenplay from concept to script. The goal is to equip young black screenwriters with the knowledge they need to write an industry-format screenplay. Six participants will have the opportunity to develop an idea throughout the program. In each class, participants will learn about story structure, script formatting, as well as character and plot development. Participants will complete the program with a polished script for their portfolio. Creato- Project Crea $8,581 Project CREA is an art-making, arts entrepreneurship initiative for Toronto-based youth artists who identify as Latinx. The project will run from September to November 2021, with the aim of empowering Latinx youth to develop practical arts entrepreneurial skills by creating a personal project. Through art-making, mentorship, and experiential learning opportunities, youth artists will create in a forward-thinking, community space where Latinx voices and creative expression are being centered. The project will culminate with a Virtual Block Party — an advocacy tool to build on the visibility of Latinx youth artists and creators in Toronto — and the participant’s final showcase. CUE- CUE Grant Cycle 2021 $15,000 This grant would see 100+ youth engaged in developing projects and learning about the grant process, and enable the creation of 15 individual art projects in multiple disciplines by new-generation artists who live and work on the margins. The program is predicated on creating high-access: we conduct group info sessions, online grant writing mentorship sessions, and individual grant-writing support via e-mail, phone and video chat to ensure the anticipated 60+ art project proposals submitted are strong and viable. CUE provides a variety of supports for artists during their production process, and provides professional presentation/exhibition platform for all artists engaged. Ecru (Jimmy Vi + Pam Lau)- Ideas From I $9,900 “Ideas from I” is a virtual concept development program for pan-Asian photographers and filmmakers aged 18-29 across the GTA, with no formal training in their discipline. From this 3 weekend workshop participants will walk away with a fleshed-out concept in the form of a treatment deck ready to be executed. “Ideas from I” will provide mentorship and learning opportunities for emerging artists to safely express themselves. Our aim is to demystify industry knowledge and equip participants with the skills and confidence to communicate their ideas. Empowered Phụ Nữ- Empowering Phụ Nữ PhotoVoice Project $10,000 This pilot project will engage 8 Vietnamese-and-womxn-identifying participants (aged 18-29), over seven bi-weekly sessions in PhotoVoice storytelling to discuss cultural identities, gender, and leadership. The project seeks to equip participants with technical skills in photography, storytelling, and ethics. It will culminate in a co-created reflection product (e.g. zine, podcast, or blog) that will be shared publicly and will be accessible in English and Vietnamese. Some sessions will feature guest speakers, who are community artists and creative leaders. Ganesh Thavarajah- Theatre for All $9,000 Theatre for All is a free new 8-week theatre intensive for youth in Scarborough. Over eight Saturdays, this program will introduce BIPOC youth, especially those who identify as LGBTQ+ or as newcomers, with the fundamental training to pursue careers in theatre. Every class will be divided into three sections led by working BIPOC theatre artists: 3 hours of acting, 2 hours of voice work, and 3 hours of text & writing. The program will culminate with a final showcase where families and community members can see the youth’s potential. INKspire Youth Organization- Write to Discover $9,990 INKspire’s Write to Discover will provide racialized youth across Toronto with the opportunity to improve their literacy skills through a series of online creative writing workshops. We will develop and host a six-part creative writing workshop series for six cohorts, each comprising 8-10 youth between the ages of 15-24. Additionally, participants will receive one-on-one mentorship and support, and the opportunity to have their work published on INKspire’s online platform, for which they will be awarded an honorarium. Ultimately, INKspire strives to strengthen youth’s writing skills through self-reflection and creative expression. Joshua Watkis- WORD IS BOND Presents: Filter Through Skin $10,000 Filter Through Skin is a Spoken Word intensive focused on Storytelling for Black Poets by Black Poets, outside the lens of Black Trauma for profit. The purpose of this project is to assist Black youth poets in reimagining their relationship to their subject matter and deconstructing Blackness as a monolith in literature. The project will serve 25 youth participants ages 16-24 over the course of 16 weeks, through virtual workshops and socially distanced, in person coaching sessions. Kamalayan Konsciousness Kollective- Mulat Midya Project $13,935 Mulat Midya Project is a media training program for Filipino youth in Toronto. “Mulat” means to be aware in Filipino. This project aims to empower youth by developing skills in podcasting focusing on Filipino migration stories and current issues. It will be framed in the context of Philippine history and news both in the diaspora and homeland. This project will train twelve participants in two cohorts through interactive and meaningful workshops. Participants will engage in writing, planning, researching, interviewing, and executing original podcast episodes. We aim to prioritize newcomer and under-resourced Filipinos who otherwise would face barriers accessing this programming. Kaya Joan- Relations with Place $9,726 This workshop series is to provide opportunity to 2SLGBTQ+ youth who identify as Indigenous, Black, folks of colour to explore the vast connections to place, and the ways identity is informed by place, and build community with one another in the process. Through grounding participants in knowledge of T'karonto and Dish with One Spoon Treaty's history, we will journey through the various ways in which personal narratives are rooted in place. Using art as a navigational tool to express ideas, participants will be provided the space and resources to strengthen their relationship and responsibility to place and community. Limitless Designs- Daily Blooms $14,900 Limitless Designs is known for teaching youth about aesthetic arts. Our program is now expanding to include an even more intricate art form, floral design. We are calling it “Limitless Designs x Daily Blooms”. We will be teaching our participants about floral design through Zoom classes. This program will teach youth about making floral arrangements, wrapping flowers, plant care, and more! The morning of each class, a team member will drop off the flowers and supplies needed for the session, at the participants door. This contactless delivery method will ensure that everyone is safe and following Covid-19 guidelines. Melodies & Colour- Melodies and Colour: Virtual Studio Sessions $13,000 "This program brings together 9 youth artists (Visual Artists, Beatmakers/Music Producers and Lyricists/Vocalists) ages 16-29, who navigate mental health, for 8 weekly workshop sessions. The artists will be placed in three multidisciplinary pods to create original collaborative projects: a song with original music, lyrics and a visual piece to accompany the music. Skill building group workshops and conversations will be facilitated to explore methods of expressing ourselves. There will be project mentorship sessions with each artist/pod. The program takes place online and culminates in a public livestream event presenting the collaborations. Each participant will receive an honorarium for their participation." Parvai- Parvai $9,900 Parvai is a 10 week program that aims to equip underserved young South Asian womxn with artistic development support, professional tools and mentorship to help young creatives thrive while exploring and preparing for a career in the arts. Parvai will provide hands-on training in the business aspect of the arts including: effective communication, grant seeking and writing, revenue-generation models, and budgeting. Participants will be connected to mentorship with industry professionals from a variety of disciplines to provide further guidance and support in their artistic practice. It will culminate with a collaborative YouTube channel, social media campaign, and guided journal to support participant’s personal development and track their progress. Pree Rehal- DigiZine Program $9,900 The program includes 5 online zine making workshops for youth who are both 2SLGBTQ+ and racialized (BIPoC - Black, Indigenous and people of colour) to learn how to make their own digital zines. The workshops will be led by 5 community engaged artists, who are also 2SLGBTQ+ and racialized. Participants will get a $50 honorarium for participating in each workshop, a food stipend, access to Canva Pro for the duration of the program, and 25 glossy copies of their final zine! Priority will be given to Disabled, Deaf and HoH applicants. Rainbow's Pride in Scarborough- The Art of Expression $9,900 The Art of Expression is an arts-based project serving multicultural LGBTQ2SA+ youth living with disabilities age 16-29 in Scarborough. The Art of Expression will offer training from community artists to support youth to express themselves using arts-based methods. The goal is to increase a sense of belonging, build the artistic capacities of youth participants and decrease isolation caused by experiences of racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and ableism. The project builds in youth leadership and community engagement to support youth participants to become their own educators. We aim to reach youth in Scarborough who are also isolated and facing similar challenges. Saawan Theatre- Krantikari Playwrights Unit $9,900 We desire to create a playwrights unit for South Asian youth (ages 13-29) in Toronto. This unit will have five participants and two leads. Our goal is to create a program for South Asian youth by South Asian youth, in which each participant aims to complete the first draft of a play. This program will be for nine weeks and will cover multiple aspects of storytelling. There will also be an interspersed speaker series in which participants are able to have a Q&A with Canadian South Asian theatre creators. Our process will fuse North American and South Asian storytelling methods. Scarborough Youth United- Paint Your Story $9,900 Paint Your Story: Racialized High School Students’ Using Poetry Writing and Mural Making to Explore Mental Health is a three-month arts program that uses poetry writing and mural making to explore mental health for 15 racialized high school students in Scarborough. Led by four racialized high school students as Youth Leads and guided by professional artist facilitators and youth guest speakers, the program will support participants in using visual and written arts to navigate mental health issues. Participants will express their individual experiences through painting and poetry while unifying their artwork to create a mural that captures their collective experience. Scarbrite Collective- Malvern HERStory $9,900 “She’s from Malvern. What’s HER story?” Malvern HERstory is a poetry and mural art skill-building program for self-identifying female youth (ages 14-19) who live in the Malvern community. Over five weekly 1.5-hour online sessions, participants will work with the Scarbrite Collective to co-create a series of poems and images that reflect their own personal and collective experiences in the community. These works will be integrated into a mural design and painted by participants over five 3-hour socially distanced workshop sessions. Youth who attend a minimum of six workshops will be awarded an honorarium and certificate upon completion. SoundStock Academy- SoundStock Academy $9,800 SoundStock Academy (SSA) is an artist development program that provides disadvantaged black youth with the knowledge, tools, and access to resources to enhance their artistry. SSA will begin the program by facilitating a group workshop series that assists artists in discovering who they are, the type of music they want to create, and what their message will be. After completing this self-discovery process, we then proceed to provide participants with individual access to a recording facility, where our team of artists, managers, producers, graphic designers, photographers, and videographers will help participants hone in on their sound and creative identity. Student Art Spaces Canada- Student Art Spaces' 2021 Exhibition Fellowship $8,533 Student Art Spaces’ 2021 Exhibition Fellowship is a program designed around educating a group of 10 racialized, low-income and immigrant/newcomer high school students in Toronto and the GTA in project curation, networking and organizing within the Canadian art scene. The 5 week program will equip youth with the skills they need to network as creatives, to get accepted into art opportunities, and to organize their own projects as established artists. Participants will learn from gallery directors, fine artists, illustrators and community organizers around these three themes which will lead up to the final showcase exhibition, organized by program youth. The Flaunt It Movement- The Flaunt It Movement's Creative Internship Program $9,000 The Flaunt It Movement’s Creative Internship is designed for eight self-identifying young womxn artists who are at the exploration and early stages of their artistic career. It is a highly intensive media arts-focused program (photography, film, graphics) that allows interns to explore literary and performance arts to build their multidisciplinary talents. Each intern will be developing artwork for Flaunt-It’s Magazine production that compiles art by BIWOC artists and organizations while accessing workshops that empower them as social change artists. The youth-led virtual program provides hands-on experiences that demonstrate the power of becoming leading artists, activists and storytellers. The Hour Zero Foundation- Masterpiece $10,000 Masterpiece is a media arts program that will provide underserved Toronto youth with Cinema and Visual Arts courses, to advance education. Masterpiece workshops will be offered in-person for hands-on activities, as well as online, for in-depth courses on creative software applications. They will have access to professional cinema cameras by Blackmagic Design and other manufacturers. Moreover, the program will provide coverage for software application subscriptions. Furthermore, participants will engage in business workshops, that will teach them how to submit their independent projects to distributions such as Amazon Prime Video and create their own website to showcase their work. Toby's Place- Queer Body Equity Through Arts (QBETA) $9,900 The Body Equity program is a free, hands-on multimedia arts series that engages 2SLGBTQ+ youth ages 13-29 living in Southwest Scarborough to explore body equity through creative writing and screen printing. Prioritizing QTBIPOC and youth living on the margins, participants will navigate identity, personal development, embodied storytelling, and community building. For eight weeks, youth will expand their knowledge and technical skills in screen printing posters accompanied by creative prose, guided by mentorship from professional artist facilitators. To culminate the series, youth will showcase their art via a community art exhibit held at Toby’s Place and virtual art gallery. Tyler J Sloane- It's All Queer Pride $10,000 It's All Queer Pride is a two-part performance program that invites emerging 2SLGBTQIA+ youth artists to develop skills for solo-act development and career development as solo performers. They will nurture their performance arts-practice for both live and virtual stages. They'll be mentored by a lead facilitator, myself, two mentors (Kit Boulter & TBD BIPOC Mentor), and 14 guest facilitators who are active performers and producers within the Toronto Queer Nightlife and broader arts & culture community. Videatur Collective- Videatur Community Film Project $5,000 The Videatur Community Film Project offers a hands-on learning opportunity for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth in Toronto to learn film production and apply these skills in shooting a web series pilot. The goal is to provide a safe and inclusive environment for folks to learn about the fundamentals of filmmaking, including the basics of lighting a scene, camera operating, audio capture, and safety precautions. This allows youth to feel confident in their skills, and start building their network to help them seek work in the industry.


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