For Immediate Release: Friday, June 12, 2020
Artscape announces Together for Artists initiative to offer support to the arts community during COVID-19
Together for Artists aims to empower artists to thrive by providing support in three areas: relief, remuneration and recovery.
Toronto, ON – From lost income and gigs to cancelled performances and exhibitions, COVID-19 has had unprecedented effects on artists and arts organizations across Canada. To respond to this crisis, Artscape has launched the Together for Artists initiative, which aims to empower artists by providing support in three areas of greatest need: relief, remuneration, and recovery. To support the Together for Artists initiative, Artscape is committed to raising $5 million dollars to support the initiative, with half the amount raised through philanthropic contributions through the Toronto Artscape Foundation.
“Artists in our community have been some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and we saw that Artscape, as an organization dedicated to helping artists thrive, had a critical role to play in supporting the sustainability of not only our Artscape community, but the broader arts community,” said Tim Jones, CEO of Artscape. “Together for Artists is bringing together organizations and individuals to help provide much needed support to artists and arts organizations through COVID-19 and through the longer term sector recovery.”
Artscape’s relief efforts are focused on providing rent deferral and abatement for over 400 artists and artist led families and creative businesses in Artscape communities, and for 13 creative hubs across Canada through our advocacy work.
The organization has also been providing resources and learning to help artists thrive through free daily programming for creative entrepreneurs offered by Launchpad Learning Online. These interactive workshops led by industry leaders have supported artists in developing their creative businesses, so they can develop the skills and ability to thrive economically. To date, over 6400 people have attended these workshops and, as part of Artscape’s remuneration efforts, over 40 creative entrepreneurs have been employed to lead workshops.
Artscape is in the process of building a sector-led wayfinding platform called ArtsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts, with partners in the arts and culture sector from across Canada, that aims to build community resiliency and create an environment for artists, creative entrepreneurs and nonprofits to thrive. The platform, launching soon across Ontario before going national, will provide equitable access to resources, such as emergency support, funding, information, events, programming and social services.
Artscape has also been focused on providing remuneration in the form of paid work opportunities for artists during COVID-19 through its social enterprise, Artscape Atelier, which is dedicated to creating opportunities for artists to meaningfully participate in city-building. Through the Together for Artists initiative, Artscape Atelier is focused on transforming the GTA into a living gallery of artworks that matter in the present moment–with space provided by a number of sector leading development companies in the region and paid opportunities to create these canvases extended to local artists, designers and creatives.
With the goal of providing paid work opportunities to hundreds of local artists, Artscape Atelier has already solidified long-term partnerships with Dream, The Daniels Corporation, Lakeview Community Partners Limited. West Queen West Business Improvement Association, with more partnerships to be announced in the coming months.
Future efforts to support the recovery of the arts and culture sector include plans to award Toronto Artscape Foundation Launchpad Bursaries to creatives looking to launch or develop their projects and businesses at Artscape Daniels Launchpad. These bursaries provide access to much-needed facilities and equipment to develop creative work, including a state-of-the-art Digital Media Lab and specialized creative studio spaces in digital fabrication, electronics, woodworking, textiles and fashion, and jewellery and fine metals.
Artscape will also be expanding its Community Access Program, so that more arts and cultural organizations can access its many venue spaces across the city to host fundraisers and events to ensure the sector’s sustainability.
“The Toronto Artscape Foundation is pleased to support the arts and culture sector during this time of need through the many programs under the Together for Artists initiative,” said Jane Hopgood, Executive Director, Toronto Artscape Foundation. “We have already begun to see the positive impacts of these programs on the artist community and we are looking forward to supporting these programs through the recovery of the arts and culture sector.”
With the recovery from COVID-19 uncertain, Artscape is committed to running the Together for Artists initiative for the foreseeable future, aligned with the organization’s strategic goal of helping artists thrive.
Communications Manager, Artscape
Artscape is a not-for-profit organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities. Artscape’s projects, programs and services are designed to help creatives thrive while enhancing the communities around them to become more vibrant, inclusive and resilient.
Artscape is best known for its work as the developer/operator of a growing portfolio of 14 unique cultural facilities in Toronto—including community cultural hubs; multi-purpose creative spaces; artist live/work studio spaces; and 44 performance, exhibition and event spaces. Artscape’s work is accomplished through a range of social enterprises focusing on: real estate development; affordable housing and property management; performance and event facility management; makerspace management; entrepreneurship development; community animation and youth empowerment programming; as well as knowledge transfer, research and consulting services. Learn more at artscape.ca.
About Toronto Artscape Foundation
The Toronto Artscape Foundation is a charitable organization that works to increase the public’s understanding of arts and culture through its support of community arts programs, creative placemaking educational programs and access to arts and cultural facilities. Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, the Foundation receives support from individual donors, public and private foundations and corporations to undertake ambitious projects that positively impact the lives of artists and foster vibrant communities. For more information about the Toronto Artscape Foundation, visit artscape.ca.