Platform A is an exciting pilot project and initiative that will test new models for collaboration and resource sharing in the youth and community-engaged arts sectors. Funding for this project is part of the $4 million increase in investment to Toronto Arts Council from the City of Toronto’s 2013 budget.
Platform A is a collaboration between four of Toronto’s leading organizations in community-engaged arts: Art Starts, Jumblies Theatre, SKETCH, and VIBE Arts. These organizations have all emerged from grassroots initiatives and have grown to become key community builders in Toronto’s arts sector, engaging thousands of children, young people and adults annually through their diverse, innovative and accessible programming.
“We are thrilled to be the catalyst funder for this important initiative,” stated Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO of the Toronto Arts Council. “These organizations are in an excellent position to build access and capacity for artists and projects that have the potential to transform lives and communities.”
The aim of the Platform A initiative is to fuse the strengths and experiences of the four organizations to support a shared vision of seeding sustainable, high-quality community arts practice, and providing increased opportunities and access to the arts for youth and communities. The project will create new opportunities through shared platforms, mentorships, organizational bridge building, and micro-grants.
“Throughout history, some of the most significant art work has been created by artists who live and create outside conventional frameworks, outside of the mainstream worldview. Each of the organizations involved is honoured to be partnering with the Toronto Arts Council to ensure a diversity of artistic voices can access support,” says Phyllis Novak, Artistic Director of SKETCH.
Through this initiative, each organization will solidify their roles as entry points for youth and communities to arts practice, funding, and administration. They will increase local arts capacity and the potential for ongoing arts activities and employment in neighbourhoods throughout Toronto. Platform A will also create opportunities for their youth and community-based constituents by connecting them to each collaborating organization and their larger networks.
“What makes this project unique is the commitment to ongoing dialogue and exchange that will occur between the four collaborating organizations, who will share best practices and methodologies as we develop our programs,” says Liz Forsberg, Managing Director of Art Starts.
Platform A is a key initiative that was developed in line with TAC’s strategic priorities to enhance support for Community Connections in local and youth-based arts delivery, and foster increased Innovation and Partnerships that will incubate new ideas and opportunities across all disciplines.