Toronto Arts Council forges strategic partnership with ArtReach Toronto and invests $300,000 to sup

Toronto Arts Council will provide $300,000 in grants to support thirty youth arts projects through a new strategic partnership with ArtReach Toronto, announced Claire Hopkinson, TAC’s Director and CE

“Investing in youth-led arts projects, with culturally diverse organizations, in Toronto’s inner suburbs was highlighted as a significant priority by Toronto’s cultural sector in our recent consultations and has also been long championed by This partnership with ArtReach Toronto is a direct response to what we know is an immediate funding need,” said Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO of Toronto Arts Council. “The partnership is a logical outgrowth of our longstanding relationship with ArtReach and will enable TAC to streamline the process by which we engage and invest in Toronto’s emerging artists, youth and under-served communities.”

On April 4, City Council voted unanimously to allocate $4 million in additional investment to Toronto Arts Council’s grants program from revenues raised through the Billboard Tax, an important first step towards realizing the City's commitment to $25 per capita arts funding. This strategic partnership with ArtReach Toronto, made possible with the new funding, is part of TAC's “Connecting Communities” priority.

Since 2007, ArtReach Toronto has supported local arts initiatives that engage youth in under-served communities, who have experienced exclusion on the basis of race, neighbourhood, language, newcomer status, disability, gender, sexual orientation or other factors. The organization is guided by the principle that funding needs to be accessible to youth directly and it needs to empower youth by placing ownership of projects in their hands. Approximately, 90 percent of the projects supported by ArtReach are youth-led. ArtReach Toronto provides training initiatives, such as grant writing support, mentorships, and workshops that aim to strengthen the community of young artists, youth leaders and youth-led groups working towards social change in Toronto. For more information, visit

“We are excited to work alongside the Toronto Arts Council to increase the level of resources reaching youth in communities across Toronto, and the investments that are being made into new and emerging art forms. At ArtReach, we are dedicated to supporting young leaders who create access to arts and culture, and those who promote equity and social justice for themselves and members of their community. We are inspired by the artistry and art-based programs that are being created by young people, and are excited to support the development of art in public spaces that is reflective of our diverse communities,” said shahina sayani, Director, ArtReach Toronto.

Through this strategic partnership, both Toronto Arts Council and ArtReach Toronto will focus on increasing access and opportunity for cultural participation for all youth regardless of age, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, geography or socioeconomic status. Together the organizations have set the following priorities: to promote youth mentorships in arts and culture; to celebrate diverse voices and activate arts programs in under-served communities across Toronto; to increase employment among young artists and excluded youth; and to increase opportunities for public art to be showcased by new and emerging artists.

Toronto Arts Council, an arm’s length body of the City of Toronto, funds artists and arts organizations across the city through its grants programs. In 2012, approximately $10.3 million was disbursed to 419 arts organizations and 272 individual artists following assessment of 1562 applications. Toronto Arts Council’s grant budget will increase to $14.3 million in 2013. Click here for Creating Value with Increased Investment in the Arts, a report which identifies and targets immediate arts funding needs and longer term programs and goals, created following the City of Toronto and Toronto Arts Council’s 2013 consultations with Toronto’s cultural sector held in collaboration with Toronto Cultural Services,, and the Creative Capital Advisory Committee.

Click here for TAC’s Priorities for New Funding, 2013 – 2016.

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