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Meet Our 2023 Grantees!

ArtReach is proud to announce the 27 programs that were awarded funding in our 2023 youth arts programming granting round!


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


Ana Luisa, Sebastián & Alejandro: 2023 DJ Incubator $14,650

The 2023 DJ Incubator is a four-month educational DJ program organized by Ana Luisa Bernardez, Sebastian Rodriguez y Vasti, and Alejandro Rizzo Nervo. Toronto-based youth (19-29) experiencing misogyny will participate in 6 intermediate DJ workshops and practice sessions, focusing on advancing their beginner DJ skills, learning industry-standard software and hardware (Rekordbox and CDJs) and understanding the nuances of event production. At the end of the Incubator, mentees will have a 1-hour live slot at ISO Radio and will produce a closing event where they will perform. The program will be held in person in Toronto.


Berma: Lost In Rotation $10,750

Berma will lead Lost In Rotation, a 10-week DJ program that aims to serve visibly marginalized youth in Scarborough. Participants will have a weekly space to hone their craft and learn hands-on skills from industry professionals. The program will focus on both the artistic and entrepreneurial aspects of DJing, building habits and skills to help participants pursue their own path of expression beyond the program. Lost in Rotation will take place in Summer 2023 at Laylow Brewery.


Camila Salcedo: Sewing Program for Youth $9,750

Camila Saceldo will lead Sewing Program for Youth, a 2 month professional development series of Wearable Art workshops for Latin American Youth ages 18-24 across Toronto. Held at the Oakwood Village Library in Fall 2023, this weekly program will focus on career development and learning wearable art making skills, including garment design and production. Participants will also learn about using wearable art as a mode of self-expression and identity exploration through a lens of body positivity


Chloe, The ReiQueer: The Dream Journey Cohort $9,000

The Dream Journey Writing Incubator is an 8-week virtual creative writing program centered around dream exploration, decolonizing our creativity and magic mediumship through writing, including: poetry, meditation, writing, and more. This program will be done through a trauma-informed and pleasure-centered approach that will be delivered primarily online through 2 hour weekly sessions that will have: writing workshops, activities, discussions, shared-reading, writing-sharing. Participants will also receive dream-journey supply kits with resources and tools (including The Dream Journey Manual, self-care items, shared reading material, dream journal and more).


Creato Community: Project CREA $14,500

Project CREA is a three-month hybrid arts entrepreneurship and community-building mentorship program that supports Toronto-based Latin youth to pursue and maintain creative practices and careers. Through art-making, mentorship, and experiential learning, youth creators will learn practical artrepreneurship skills guided by professional Latin youth arts facilitators during online and in-person sessions held at the Innovation Studio at Toronto Metropolitan University. By promoting project ownership, youth decision-making power, and holistic methods of individual and collective care, youth creators will apply this knowledge as they develop an independent creative project and collaborate in the conceptualization of their final showcase event.


Dear Ailment: Virtual Studio Sessions $12,750

Dear Ailment: Virtual Studio Sessions is an online program for youth artists (18-29) navigating mental health. From October to December 2023, three groups of three artists (Music Producers + Songwriters + Visual Artists) will collaborate on original pieces (for example, a music video combining all three arts disciplines) with access to mentorship and production support throughout. Weekly full-group workshops will explore various philosophies of creativity and artful exercises offered by guest artists, best practices for collaboration and navigating mental health through art-making. The three final pieces and one full-group experimental piece will be screened in an online event in December.


Desiree McKenzie: Connecting after COVID- A Poetry Workshop $8,500

Desiree McKenzie will run Connecting after COVID, a poetry program for BIPOC youth ages 18-29. Through sessions led by Desiree McKenzie, and guest artists including Dwayne Morgan, Britta B, and Joshua Watkis, participants will explore how poetry can be used as a tool in learning how to best connect with oneself and others, post-pandemic. Running weekly at JAYU studio, youth will receive an honorarium upon completion and the program will culminate with a showcase for their friends and families.


Ecru: Ideas From I $14,000

Ideas From I' is a free hybrid concept development program for pan-Asian photographers/ filmmakers 18-29 in the GTA with no formal training. After a 3-weekend summer intensive, participants will have a fleshed-out treatment deck and a micro-grant for their personal projects. In a partnership with Gallery 44, participants will receive an in-person lighting demo, as well as access to studio space and gear in Fall 2023. 'Ideas From I' will provide mentorship and learning opportunities in an encouraging and safe space. Our aim is to demystify industry knowledge and equip participants with the tools and confidence for self-expression.


Flaunt It Movement: Creative Internship Program- Cohort 3 $15,000

Flaunt It Movement’s Creative Internship is designed for eight low-income 2SLGBTQ+ racialized women, femme or non-binary artists at the exploration and early stages of their artistic careers. It comprises a highly intensive media arts-focused incubator program that allows interns to lead projects for our magazine publications while building their multidisciplinary talents plus entrepreneurial skills. After the primary six-week training incubator and magazine production, interns are offered to officially work part-time as interns by joining our team until the following summer.


Friends of CAB: Fibre Arts $7,500

Friends of CAB: Fibre Arts, focuses on learning practical textile/ fibre skills such as knitting, macrame, mending, sewing, and crochet. FOCAB Fibre Arts will support participants who are interested in developing skills in fibre arts. The project will run in Fall 2023. We will provide materials, guided in-person classes (hosted at the George Chuvalo Neighbourhood Centre), and informal virtual work time over Zoom. FOCAB is a community program for Black youth of marginalized genders (trans, women, non-binary, etc.) in the GTA. We provide educational workshops, social gatherings, and wellness supports.


House of Arts: Acting from the Ground-up $9,700

Acting From the Ground-up is dedicated to low income East Africans youths between the ages of 15-29. It is a six-week acting workshop series organized by House of Arts collective and facilitated by Tony Ofori. The workshop series is held in-person at Society clubhouse studio once a week (Every Sunday) from June to July 2023. Youth will learn about storytelling by using their bodies to express, methods to elevate their performances and break stories. Our masterclasses will teach them the business of acting, finding work, self tapes and building their portfolios.


INKspire Youth Organization: Emerging Artists Incubator Program $7,400

INKspire will develop a 6-month incubator program for the purpose of training and mentoring racialized artists (ages 19-24). The first six weeks will focus on artistic skill development–creative writing, spoken-word poetry, etc. and two weeks will be dedicated to professional career development- interview prep, funding opportunities, etc. The final eight weeks will then be dedicated to mentoring the aspiring artists through a final capstone project while working with INKspire. This component of the program will be overseen by a writer-in-residence that will work with the artists one-on-one and offer real world experience for aspiring writers.


Jayeden Walker: Rainbow Circus Camps $10,800

Jayeden Walker will lead Rainbow Circus, a series of camp programs that use circus arts to empower and mobilize LGBTQ2S+ youth towards confidence and a sense of belonging. Throughout each camp week, participants will be supported in building their repertoire of circus skills through daily group circus classes and workshops as well as through games and activities. The program will be hosted at The Redwood Theatre, a historic Toronto building that offers a physically accessible circus space, and have a specific focus on reaching applicants who may not typically feel welcomed in traditional circus spaces.


Joshua Watkis: WORD IS BOND PRESENTS- Filter Through Skin $10,500

Joshua Watkis will lead Filter Through Skin, a poetry program for young Black writers aged 16-24, consisting of online workshops and in-person coaching sessions held across Toronto. The program will run from June to August 2023, and will culminate with a showcase in the Fall, providing youth with the opportunity to share their work publicly. The primary focus of FTS is to break the narrative that Blackness is monolithic, and to centre ourselves as Black storytellers and audience members.


Kabenguet Youth Dance Troupe: KabenguetDance! $9,500

The KabenguetDance! workshop aims to involve Toronto-based youth participants who are finding their voice and space as indigenous youth immigrants in Toronto. There will be a series of 14 in-person workshops which will run from 3 to 4 hours every Saturday from July to September. The workshops will begin with storytelling of the Benguet Culture – history and values, module creation for instruments and dance, music training, dance training, practices and staged performance at an event. All sessions will be captured in videos that will serve as dance tutorials and uploaded to a Facebook Group.


KAMI serves five Filipino/a/x femme and non-binary youth ages 19-24 who want to develop their artistic practice and be immersed in their Filipino/a/x heritage. KAMI means we in Tagalog and short for kamiseta (shirt). Like a favourite shirt, KAMI strives its name to be worn with pride to define SINO KAMI (WHO WE ARE). Through a 12-week program, participants will meet for workshops by professional artists and field trips to expand their knowledge on multidisciplinary practices and diasporic Filipino/a/x culture. Participants will create art about their experience and present an exhibition at On Task.


Makers Collective: Play with Clay $14,600

Makers is a ten-workshop community art program held weekly that enables South-Asian youth in the Scarborough Village community to create ceramic art. Youth participants between the ages of 16-29 will learn pottery techniques such as wheel-throwing, hand-building, and glazing. The creative process and the final artwork will be posted on social media after each session to share with the community. The project will be hosted within various pottery studios within the community and there will be an online portion for creating a website portfolio to exhibit their work and create a personal brand.


The NExT program will serve Thorncliffe/ Flemingdon Park (Neighbourhood Improvement Areas) in partnership with the Flemingdon Health Centre (FHC). NExT will involve training a cohort of peer educators/ performers through theatre workshops led by Youth Peer Mentors and guest professional artists. We will deliver 10 weekly 2-hour workshops at the FHC. Each workshop will involve theatre training, discussion on community topics, scene creation, and rehearsal. Participants will showcase their artistic development by performing for local youth and stakeholders. Building off the success and buzz around our 2022 programming, this program will help build sustainability and local capacity.


Noor Khan: Process Lab- Arts Administrator Incubator Program $9,000

Process Lab: Arts Administrator Incubator Program is an eight-month educational arts administration program organized and facilitated by artistic director and producer, Noor Khan. QTPIBOC Toronto-based youth between 18-29 who have interest in art production and curation will participate in 6 artrepreneurship workshops and practice sessions. Participants will put this knowledge into practice by working with artist(s) of their choice from any artistic discipline (who also belong to one or more of Toronto Arts Council’s equity priority groups) to develop a project to add to their administrative portfolio.


Olympia Trypis: Pouring into Grief- Honouring Grief Through Resin Art and Harm Reduction $10,000

This program serves 10 youth in the Harm Reduction community, who use drugs (past or present), interested in art, and grieving youth. We will harvest and preserve plants, learn how to make epoxy resin pieces of jewelry or art with harvested and found materials. Learn how to finish pieces and put jewelry together. It will run for 11 weeks, one day a week for 3-4 hours. The program will take place at Sketch, 180 Shaw St. This workshop series has 7 different components spread over 11 weeks and aims to help people work through grief or memorialize a loved one.


One Mission Charity: The Rexdale FL Studio Project 2023 $6,200

The Rexdale FL Studio Project 2023 is a two-month, educational music production program organized by One Mission Charity. Middle school students that have little to no experience with music production will participate in 16 after school workshop/ practice sessions. Participants will put this knowledge into practice by creating their very own instrumental song and be able to download it as an mp3 for them to keep and share. The program will be held in person at Elmbank Junior Middle Academy in the Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown neighbourhood.


Rainbows Pride in Scarborough: Youth Voices vs. The World $15,000

Youth Voices vs. The World is an arts-based training project serving 10 2SQTBIPOC multicultural youth living with abilities ages 15-29 in Scarborough. Youth Voices Vs The World will offer 6 workshops/ training facilitated by community artists in different arts mediums (zine/ comic, book-making, casting/ molding, sculpting, and storytelling). The project will run from July 2023 - February 2024 at Children’s Peace Theatre and in addition to the 6 workshops we will facilitate 9 design sessions for participants to work on their zine/ comic or book and 3 planning committee meetings with participants/ mentors. In the planning committee meetings we will plan the year-end zine/ book showcase.


Saawan Collective: Saawan Playwriting Intensive 2023 $13,300

The Saawan Playwriting Intensive will be a five-day overnight intensive in August at an Airbnb. This program will serve five emerging South Asian playwrights from 18-30. We will ask participants to join the intensive with an idea for a play that they would like to explore throughout their time with us. Through creative writing exercises, technical explorations, and mentorship from industry professionals, the goal of this intensive is to give young artists a collaborative space to explore new ways of accessing their writing, gain career guidance, and leave the intensive with a work that has been further developed.


Sick Stories: My Body, My Story $8,600

This program will run for two hours once a week for four consecutive weeks. We will be using creative prose and non-fiction writing and illustration techniques to deliver an online workshop series for participants from the disability community. Each week, one facilitator, based on their artistic strengths and knowledge, will lead the session and cover themes and prompts of: writing diverse and disabled characters, writing to process trauma, illustrating diverse and disabled characters, and disability justice in literature and art.


Street Voices: The How to be an Independent Journalist Workshop $7,500

The program is a free series of workshops that educates equity-deserving youth with limited access to services. Topics will include journalistic writing, photojournalism, freelancing, public speaking, and networking. During the first hour of classes, facilitators will teach the foundations and practical skills of each topic; in the second hour, participants will apply those skills to an ongoing personal project. The series will be held at SKETCH Working Arts in October 2023.


Videatur Collective: Videatur Community Film Project 2023 $14,000

The Videatur Community Film Project offers a hands-on learning opportunity for Toronto-based BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth filmmakers to create their own short films with a $1,000 grant from our collective. We intend to provide a safe and inclusive environment through a series of 13 virtual film production workshops. Folks will receive filmmaking education, mentorship, on-set experience, community support, and the opportunity to tell their story. They will leave the five month program with a completed short film, confidence in their skills, and a network of supportive industry professionals and peers.


Vincy Lim: Infinite Skies Holding & Untouching Untouchable Grass $10,000

Vincy Lim will lead Infinite Skies Holding & Untouching Untouchable Grass, a 10 session rug-making workshop series for queer, disabled, BIPOC survivors of abuse. Held at the Pape-Danforth Library in Summer 2023, this program will teach the slow craft of punch needle rug-making, with participants incorporating elements of self-love and creating personas of who they want to be. The final rug artworks will be displayed in an exhibition, showcasing the strength of community and importance of having a space to exist and thrive.


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