For immediate release: June 30, 2020
artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts launches to help Ontario’s creative community access relief and supports for recovery during and post-COVID-19
New wayfinding and support platform for and by the creative community launches with call to others to continue to co-create and grow the resource.
TORONTO – Artscape, in collaboration with a number of diverse partners, is pleased to announce the launch of artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts, a new wayfinding and support platform created for and by the creative community across Ontario.
“artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts aspires to be much more than a central information hub” explains Tim Jones, CEO of Artscape. “It aims to really open up access to resources in an equitable way by helping artists better navigate through complex ecosystems and break down barriers.”
The collapse of the gig and service economies as well as restrictions placed on gatherings, concerts, performances and gallery exhibitions have had devastating impacts on the livelihoods of artists and the sustainability of arts organizations. Many artists, designers and creatives found themselves in an unprecedented situation; They needed to reinvent their businesses, figure out e-commerce solutions, understand and apply for government and other grants, learn new skills, access food banks, seek mental health support, among other things.
The process has been overwhelming for many as they embarked on understanding and plugging into ecosystems related to: funding, start-up services, health and social services, employment and income generating opportunities, and trade and service organization support. Lists with links to various programs began to circulate within the creative community but there was nowhere to find a comprehensive, searchable listing of resources.
In response, Artscape spearheaded the artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts initiative, with seed funding from the Toronto Artscape Foundation. The platform provides comprehensive listings of resources in a searchable database as well as interactive content such as webinars, learning events and info sessions that help unpack how to access resources. Categories of resources on the site include funding, work, services, knowledge, crisis support, and people and places.
Today, Artscape is sharing the artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts platform at artsunite.ca and calling on governments, funders, learning institutions, service providers and the creative community from across the province to continue co-creating this centralized online resource; They can share their content, such as programming, funding opportunities and resources to unite and help creative people and organizations better thrive during and after COVID-19.
With plans to launch artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts nationally later this year, Artscape’s goal is for it to be an independently run platform, governed by arts and culture sector leaders across the country. Discussions are underway with regional and local champions to assure the platform’s longevity as the go-to resource for Canada’s creative community.
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.