Scarborough Arts

Scarborough Arts is a non-profit charity and the only arts organization of its kind specifically serving the Scarborough community, working with individuals and groups to create and cultivate innovative arts and cultural programs. In bringing artists to the community and community to the arts, we deliver and promote arts programming and cultural initiatives for children, youth and seniors in collaboration and partnership with the community.

Scarborough Arts: Community Culture ConnectionOur Impact Why We Exist

Scarborough is a diverse community with a creative pulse and our lives are connected and enriched by all forms of art and culture in which everyone can participate. We strive to target all 10 wards in this vast area, and over many years of delivering high quality community arts and arts education programming, we are now greatly impacting Scarborough's eight Neighbourhood Improvements Areas (NIAs) of Oakridge, Kennedy Park, Ionview,  Morningside, West Hill, Eglinton East, Woburn and Scarborough Village.

Scarborough Arts is one of the City of Toronto's six Local Arts Service Organizations (LASOs), with an innovative community arts and arts education program model designed to bridge the gap between all artistic disciplines, and to engage the support from a range of cross-sector community partners who assist us in fulfilling our programming objectives.

Scarborough Arts' programs are mostly free and always inclusive, helping to build identity and community, transcending language, gender, economic and physical barriers that can isolate our constituents. We have developed a reputation of delivering programming in response to specific community arts and arts education programming gaps.

Supported by a blend of public and private sector funding, program participation grows year-over-year, up by 8%. In 2013-2014: We delivered 20 programs, in partnership with 38 cross-sectoral community partners, realizing a total of 1,990 youth, senior and young people program participants. We engaged 107 local performing artists (88% urban youth), facilitated 213 visual artists in exhibiting at our community exhibitions, and saw 4,650 audience members come out to a range of events, supported by 245 volunteers.

Our Story What We Do

History of Organization

Scarborough Arts (SA) is an evolving community arts organization serving Scarborough and east Toronto, with programs and services that support artistic growth and foster a culturally aware community. SA was established in 1978 with operating grants from the City of Scarborough and Ontario Arts Council to promote artistic growth in the community. SA has maintained a solid stable of programs for many years, and places great emphasis on its partnerships with other community organizations. SA has served the community through the arts for over 30 years and will continue to improve in the years to come, with fresh and innovative programs and services that enhance the cultural life of Scarborough.

Accolades and Accomplishments

Scarborough Arts is one of the City of Toronto's six Local Arts Service Organizations (LASOs), with an innovative community arts and arts education program model designed to bridge the gap between all artistic disciplines and the social services, and to engage a range of cross-sector community partners who assist us in fulfilling our programming objectives. Partners we continue to work with include the East Scarborough Storefront, the Toronto Public Library, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto's two school boards, and Native Child and Family Services.

Scarborough Arts' programs are mostly free and always inclusive, helping to build identity and community, transcending language, gender, economic and physical barriers that can isolate our constituents. We have developed a reputation of delivering programming in response to specific community arts and arts education programming gaps. Our youth program participants, in particular, successfully succeed at a critical point in their social development, and we break down the financial barriers to their program participation which can range from the ability to pay for programs, to affording a TTC ticket.

Supported by a blend of public and private sector funding, program participation grows year-over-year, up by 8% in 2013-2014: We delivered 20 programs, in partnership with 38 cross-sectoral community partners, realizing a total of 1,990 youth, senior and young people program participants. We engaged 107 local performing artists (88% urban youth), facilitated 213 visual artists in exhibiting at our community exhibitions, and saw 4,650 audience members come out to a range of events, supported by 245 volunteers.

Our Programs How We Do It

Bluffs Gallery: The Gallery buzzes with programming such as community exhibits; performing and literary events and workshops; installation art and sculptures extended to our surrounding outside grounds; painting and drawing classes for all ages; and members' exhibitions. We invite Scarborough's emerging curators/programmers to submit proposals for Gallery programming, providing them with mentoring, a small budget and marketing support.

Scarborough Seniors Write: This hugely successful seniors' writing program's next edition will see local seniors participate in a series of creative writing workshops, producing life-stories that will be compiled in a new anthology. Partnered with young animators, together, they will also develop a 3-minute animation, with the seniors doing the voice overs, thus memorializing their voices for their future family generations. In breaking down barriers of social isolation, this diverse group of seniors will gain insight into each others' cultures that will not only foster respect and understanding, but also allow for them to explore commonalties.  

Kaleidoscope: This intercultural after-school arts and cultural program for "tweens" is currently in the planning stage, with a program focus built from the information we gather through focus groups with tweens and their parents to determine the ideal program - programs thrive when tweens have input into program direction and therefore drop our rates are low. The program will launch it in September 2015.

EAST:  This mentorship and employment skills development program is targeted to youth 16 to 24 years of age and has, to date, included Spoken Word, Music and Project Management collectives. The EAST brand is now a program model for other local organizations planning initiatives for this target group.

The Big Art Book/ Annual Juried Exhibition: In its 30th Anniversary, the Annual Juried Exhibition will have a companion work, the fourth edition of the Big Art Book. We will also offer workshops, such as documenting and photographing visual art pieces, that will increase program participation/involvement.

Wallflower: This program makes a large impact in the community and beyond by displaying visual art pieces in unconventional spaces, in partnership with a local BIA, thus  providing connections between artists and business owners while enriching Scarborough's cultural fabric for residents and visitors.

Other Community Outreach Initiatives: Planned and pop-up exhibitions and readings in hospitals, libraries, schools and seniors centres;  artist talks; painting/drawing workshops and exhibitions; lunch and learns; and events and activities for children, all ensure our presence in the community-at-large. 

Participant Vignette

Seth first joined the EAST program in August 2012 after participating in the Scarborough Arts' 2011 urban music program Phase 2 and performing at Scarborough Arts' 2011 Bridging Festival. While participating in EAST, Seth joined Scarborough Arts as a Program Assistant summer student with the key responsibility of mentoring youth and providing guidance for the music creation and production aspects of the EAST program.

Seth articulated that EAST helped develop the skills and experience he needed to succeed:  “I like to collaborate with new people, meet new artists – just create new music. EAST allowed me to try new things in terms of music. EAST has given me new connections and has allowed me to grow and develop as an artist and person. I have developed new bonds with people.”

Now concluding his Ryerson University degree in Radio and Television Arts, Seth continues to perform  as an urban musician, focusing on Rap. His 2014 debut EP IX was called, "Hit making...  He doesn’t just make hits with replay value, he makes hits that slap you with an overwhelming dose of feelings." (HipHop Canada)

At 21 years of age, Seth has just released a new self-produced single titled Stitches and has taken his first trip to New York to meet potential record labels. Said Seth, "At EAST, I also appreciated learning about the business side and what it takes to put things together and I can go into a business meeting with confidence.”

Scarborough Seniors WriteWhat You Can Do

The Scarborough communty is fully engaged with our community arts and arts education programming! Here are the highlights:

EAST: This mentorship and employment skills development program is targeted to youth 16 to 24 years of age and has, to date, included Spoken Word, Music and Project Management collectives. The EAST brand has become a program model for other local organizations planning initiatives for this target group. With support from the Toronto Foundation Vital Youth/Playing for Keeps grant stream and other donors, the fall of 2015 will see us launch ANIMATING DEMOCRACY, a unique and empowering program that engages youth to explore their community issues that matter to them (poverty, homelessness, youth unemployment, accessibility, homophobia, racism, and youth-on-youth violence) through video documentary and photojournalism. The program will teach skills in critical thinking, curating, digital documentation, post-production, research and script writing, and collaboration that - combined with mentorship, guidance and structure -  will lead to a high-quality work product. EAST costs $3250 per participant.

SCARBOROUGH SENIORS WRITE: The 2016 edition of this hugely successful seniors' writing program will see local Tamal and Caribbean seniors participate in a series of creative writing workshops, producing life-stories that will be compiled into a new anthology. Partnered with young illustrators, together they will develop anthology of work. In breaking down barriers ofsocial isolation, this diverse group of seniors will gain insight into each others' cultures that will not only foster respect and understanding, but also allow for them to explore commonalties. For every $2000, we can engage 4 additional seniors. 

Visit our web site to find out about our other programs!

Contact

Frances Shakov
Executive Director
416.698.7322
Charitable Number: 132689704RR0001

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