Dear Artscape Community and friends,
I’d like to provide an update on how Artscape is managing COVID-19, as we continue to follow the guidance of Canadian government and public health authorities to help “flatten the curve” and protect the health and safety of our staff, community and the public.
Based on announcements from the province extending school closures until May 4, 2020 and from the City of Toronto cancelling events, festivals and programming until June 30, 2020, Artscape is extending its closure of the following cultural facilities, effective immediately:
- All Community Cultural Hubs (Artscape Wychwood Barns, Artscape Distillery Studios, Artscape Weston Common, Artscape Youngplace and Daniels Spectrum) will remain closed to the public until May 4, 2020. Our Tenants and Owners will, however, continue to have access to their space should they require it.
- Artscape Performance and Event Venues, Artscape Daniels Launchpad and short term artist residencies at Artscape Gibraltar Point will remain closed until June 30, 2020. We anticipate re-opening these social enterprises on July 2, 2020.
These dates will be revisited pending further updates and advisories from governments and Toronto Public Health.
We realize that this is difficult news, given the financial hardship that so many in the arts and cultural sector are experiencing during this time. As a collection of non-profit social enterprises dedicated to providing space for creative people to thrive, Artscape is committed helping alleviate this hardship in whatever ways we can. We have started with providing some immediate relief to the communities we serve and will continue to explore what else we can do in terms of emergency relief. We are also directing our resources toward advocacy efforts and sourcing additional opportunities for remuneration and ways that we can ultimately help with sector recovery and renewal.
ADVOCACY EFFORTS TO BRINGING RELIEF FOR ARTISTS
Artscape is advocating on behalf of artists by reaching out to the federal government for financial relief. We’ve reached out to fifteen other artists’ studio and workspace providers across the country to work together to marshal our collective expertise and explore strategies to access additional federal government assistance. We are also looking at ways our partner organization, the Toronto Artscape Foundation, can help by raising philanthropic funds to support our communities and the broader arts and cultural sector.
COVID-19 ARTIST RESOURCES
There are multiple grassroots and government-led emergency funds, resources, toolkits and volunteer services being shared citywide to help provide relief for artists, freelancers and people most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, which are being announced almost daily. To help you keep up with all of this, we’ve compiled a round-up of these helpful resources for creatives here. Feel free to send any initiatives you’d like us to share with our networks to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FREE ONLINE PROGRAMMING AND LEARNING FOR ARTISTS
As we continue to brainstorm creative ways of supporting and engaging with our communities remotely, our creative entrepreneurship hub, Artscape Daniels Launchpad has moved its Launchpad Learning and wellness programming online and is now offering free Launchpad Learning Online and Virtual Wellness programs to help not only our members, but the broader arts community manage their creative practices and businesses through this challenging new reality.
We are continuing to work on other initiatives to bring further relief for artists, both within and beyond our immediate community of artists and arts organizations, which will be announced shortly. In the meantime, we hope you’ll continue to practice social distancing and stay safe until we can all come together again.