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Meet Our 2017 Grantees!


ArtReach is pleased to announce the 33 groups that were awarded funding for their art-based projects for youth in our 2017 granting round.

This $300,000 in funding is available thanks to ArtReach's partnership with the Toronto Arts Council - click here for more info!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE NEWLY FUNDED ARTISTS For project descriptions of previously funded groups, see our website here.

Aliyah-Suvannah Burey - Reading Black Canada $5,080 Reading Black Canada is a program designed for racialized high school youth of the Jane & Finch area to explore expressions of spoken word poetry, painting, and drawing. Workshops will be held at the TD Engagement Community Centre, and a culminating written/ visual arts book of the work produced by the youth will be published and launched. A youth committee will be put together before the program beings to partake in decision making positions of the program such as, interviewing the lead artists, and helping to organize the book and launch.

Anishinaabe Community Spirit Dancers - Anishinaabe Community Spirit Dancers $10,000 Anishinaabe Community Spirit Dancers is a youth-led grassroots project providing Indigenous youth ages 13-29 opportunity to learn Traditional Powwow Ceremony, Powwow Style Dance, Regalia Making (traditional dance wear designed and created by members) allowing inclusion and healthy community relationship building while connecting with Cultural Roots. The program will run at Sketch Working Arts.

BABAE - BABAE $3,998.43 BABAE will serve as a safe space for young Filipino actors within the GTA to create and perform pieces that they can culturally identify with. BABAE is for young women between the ages of 13-24 who show a great interest in exploring theatre. The program will run at Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture and the Factory Theatre, and will culminate in a final performance at the 12th Annual Kultura Filipino Arts Festival.

BAM! Youth Slam - BAM! Mentorship Program $13,500 BAM! Youth Slam’s BAM! Mentorship Program is a spoken word artist development plan for youth throughout Toronto. This program will focus on building young spoken word artists’ talent and portfolios by providing access to workshops, teaching artists and performance opportunities. Workshops will focus on writing, performance and business strategies to prepare youth for a professional artist career. Youth who complete the BAM! Mentorship Program will have priority access to compete alongside the team at large youth competitions, receive a paid feature at a BAM! live show, and become a BAM! Mentorship Program Graduate.

Black Artists for Black Lives - Seventy-Two $4,720 Seventy-Two is a series of arts-based workshops that open up access to activism movement building through art and encourage social and political movement, provide direct-action insight and training, and develop community connections for Black queer and trans youth age 18 to 29. These workshops will be co-designed with participants and will encourage non-hierarchical, collaborative building. The structure of the workshops will be inspired by and will draw on the experiences that the collective has had as Black, queer, gender-variant, *disabled artists in the fight for Black lives and liberation. The project will run out of Sketch Working Arts and Children’s Peace Theatre.

Canadian Roots Exchange - Tkaronto: Stories of Home (Phase Two) $15,000 This project connects 140 Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) and non-Indigenous (majority racialized, newcomer, refugee) youth aged 16 to 29 in an arts-based facilitation training program that increases skills in mural arts and creative writing. These two art forms are powerful tools to unify diverse youth and promote reconciliation in Toronto. Growing on Phase One’s success, the project increases youth employment opportunities and deepens the level of arts practice by focusing on mural arts and creative writing. The program will run at Canadian Roots Exchange and the University of Toronto.

CANVAS Arts Action Programs - Speak On It $10,000 Speak On It is a 12-week spoken word poetry and photography program at The 519 Church Community Centre for LGBTQ2S+ youth, allies, and young people with gender/sexual diversity in their families. Youth explore gender, sexuality, consent and body image, creating empowering personal narratives through the arts. The project is led by youth, for youth, and provides young people with vital mentorship and support from LGBTQ2S+ artists, familiarizes youth with a variety of affirming spaces, and inspires social action through the power of the arts. The program culminates with a poetry showcase and exhibition for family, friends and community members.

Cecília Garcia - Next Stages $5,000 Next Stages is a series of free theatre-focused workshops that will work with 10 newcomer youth participants that have basic and intermediate English communication skills. This program will target youth that would like to become more comfortable in speaking the second language in front of people and hopes to hone stronger interpersonal and communication skills. For six weeks, youth will be mentored by performing arts professionals to work through personal challenges related to the acquisition of a new language and the adaptation to the new culture.

Hanan Hazime - Poetry ReRooted: Decolonzing Our Tongues $5,000 Poetry ReRooted is a series of workshops aimed at young Muslim women whose familial roots originate from non-English speaking countries. The workshop will give these young women a chance to explore their roots, and express themselves beyond the limits of Standard English by encouraging them to use their mother tongues to create meaningful poetry. Beginning in early September there will be six three hour workshops (one per week). The workshops will culminate with a launch of the chapbook and poetry performances to showcase the poets’ polished work to the public.

Ismailova Theatre of Dance - Leaders In Arts $15,000 Leaders In Arts will engage 15 to 18 newcomer youth and youth with financial need for a series of skill building workshops in all aspects of independent show production (creation, technical aspects, design, booking venues, planning and implementing of the outreach). Leaders In Arts will culminate in the final showcase created and produced by participants. This project will contribute to the integration of newcomer youth into the new city and give them art and leadership skills to create their own art pieces and art projects.

JAYU Festival Inc. - iAM 2017 $14,000 The iAM project explores the vital relationship between arts mentorship and the creation of safe spaces essential to sharing our personal stories. JAYU will facilitate leadership training to empower professional artists and youth participants from previous years to become arts educators for youth from communities facing barriers. As artistic skills will begin to develop, so will trust in one another, creating an environment where participants will feel comfortable sharing their own personal stories. The project will culminate in a rotating exhibition where the participants’ stories and photography will be displayed with profits going back to the youth. The program will culminate in a final event at JAYU’s 6th Annual Human Rights Film Festival.

Let the Silenced Be Heard - Let The Silenced Be Heard Program $9,218.57 Let the Silenced Be Heard is an 8 week intensive workshop series for 15 youth from marginalized communities, where participants will learn to express their experiences artistically through storytelling, music and poetry. This series is aimed at positively influencing the development of self, and helping youth understand the impacts of using their voices to implement change. Participants will create their own works, learn effective performance techniques, and will show their work In a final showcase.

Limitless Designs - Aesthetics Program $10,000 Limitless Design’s Aesthetics program offers youth ages 13- 18 a concrete platform to start their exploration in the world of aesthetics. This program will give youth the opportunity to explore and develop technique and skills in henna and nail designs. Limitless Designs’ mission is to create a program that will provide opportunities to explore new skills and improve upon current skills. The Limitless Design team of skilled artists will be working one-on-one with youth, to guide them through each workshop. Many opportunities will be open for those who would like to turn their artistic skills into a part time job or service.

Lolita Richards - Wee Bake $5,000 “Wee Bake” will be an eight week summer program serving youth in the West Hill area. The program will allow ten young aspiring bakers, ages 13-16 to learn basic baking and pastry art skills. Wee Bake will combine baking and basic financial education into fun activities. The program run at the East Scarborough StoreFront. Youth that participate will receive free baking supplies upon completion of the program.

Mashed Collective - The Living Room Residency $13,500 The Mashed Collective and The Torontonians, two powerhouse youth collectives, are collaborating for The Living Room Residency, a site-specific youth residency initiative. Youth will work together in teams to create the seven day Living Room Festival, hosted out of seven of their parents living rooms. Over 6 months youth will create projects to present at the festival- youth will start from project ideas and develop them through peer skill sharing sessions into full fledged multi-disciplinary creations. Youth will bring their parents into this process, to show them why art is important  while expanding Toronto's definition of where art can be made and who can see it.

Moonlight - Moonlight $9,835 Moonlight is an arts-based program for youth 29 and under who trade or have traded sex services for work and/or survival.  Moonlight focuses on storytelling through the arts. Throughout the program, Moonlight participants will create zines, podcasts and explore a number of additional arts mediums. In addition to arts programming, Moonlight also has guest speakers on legal rights, health and wellness, taxes and healthy relationships. Moonlight strives to be anonymous, non-judgemental and trauma-informed; all-gender and 2SLGBTQIA+ positive; anti-oppressive and anti-racist; anti-violence); and follow a harm reduction approach. The program will run through Sketch.

Patrick Walters - Under the Banyan Tree $9,145 “Under The Banyan Tree” is a 6 week writing and performance workshop series that will explore the history of poetry and storytelling in the Caribbean and help youth connect with their Caribbean identity and heritage through poetry and stories that have been orally passed down through generations, and literature that has lasted throughout our history. It is a celebration of youth newly connecting with a part of their identity that is imperative for their growth not only as Caribbean people, but as people in general.

Plate It Up Collective - Plate It Up $10,000 Plate It Up is a 10 month mentorship program serving youth, ages 14 to 19 years in the Scarborough East community. The project fuses culinary and ceramics arts together towards a culminating exhibition. Youth will increase their food literacy and skills in order to formulate constructive dialogue on food related issues affecting their community and using ceramics production as their artistic medium to respond to these challenges. The project will run at the East Scarborough StoreFront.

Rice Roll Productions - Invisible Footprints $10,000 Invisible Footprints is a multi-generational art exhibition that aims to showcase the impact and limitation of Toronto’s LGBTQ Asian movement in the 80s and 90s by engaging youth artists who identify as Asian LGBTQ to experience the process of historical and artistic research, art curation and creation, and inter-generational mentorship. Through facilitating meaningful dialogues among different generations of Asian LGBTQ artists and activists, this project will also provide valuable opportunities for youth to develop a sense of belonging by learning about their own history, which is often misrepresented or erased in the mainstream community dialogues.

Rinchen Lama - Made in Exile $10,000 Made in Exile is a theatre program for Tibetan youth to explore the stories of living in exile and navigating through our lives in diaspora. The program will consist of 6-12 Tibetan youth who will come together for three months of programming in Parkdale. Participants will get the opportunity to gain knowledge and exposure to theatre, work towards creating their own performance piece and at the end of the program will get the chance to share their work with their family and friends.

San Romanoway Revitalization Association - Can-Caribbean Dance Tour $5,000 Can-Caribbean Dance Tour will help guide youth-led, culturally appropriate, arts-based leadership programs for years to come. Thirty participants will be led through socially conscious performing arts workshops that culminate in a community performance and wellness event. Wrap-around supports will ensure healthy engagement through the arts. Wellness events will increase community capacity in accessing health and education systems in Toronto. Youth will co-design activities based on their interests and talents. The program will run in 2018 in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood.

Sounding Out! - Sounding Out! $8,095 Sounding Out! is working with women, gender non-conforming, and 2SLGBTQ+ youth to produce a science fiction radio play, resisting the narrative that radio has been succeeded by visual communications, and is now ‘dead’. The project will begin by teaching participants how to use equipment, encourage creative experimentation with writing and sound, and collectively produce a piece of radio/sound art. Influenced by speculative/science fiction, this project aims to provide a platform from which youth can creatively navigate the complexities of their lives and re-envision social political change through creation, imagination, and storytelling.

Street Voices - Street Voices Workshop Series and Magazine $15,000 Street Voices unites underground communities of artists and leaders to create new media networks shining light and giving voice to those who wouldn’t otherwise have an outlet. Street Voices aims to be the unifying source that connects the shelter system and youth services that exists in the City of Toronto all under one platform. The project will use writing, poetry and performance for homeless youth to feel comfortable to operate in an open learning environment. This round of the project will include a workshop series as well as the production of four issues of Street Voices Magazine.

Tasneem Dairywala - Bring to Light $5,000 Bring to Light is a stencil light painting workshop for 8 Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute students. During 12 weeks of workshops, the participants will design stencils inspired by images that they feel close cultural connections to. These stencils will be used to create light paintings in Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park, the neighbourhoods that they reside in. The neighbourhoods will be lit with the students’ stencils. This will both integrate the concept of the students’ place in the city and in the artistic expression of the city.

The Heard - Boom Bap $11,500 The Heard (formerly Spoke N Heard) serves young artists of color from throughout the GTA. The Heard will be hosting a program called Boom Bap, which offers weekly arts and entrepreneurship workshops, live jam sessions and monthly artist showcases to develop and serve Toronto’s underground music scene. In addition to holding accessible public workshops and events, The Heard, in partnership with the TDSB, delivers alternative in school art-based mental health programming. Their in-school workshops are aimed at re-engaging at-risk youth with academia and empowering them with tools to encourage leadership through community engagement.

The PATCH Project - PATCHwork Portfolio Development Program $13,500 The PATCH Project and their community partners are offering unique learning opportunities for young artists along the Eglinton Corridor - from Mount Dennis; Oakwood Village; Lawrence Heights; Thorncliffe/Flemingdon Park; to Kennedy. “PATCHwork” is a more accessible expansion of their Portfolio Development Program that draws inspiration from the rich textile history of these diverse communities while speaking to connections that the future Eglinton LRT will weave amongst them. The program offers unique skill development, exhibition, cultural entrepreneurship and civic leadership opportunities for youth living in areas in transition or touched by gentrification, resulting in cultural landmarks that will be celebrated by all.

The Truth & Dare Project - The Truth & Dare Project- 35MM $13,500 The Truth & Dare Project provides free visual arts workshops for young Muslim women in the GTA. The workshops aim to strengthen identity through exploration and engagement of the visual arts, build confidence, and create a sense of belonging amongst excluded youth. During this workshop series, participants will learn to shoot and process 35mm black and white film as well as create prints in a wet darkroom, with the intention of creating a conceptually developed final body of work. Youth leadership team members will gain experience in coordination, lesson planning, facilitation, curation, artwork installation.

Tianna Boswell - I Am My Sister’s Keeper $5,000 I Am My Sister’s Keeper is an empowerment residency that will use poetry, painting and makeup artistry as a gateway to confidence and emotional wellness for girls ages 16-18, residing within the Malvern community. Over eight weeks, youth will explore programming centered in an art space to include: painting as a form of self-exploration, self-care through poetry sessions, healing through music ministry and an artistic makeup tutorial workshop that will help to cultivate self-love and leadership.

Timaj Garad - Stellar (R)EvolutioN $5,000 Timaj Garad will lead youth through a workshop series focussing on an exploration of self-awareness, belonging and identity through spoken word poetry and monodrama playwriting and performance. Participants will examine how spoken word poetry can help unearth and process lived experiences that shape identity. Monodrama playwriting will be integrated into the series, allowing participants to design a more cohesive and multi-layered story using both theatrical and literary arts mediums. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to publish their work in an anthology and perform their pieces at a series end community production celebrating participants’ achievements.

Varna Media Management - Varna Media Management Film Project $5,688 Varna Media Management strives to provide underserved youth with a hands-on environment covering a number of departments involved in making a short film and exposing them to basic components of filmmaking and video editing. The project will cover the basics of using cameras, proper lighting, sound and digital editing. The project will culminate in a community film screening of the students work.

Visions of Science Network for Learning - The STEM Makers Project $8,900 Visions of Science Network for Learning’s STEM Makers Project focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) communication through mixed/new media, film and photography. Our project will serve youth living in within Toronto Community Housing communities. Meaningful engagement in STEM is important to the economic, social, and academic development of youth, yet youth from low-income communities are often faced with both structural and sociological/ psychological barriers to engagement. This project hopes to break these barriers.

Young Diplomats - The Ililta Project $9,970 The Ililta Project is a vocal training initiative for Ethiopian-Canadian youth living in the Greater Toronto Area. Youth in our community have huge amounts of potential but often come from low-income families that do not value the arts. As a result, most have no opportunities to engage in formal musical training. The Ililta Project fills this gap with a program that consists of weekly vocal technique and songwriting lessons, a series of community performances to showcase and practice skills as they grow, and studio sessions to gain some exposure to music production.

Youth Action Network - Mobilize Through Art $5,850 The Mobilize Through Art project draws on artistic expression to empower youth as artists and foster their community engagement through 3 phases: youth empowerment through music and poetry training, thinking critically through visual arts, and learning to mobilize through art. The project will serve youth ages 17-25 who face social and economic barriers and will run through The Spot in the Jane and Finch community.

Stay updated on their activities as well as future funding deadlines, other workshops, events and job postings by joining our mailing list


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