Allie Harvey

Allie Harvey

Allie is ArtReach's Program Manager and has been a member of the team since 2013. She's also an administrator, database manager, grant writer, bibliophile, writer, and dog mom. She has a Bachelor's degree in social work with a focus on gender diversity studies and psychology, and her work is rooted in anti-oppressive practice, critical anti-racism, and processes of decolonizing. She has worked for and volunteered with organizations like Pride Toronto, AVNU, Social Planning Toronto, MyStand, Feed the Need, Community Care, and the Boys and Girls Club, among others.

grant review team

The Grant Review Team (GRT) reviews applications for funding and makes the funding recommendations for ArtReach. The GRT is made up of a group of qualified volunteers with extensive experience in youth engagement through the arts, and includes young artists and community workers from across the City experienced in a wide variety of artistic disciplines.

jessica bentu

Jessica is a Toronto based creative with many versatile talents. As a model, actress and creative director, she brings a piece of her in everything she does. Jessica has her Bachelors in Social Work from Ryerson University and uses that experience and expertise into Power to Girls Foundation where she is the co-founder. Power to Girls has a vision of empowering and engaging young Black girls in finding their purpose and self-worth. She is a lover of Afrobeats and hopes to become one of Toronto’s renowned female DJs.

Cassey Andrews

A competitive dancer through her teen years, Cassey was taught that dance is what feeling looks like and never lost the sentiment. After being a member of Canada’s national dance team, she quested for a deeper understanding of the holistic human experience, graduating with an undergrad in social work and a post-grad in psychotherapy. She spoke at the 2017 National Social Work Conference, discussing how art can be used as a conduit for incorporating spirituality in the helping professions. In collaboration with Cyndy Baskin and Shima Razavi, she contributed to the textbook chapter, Spirituality and Social Justice through Art: Creating Inspiration, Unity, and Action. Today, Cassey integrates her adventures in her private practice as well as in the ArtReach-funded, Pretty Wings, an embodiment program that she co-directs.  

Rinchen Lama

Rinchen Dolma is the Founder and Artistic Director of MADE IN EXILE. She is an emerging creative who uses different mediums of storytelling to explore the complex identities of being a Tibetan navigating exile-hood. She is a community arts practitioner who is passionate about engaging her peers in creating art for themselves so to become the next generation of culture makers. MADE IN EXILE is a past grant recipient of Artreach's funding program.

Lex Leosis

Lex Leosis' roots are in the competitive world of slam poetry and rap, and she has a notable spot in the Toronto underground scene. Lex has played on the same line-ups as Joey Bada$$, DVSN, Michie Mee, Maestro Fresh Wes, Drake, Jidenna, Miguel, and is also a trained and practicing teaching artist. She has worked for BAM! Toronto Youth Slam, Hamilton Youth Poets, Louder Than a Bomb Canada, and the Ministry of Education's program Experience Ontario.

Neetika Sharma

Neetika is a GTA-based dance artist who started performing at age 10. Born in Libya to Indian parents, today she actively works as an independent Kathak performer, creator, choreographer, arts manager, and culture & diversity advocate. In 2019, she received an ArtReach grant for her project, Katha-Ras Dance Lab. The 2020 digital edition of the project was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, and her community-focused work has also been supported by the Laidlaw Foundation. She has worked with renowned organizations like Fall for Dance North, Muse Arts, Theatre Oculus, North York Arts, Akumal Arts Festival, the Tortuga Escondida Residency Centre, DanceWorks, Caribbean Tales Media Group, and Nia Centre. Neetika has a bachelor's degree in Business Management from U of T and has worked in Arts Management for 7+ years.

Joshua Watkis

A lifetime immersed in the performing arts has made Joshua “Scribe” Watkis entirely devoted to the gift of storytelling. Through Spoken Word Poetry and Hip-Hop, he has taken thousands into his world to experience it as he does. Scribe has performed on stages across Canada, appeared on CBC and has even opened for the legendary Hip-Hop band ‘The Roots’ with ‘The Uncharted’ collective. Joshua is also an Arts Educator and event organizer, a Board member of BAM! Youth Slam, and a curator for the Roots Lounge Open Mic & Poetry Slam.

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