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VIBE Arts

VIBE Arts-Cultivating Creativity, Engaging Community
Founded in 1995, VIBE Arts (previously known as Arts for Children and Youth - AFCY) is a charitable, grassroots, not-for-profit organization that engages young people from Toronto’s under-serviced communities in meaningful arts education programs.

  • Status:
    Annual Festival, Charity, Non-profit 
  • Main Communities Served:
    Children, Dis/Abilities, FNMI, Youth, Homeless, New Immigrants 
  • Main Catchment Area:
    Ontario, VIBE Arts runs 150+ school and community based programs in nine priority communities in Toronto. 
  • Languages:
    English 
  • Arts Focus:
    Visual arts, media arts, performance arts including dance, dub poetry, spoken word, theatre, music 
  • Main Community-Engaged Arts / Arts for Social Change Activities:
    We engage young people in multidisciplinary outreach programs that include visual arts, music, digital art, video, dub poetry, dance, drama and beat-boxing. In over 80 locations in the City of Toronto, VIBE Arts operates school-based and after-school creative activities. You can find our programs in schools, shelters, malls, libraries, community centres, hospitals, public housing and in churches. VIBE Arts’ guiding principles are “Cultivating Creativity, Engaging Community”.

    The programs we provide are tailor-made and relevant to the community. Participants get hands-on experience working in a youth-led environment. We use existing community assets, for example, we recently transformed a traffic roundabout into a community based mosaic mural. Inclusive and accessible, our programs are centred on social and cultural awareness. We invite inter-generational interaction and base our artful projects on communal storytelling.

    Youth Mentorship:
    VIBE Arts believes in youth mentorship. In every VIBE Arts program, we hire two artists: a professional arts educator and a youth arts assistant who is a developing artist. The mentorship takes place as they work together facilitating the planned workshops. Mentees are placed in program frontlines for up to three years and thereafter are prepared to become VIBE Arts lead artists.

    Community Sharing:
    Community Sharing is a consistent component of every VIBE Arts program. In our Community Sharing Programs, program participants donate their artwork or performances to social service agencies within their community. This celebrates the youths’ artistic achievements both publicly and communally. At the core of such a public sharing of artwork/performances is the belief that youth participants recognize that creative activity is a means to interact with and affect society.

    Professional Development:
    VIBE Arts offers professional development workshops for Toronto artists, educators, and community workers. We operate an Arts Educators Institute to foster long-term development of the arts educational field. This ground-breaking initiative invites arts educators from across Toronto to attend.

    BIG BAM BOOM! VIBE Arts Youth Arts Festival:
    VIBE Arts’ annual BIG BAM BOOM! Youth Arts Festival is a weekend-long exhibition and performance at the Harbourfront Centre. The festival is a culmination and celebration of the year’s programs. Conceived and orchestrated by VIBE Arts’ Youth Advisory Council, the event showcases the talents of youth from Toronto’s under-serviced neighbourhoods.

    Promoting our Work:
    VIBE Arts partners with Onestop Media to display the childrens’ and youths’artworks on video screens in TTC subway platforms. The projects give the children and youth opportunities to share their experiences and talents and have dialogue with the public through their art. 
  • Mandate/Mission:
    VIBE Arts' mandate is to engage young people living in priority neighbourhoods in high quality and accessible arts educational programs that are meaningful, relevant and collaboratively developed with community and education partners. VIBE Arts positions arts programs in schools and neighbourhood venues as a means of building community, and empowering marginalized children and youth to reach their full potential as artists and social contributors.

    Our vision is to enable all young people, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances, to realize and act on their creative potential. It is within the imagination that people can discover new possibilities. The arts invite children and youth to explore, re-envision and make new connections to the world around them. Through their continued involvement in the arts young people discover their role as cultural innovators who can shape our collective future. 
  • ArtBridging Section:
    VIBE Arts is interested in partnering and creating outreach programs with other community arts organizations. Because we are an established community arts organization, we would be interested in linking with other emerging or established organizations with whom we might share resources. In order to sustain our programming, we accept volunteer applications throughout the year. Our non-financial needs include art supplies, computers (both desktop and laptop), digital media recorders such as cameras, scanners, sound equipment and professional support with digital work.
  • Additional Info:
    The general model is to provide outreach programming and collaborative program development based on the communities’ needs. Our collaborative work in both priority schools and community venues is geared to further enrich young people’s lives through their art-making and communal participation. VIBE Arts' school and community-based programs are strategically and educationally linked. We work with children and youth ranging from ages 3-29, living in Toronto's under-serviced neighbourhoods including marginalized, special needs, homeless, First Nations, new immigrants. All programs are offered at no cost to the participants. 
  • Main Contact Name:
    Julie Frost, Executive Director & Artistic Director 
  • Phone:
    (416) 929-9314 
  • Main Contact Email:
    julie@vibearts.ca 
  • Website:
  • Address:
    401 Richmond Street West, Suite 230
    Toronto, ON  M5V 3A8 

Last updated on 2015-10-21 15:13:14. Photos credit of: VIBE Arts - Submitted by: Julie Frost, Executive and Artistic Director of VIBE Arts