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  • Writer's pictureArtReach

Meet ArtReach's 2019 Grantees!

ArtReach is pleased to announce the 30 groups that were awarded funding for their art-based projects for youth in our 2019 granting round. 


For project descriptions of previously funded groups, click here!

Adornment Collective- Adornment Stories $15,000.00 Adornment Stories is a community grassroots facilitation and mental health training program using digital media and adornment as relevant tools for connecting with youth and building their capacity. We connect the intersections of arts, education, and wellness. This 24-week wellness space prioritizes Black women/femmes. We aim to build the capacities of a cohort of 7-10 participants by exploring digital arts, media, writing, mental health, wellness, facilitation and body adornment. Participants will capture their stories, edit content, host a digital seminar and exhibit, facilitate workshops for the community, eventually graduating the program with a tangible certificate of facilitation.

Art Ignite- Youth Ignite $10,000.00 Youth Ignite will develop the visual arts skills of 15 low income, racialized, newcomer youth (15-19) living in Flemingdon and Thorncliffe Park. Over 42 weekly, 3 hr sessions, professional youth artists Tasneem Dairywala, Akshata Naik and Shehrbano Akhtar will use visual arts-based tools and one-on-one demonstrations to build participants arts skills in various drawing and paint media. The program will also mentor youth participants in developing and implementing their own workshops post-program. The project will run out of Flemingdon Health Centre beginning October 1, 2019, and ending with an exhibition in July 2020.

BASHY Magazine- Uprising $5,000.00 BASHY Magazine's Uprising is a five-week program from September 28th to October 26th for Toronto creatives with Jamaican heritage who want to gain print and digital publishing experience. 12 chosen participants between the ages of 18-29 will have successfully pitched a story on their application that they will publish while in Uprising. Working individually and collaboratively, participant's contributions will produce our issue “Diaspora:Canada”. Participants not only leave with practical journalism skills, but ones that transcend Uprising, increasing digital and print literacy and allow them to gain insight into the publishing. Uprising will be capped with an issue launch party.

Beautiful Minds- IDEA (Inspire, Design, Explore, Apply) $9,920.00 Our project IDEA (inspire, design, explore, apply) will take place in Scarborough for the summer and Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe in the fall, and winter. The project will focus on a program for youth between the ages of 13-29 developing painting skills. We plan on using yoga and mindfulness, to provide a self-care piece after painting. We are aiming to have 10-15 youth/session complete the 8 week program. This also includes an art night in the community and creating an online zine at the end of all the sessions featuring the work created by the youth.

Bidhan Berma- Lost in Rotation $4,950.00 Lost in Rotation will be a weekly program that allows up and coming DJs and producers of all experience levels to have a space to learn and create amongst peers and mentors. The space will be inclusive and open to all styles of learning in order for talented youth and young artists to feel comfortable and safe showcasing and workshopping their work to create a project that they feel proud of.

Camille Gordon- Speakers U $14,786.00 Speakers U is a 10 week program designed to help 10 young black males ages 13-29 living in Ward 3 Etobicoke-Lakeshore learn the art of oration. Participants will use the art forms of creative writing, spoken word, poetry and monologues to create their own allegorical story. Workshops will have a personal direct impact on the black experience and will address racial profiling by police. Through weekly communication & public speaking training, personal development workshops & mentorship from alumni of the program, participants will speak before a live audience at our finale showcase event.

Chris Ambanza- Take Everything With It $10,000.00 The “Take Everything With It” Project is a 14 month media project which will engage 10 youth in learning skills in media production including research, storyboarding, shooting and post production editing. Youth from Alexandra Park, one of the most marginalized neighbourhoods in the downtown core, will work together to create multimedia pieces that will shift the way we look at the community and represent the best parts of the neighbourhood. Youth will design and shoot one video and engage in the post production work. A final screening will take place at the end of the 18 months program for community.

CUE- CUE Art Project Program 2020 This grant would enable the creation of 25 - 35 individual art projects in multiple disciplines by new generation artists who live and work on the margins, and who face systemic barriers that preclude their artistic contributions to culture. CUE outreaches across the city to ensure artists can access the funding process. We conduct group info sessions, drop-in mentorship sessions, and individual grant-writing support 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 exhibits all work at their newly opened Margin of Eras Gallery.

Dynesti Williams- Tough Act to Follow $10,000.00 Tough Act To Follow is a live performance mastery program for music and spoken-word artists aged 18-29 who have limited access to professional live performance training. This intensive 12-week program will focus on what Dynesti calls the “three elements of live performance”: Self Care (knowing you, and taking care of you before you present yourself to others), Personal Presence (off-stage confidence through character building), and Stage Presence (transforming aspects of yourself into an authentic world class performance). This program will end with a showcase that will prove each participant to be a tough act to follow.”

Emmanuel Obuobi Jr- Community Film Project $5,000.00 The Community Film project will work with young people 16-18 over 12-workshop sessions to develop their skills in film productions. These films will focus on fundamental and quality productions. This project is about introducing participants to the aspects of film production such as creating a script, technical skills around shooting, lighting a scene, editing as well as learning about the various roles on set. Participant’s work will be showcased at a final film screening and will be made available on multiple online platforms or film festivals if they choose to go that route.

Enchanted- The Writer’s Room $10,000.00 The Writers Room is a 10 week writing program that teaches youth the fundamentals of screenwriting and story development. The purpose of this program is to give youth the real life experience of being a writer. Participants will learn from facilitators on how to write a script and a film treatment while having one on one support throughout the process. Participants will then work together on writing a group film project such as a pilot for a web series, short film or PSA. Participants will lead and work with a production team to shoot the project (pre-production to post production).

Faduma Gure- Not All Heroes Wear Capes $5,000.00 Faduma Gure will run Not All Heroes Wear Capes, a weekly comic book workshop series where black youth learn to create a comic book illustrating their experience on racism and microaggressions they face. The program will run from June 2019 to February 2020 at the Black Canary Espresso Bar in the Silver Snail comic book store.

Igho Diana- Stay Whole 2019 $10,000.00 A workshop series for Black/ Latina/ Indigenous women (18-29) to cultivate a personal writing practice as a form of artistic expression, self-care and creating community. This project will explore the use of oral and written storytelling, and other literary techniques: as tools for reflection, empowerment, and community building. Over 4 sessions, participants will develop skills through prompts, activities, and games; as well as practice the art of performance. The series will culminate with a weekend retreat; to pause, reflect and evaluate the ways in which we actively care for ourselves, and how that reflects on our respective communities.

Illumine Media Project- Illumine Media Lab $15,000.00 The Illumine Media Lab brings together a group of youth from the St. James Town neighbourhood to work with artists on both media analysis and creation work. Building on learning from last years’ Scarborough workshops, this iteration will give participants in our own neighbourhood the opportunity to both analyze themes in Illumine Media Projects’ web series, How We Grow, as well as to create and develop their own films. Illumine Media Project also will offer training as well as two paid positions to youth interested in working as part-time screening facilitators throughout the 2019-2020 school year.

Jessica De Vittoris- Music Spirit $5,000.00 Music Spirit is an interdisciplinary community art project based in Toronto. As a co-facilitator to this project, I aim to bring together four emerging visual artists with four emerging musicians. Through a series of outdoor workshops, each pair (one musician and one visual artist) will explore a creative process in which they will work together to design an instrument (ukulele, guitar or bass) that reflects core interests and essentially tells a story. The provided instruments will be chosen by the musicians. The collaborative approach will explore art as a tool for empowerment and community-building for youth living on the margins.

Learning Is For Everyone Foundation- Artistic Rise Collaboration (ARC) Program $9,999.00 The ARC program is a new initiative designed to connect talented young black artists ages 14-18 living in low-income communities with professional working artist (mentors). Over the span of 4 months ARC participants work alongside mentors to learn media arts techniques in a safe environment with their peers. During these months youth attend weekly workshops where they work closely with mentors who help them create professional bodies of work. The workshops are designed to teach youth how to plan, create, and market their own video productions. Every youth will leave the class with a professional credit and a working portfolio.

Lolita Richards- Wee Bake 2019 $12,999.00 Wee Bake 2019 is a 9 week summer program serving youth in the West Hill area. The program allows 30 young aspiring bakers, ages 14-17 to learn basic baking and pastry art skills. Wee Bake will combine baking and basic financial education into fun activities. This program is constructed on a registration basis and will run from Monday to Wednesday 12-4pm. Youth that participate will receive $50.00 in baking supplies upon completion of the program. I will utilize the Scarborough East StoreFront community Centre, which offers a free commercial kitchen space in Scarborough.

LOVE (Leave Out Violence)- Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB) Cares $10,000.00 Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) Cares is a spoken word program bringing together Toronto’s top performance poets with 6 groups of vulnerable youth ages 13-19 who experience exclusion and barriers to arts-participation. The artists and youth explore storytelling, the written word and performance. Artists mentor youth to write and perform poetry, form teams and perform/compete at Louder Than A Bomb. LTABCares focuses exclusively on youth who need extra support when excavating personal narratives, applying a trauma-informed, multi-disciplinary approach by incorporating the skills of our artists and youth/social workers. LTABCares works within a youth's plan of care, creating life-changing art.

Mandy Lam- Parkour Camp $15,000.00 Parkour Camp is a 10-week project for a group of female and non-binary identified youth in the Toronto Parkour community to become the best version of themselves through personal parkour mentorship and weekly group sessions for the improvement of their physical and mental well-being, guided by professionals. There will also be 5 beginner parkour meet-ups for marginalized groups facilitated by the core group.

Monica Fernandes- SOLEiloquy $5,000.00 SOLEiloquy is a 12 week program consisting of 12 workshops focused on character and skill development in young women ages 16-29. The goal is to encourage individuality through sneakers and krump by learning the foundation of the style that will then allow each dancer to create their own character. After identifying with their character, each individual will then customize their shoe to reflect their character and ultimately perform what they've learned in them.

Neetika Sharma- Katha-Ras Youth Dance Lab $5,000.00 Katha-Ras Youth Dance Lab is a dynamic youth empowering initiative that will bring together four Toronto based young female dancers of colour that practice a traditional dance form to work on a five day facilitated choreography lab with the intention of exploring lines, movements and grammar of Kathak dance under the context of personal experiences. The lab will culminate into a congruence of four different creative sensibilities into one dance narrative to be documented in the presence of a select audience.

Project 40 Collective- Diasporasian Futures $10,000.00 Diasporasian Futures is a month-long incubator interested in radical and speculative possibilities for the pan-Asian arts community. It features two streams: art-making (text, film, image, tactile) and space-making (arts management). Each stream will take 5 participants (10 total for the incubator) and offer breakout sessions, mentorship, designated studio time, and guest speakers. The incubator will culminate in an art exhibition, featuring the work of participants, allowing them to work tangibly toward an end goal over the duration of the incubator.

Samantha John- Reclaiming Herstory $5,000.00 Reclaiming Herstory gathers young women and femmes of diverse genders together to reclaim space through literary, performative and digital storytelling. This 10-week program will train 8-10 youth who identify as women or femmes of colour along the LGBTQ2SIA+ spectrum, in the art of storytelling through different literary techniques which they will then transfer to a digital space through the development of a podcast or personal journal. At the end of the workshops, the project will host a listening party where the community can gather to listen to participants stories either digitally or through live performance.

Shafia Shaikh- Turbulence $9,997.00 The E.W.o.C. (Equity for Women of Colour) Project is facilitating Turbulence II, a mixed-media storytelling workshop series for emerging artists, who identify as Muslim women of colour. The 11 week (22 hours) series will guide 15 youth artists to create a collection of pieces through the interdisciplinary practice of: illustration, poetry, and painting, and will incorporate re-purposing materials (such as wood panels, cloth, plates, pottery). The series will conclude with a gallery exhibition, showcasing the stories of the diaspora experience and disrupting harmful narratives.

Sydanie Nichol- The MOCHA Project $10,000.00 Sydanie Nichol will run The MOCHA Project, a community-led healing arts program for black, brown and indigenous mothers and caregivers ages 16 and up, committed to fostering safer creative spaces and alternative healing and learning environments for mothers and their families.

The Broke Gallery- RE:Telling $10,000.00 A 12 week zine-making workshop series, offering collaboration and a publishing opportunity for young, emerging artists who live and work on various margins of existence. The zine will feature stories and artwork by the participants, based around themes related to mythology, folklore and sci-fi (including subgenres/ culturally informed artistic philosophies, such as Afrofuturism). Each week will be lead by a facilitator teaching a specific artistic medium, while leading socially aware discussion around that weeks creative idea/issue/process. Participants will learn artistic skills, discuss issues in media, and walk away with the final, printed collection of their works.

The Brown Girl Diary- Brown Girl Diaries $10,000.00 Brown Girl Diaries is a program designed to help young South Asian and Indo Caribbean women explore their identities through spoken word and creative writing in order to develop a voice for their community, and self love through understanding the stigmas and challenges they, as brown women, face.

The Cyborg Circus Project- Our Bodies, Our Voices $22,976.00 Our Bodies, Our Voices is a storytelling and zine-making workshop series for 10-12 trans disabled youth aged 16-30. These youth will be engaged in a series of 10 workshops where they will identify stories related to their experiences and their imaginings for the future. These stories will be developed into contributions to a zine which the participants will produce, as well as curate additional submissions from trans disabled youth across Canada. The project will end with a zine launch which will be planned by the youth and include artwork display, performance, and celebration of the project as determined by them.

The Next Edition- At Dem Songwriting/ Song Development Workshop Series $10,000.00 A culturally driven songwriting and song development 10 week, 2-hour workshop series, that occurs weekly, for 10 participants 13-18 years old. The workshop series is grounded in personal growth, self-expression and fun. The workshop series will, encourage, guide and provide a safe space for participants to be comfortable enough to expand and express their creativity. The curriculum includes songwriting, storytelling, creating melodies and flows, self expression exercises, introduction to pre- and post- production and basic music theory and rhythm. Throughout the workshop series participants will also gain knowledge on the music industry and how to become an independent artist.

Yessica Rostan- Creadores: Communications Media Mentorship Project $10,000.00 The Creadores: Communications Media Mentorship Project is designed to foster youth engagement in art forms of writing, graphic media design, and communications project coordination. Nine (9) self-identified Latinx, Afro-Latinx, and Indigenous youth in Toronto, ages 13-29, will work collaboratively to create a Journal or Magazine (their choice). The finished product will artistically highlight the voices and experiences of the participants and other Latinx, Afro-Latinx, and Indigenous-to-Abya-Yala youth in Toronto schooling spaces and provide information for community about resources. This project also provides opportunities for participants to build employable creative skills in art and communications project planning, and arts workshop facilitation.


This $300,000 in funding is available thanks to ArtReach's partnership with the Toronto Arts Council.



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