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ArtReach Toronto

  • Status:
    Project, Resource 
  • Main Communities Served:
    Youth, Youth, 13-29 years of age 
  • Main Catchment Area:
    Ontario, Greater Toronto Area 
  • Languages:
    English 
  • Arts Focus:
    Over the past five years, 2,400 young people have been engaged in over 90 arts initiatives and projects, funded by ArtReach Toronto, including visual arts, music, dance, theatre, writing and publishing, and multi-disciplinary arts including fashion design. 
  • Main Community-Engaged Arts / Arts for Social Change Activities:
    ArtReach invests in arts initiatives developed by young people living in vulnerable communities. ArtReach uses a “high engagement” grant-making approach, combining project-based grants with technical assistance aimed at building the capacity of individual grantees and organizations.

    In addition to providing one-on-one and group based supports to its funded projects, ArtReach provides workshops that are accessible to all young people in Toronto. The GOAL (Grassroots Organizing and Leadership) Youth Capacity Building Workshop Series was developed in 2007, in partnership with funding organizations and youth-led groups and organizations, to offer free monthly workshops on different topics of interest to youth. Past topics have included financial management for nonprofits, fundraising, grant writing, and models of youth work. The workshop series provides facilitators (many of whom are young people, or those that have been involved in grassroots organizing and project development) to share their insights and resources. Resources, films and toolkits developed as part of the workshops have been placed on the ArtReach website.

    ArtReach also distributes a bi-weekly newsletter entitled, “Post-it” that contains job postings, and information on youth arts events, trainings, workshops, funding opportunities and more. It is circulated to a mailing list of approximately 1500 young artists, arts organizations, funders and other stakeholders.

    Other innovative initiatives include a yearly “funder speed dating” events to connect young artists to funding organizations. ArtReach also holds a yearly event for aspiring young artists, community arts groups and entrepreneurs, between 16 and 24 years of age, to compete for one of three $5,000 prizes to put their artistic ideas into action at a live and interactive pitch contest. 
  • Mandate/Mission:
    ArtReach Toronto is a program designed to support arts initiatives that engage youth who have experienced exclusion in under-served areas of Toronto. A guiding principle for ArtReach Toronto is the idea that funding needs to be accessible to youth directly and it needs to empower youth by placing ownership of projects in their hands. ArtReach Toronto encourages youth to take the lead in defining what art means to them and what they need from the program to achieve their goals. Both the structure and processes in place at ArtReach Toronto represent a growing awareness that a new way of funding and working with youth is needed. From the beginning, young people have played a significant part in the development of ArtReach Toronto, and continue to be involved in the process. 
  • Additional Info:
    Over the past five years, 2,400 young people have been engaged in over 90 arts initiatives and projects, funded by ArtReach Toronto, including visual arts, music, dance, theatre, writing and publishing, and multi-disciplinary arts including fashion design.

    Vimeo Page: https://vimeo.com/artreachtoronto
    Youtube Page: http://www.youtube.com/user/artreachtoronto?feature=watch 
  • Main Contact Name:
    Shahina Sayani, Director 
  • Secondary Contact:
    Kate Fraser, Program Manager 
  • Phone:
    (647) 498-8525 
  • Main Contact Email:
    shahina@artreach.org 
  • Website:
  • Address:
    401 Richmond St W., Suite 350
    Toronto, ON  M5V 3A8 

Last updated on 2015-01-28 17:34:03. Photos credit of: Shahina Sayani - Submitted by: Shahina Sayani, Director at ArtReach Toronto