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Toronto’s first network dedicated to supporting art-making in neighbourhoods throughout the city.
The Neighbourhood Arts Network, an integral part of Toronto Arts Foundation's Block by Block initiative, is an organization which actively works to enhance quality of life through the arts at the neighbourhood level by supporting groups and individuals which provide community-engaged arts programming. The Neighbourhood Arts Network invites artists, arts organizations and community agencies involved in community-engaged art to become members. The website is an important resource for the general public to find out more about community-engaged art-making in Toronto, across the country and internationally.
In addition, the Neighbourhood Arts Network sponsors in-person training sessions, networking sessions and symposiums. By creating services and support for community-engaged artists, the Network will make it easier to connect individuals, libraries, community and health centres, business improvement associations and many others with the transformative power of art.
Over 180 people from the arts, social and health services, community centres, funding agencies and more attended the Launch at Harbourfront Centre, hosted by Dan-e-o and Lisa Marie Dilberto. The Launch, made possible by support from The Dalton Company, Harbourfront Centre, and the Friends of the Foundation, included speeches from Claire Hopkinson, Executive Director of the Toronto Arts Foundation, Nalini Stewart, Board Member of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the new Minister of Tourism and Culture for Ontario, Michael Chan. Excerpts from the Network's 'Best Buzz' videos were featured and the crowd was entertained by Drum Artz Samba Squad and Clay and Paper Theatre's Cyclops.
“From street safety to reclaiming parks for community use to engaging disaffected teens, artists bring fresh, creative energy into Toronto’s neighbourhoods. We are working to help Toronto become a more creative and more liveable city and we believe community-engaged arts programs will play a major role in neighbourhood transformation city-wide,” stated Claire Hopkinson, Executive Director of Toronto Arts Foundation.
“Community-based arts help invigorate and animate the city,” said The Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture. “The Neighbourhood Arts Network represents a way to capitalize on the potential of the local arts scene to build more vibrant, liveable communities – communities where people want to live and work and businesses want to invest.”
Check out the coverage of the Neighbourhood Arts Network Launch by Zoom Media: http://www.youtube.com/profile?v=ck6wDRM2o3k&user=Zoomermedia#p/u/0/HUQvQX938MU
Toronto is buzzing with community-engaged arts activity. Projects and programs across the city are bringing residents of all ages together with artists in initiatives that are:
- visually enhancing the built environment of the city
- nurturing connections amongst diverse groups of people
- enabling the creative expression of personal and collective identity
- engaging residents in problem-solving around local issues
- cultivating community pride, and
- building transferable skills.
Many of these activities are concentrated in hubs dotting the city. Be it in a health centre, a community centre, an apartment complex or public park, neighbourhood arts hubs provide spaces in which people can come together in new and exciting ways and collectively engage their imaginations alongside professional artists. In order to discover successful models of neighbourhood arts hubs in Toronto, and to share this valuable information with artists, animators, politicians, city builders and others interested in creating an arts hub in their neighbourhood, the Toronto Arts Foundation commissioned a series of informative audio slides shows entitled Best Buzz.
Click here to check out the Best Buzz, Passion, Patience and Commitment: Advice from the Field, created by Liz Forsberg.
To promote and advocate the work of the Neighbourhood Arts Network members, we created a series of short videos of some of the wonderful activities taking place during the summer of 2010, demonstrating the incredible value of community-engaged art.
Click here to check out these fabulous short videos by Sarah Miller-Garvin.
The Neighbourhood Arts Network has been made possible by support from the Government of Ontario, Ontario Trillium Foundation, City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, and by the many Friends of the Foundation.