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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Liz Forsberg | cell: 416-935-0981 | email: liz@artstarts.net

 
Platform A announces the recipients of 2015 Toronto Arts Council micro-grants to support community-engaged art-making in the city.
 
January 28, 2015
 
TORONTO – Platform A partner organizations AFCY, Art Starts, Jumblies Theatre and SKETCH/CUE are pleased to announce the recipients of 50 new micro-grants made possible through City Council’s increase in investment to the Toronto Arts Council. This initiative puts micro-grants of up to $1,000 directly into the hands of emerging and newcomer artists and collectives who will benefit from seed funding to get projects started, to practice skills and to experiment with creative ideas that later become more fulsome projects.
 
The Platform A partner organizations received more than 100 submissions from across the city proposing a range of inspired, community-engaged arts projects. The successful micro-grantees will be working on such projects as creating murals with women’s shelter residents, developing collaborative youth video projects and producing and recording music and mix-tapes. What makes these micro-grants so important is that they are recognizing the artistic practices of those who have not previously been able to access funding for their projects.
 
The purpose of these micro-grants isn’t only to provide funds for arts initiatives across the city but to provide guidance and mentorship to applicants. The process introduces them to granting body structures all while giving them tangible experience they can springboard into larger projects. This was echoed by last year’s Arts For Children and Youth micro-grant artist Kiana ‘Rookz’ Eastmond who said, “What was amazing was we were able to get funding and do so well. I know that this will open doors for grants to come. These micro-grants are a great step”
 
“We are happy to be in a position to increase access to arts funding for newcomer and community-based artists through the Platform A initiative.  We extend our warmest congratulations to each of the recipients,” says Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO of the Toronto Arts Council. 
 
The 56 funded projects will engage residents across the city of Toronto in a diversity of art forms at a neighbourhood level. The following recipients were awarded micro-grants from the Platform A partners:

 
 
AFCY
Shashann Miguel-Tash
Pages on Fire
Jade Greaves     
Shiv Patel  
Tara Dorey
May Chook
Michael Nguyen
Conrad Davis
Oluwatobi Ajibolade
Jigme Phunkhang
Kobi Ntiri
Tina Nicole Austin

Art Starts
Jaicyea Smith
Janiece McIntosh
Adam Cohoon
Poonam Sharma
Elliot Pines
Kassandra Prus
Marjan Verstappen
Casandra London
Ashley Bratty
Candice Botha
Svitlana Ivchenko
Juan Carbonell

Jumblies Theatre
Toronto Wordsmiths
Faeghan Williams
Jonathan Vallely
Kristine White
Jun Yee Wang
Miranda Sharp
Mackenzie Konecny
Robin Sutherland
Katherine Fleitas
Julia Hune-Brown
Veronika Diaz
Nirven Armoogum
Pavla Uppal
Tristan Castro-Pozo

SKETCH/CUE
Alvero Muanza
Matthew Progress
Evan Moore
Bernice Chau
Lorena Torres
Loaiza Mapela
Simon Nguyen
Nathan Baya
Anthony Peawan
Oddane Taylor
Phillip Saunders
Gnarly Charly
Khalid Wilson
Pierre Bimwala
Huda Tariq
Tim Hunter
Andrew Nyarko
Alyza Bernier

The creative output of the 56 micro-grantees will be showcased at an event scheduled for June 18, 2015 at Artscape Youngplace.
 
Platform A is a collaboration between four of Toronto’s leading organizations in community-engaged arts: Arts for Children and Youth, Art Starts, Jumblies Theatre and SKETCH/CUE.  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. 
 
To follow the Platform A initiative on social media you can connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/platformatoronto on Twitter with the handle @pfa_toronto or across all media with the hashtag #platformatoronto.
 
About Partner Organizations:
 
Arts for Children and Youth (AFCY)
AFCY is an award-winning organization whose mandate is to engage young people living in priority neighbourhoods in high-quality, accessible arts educational programs that are meaningful, relevant and collaboratively developed with community and education partners. AFCY 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.
www.afcy.ca
 
Art Starts
Art Starts is an award-winning charitable, not-for-profit organization that uses the arts as a vehicle to encourage social change in Toronto’s underserved neighbourhoods. Bringing professional artists and communities together to work across all artistic disciplines, Art Starts combines the best practices of hands-on community consultation with a collaborative art-making approach and sound organizational and administrative support.
www.artstarts.net
 
Jumblies Theatre
In operation for over ten years, Jumblies is an inclusive and community-focused theatre company offering multi-year residencies, studio training, mentorships, and innovative collaborative projects.  Jumblies is an award-winning organization increasingly cited as a pioneering and inspirational example of art that embraces and intertwines aesthetics with social engagement.
www.jumbliestheatre.org
 
SKETCH/CUE
SKETCH is a nationally recognized, award-winning community arts development initiative based in Toronto engaging young people living homeless and on the margins, ages 15-29, from across Canada.  SKETCH creates equitable opportunities for diverse young people to experience the transformative power of the arts.  A project of SKETCH, CUE is a radical, youth-led, high-access arts support initiative enabling young marginalized artists to develop arts project proposals, produce, and exhibit their visions, within an intimate and supportive community framework.
www.sketch.ca and www.cueartprojects.ca
 
TORONTO ARTS COUNCIL
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 increased to $14.3 million in 2013.
 
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. 

Toronto Arts Council contact: kerry@torontoartscouncil.org, 416 392 6802 x209
 
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