UrbanArts is a progressive, not-for-profit Community Arts Council (CAC)/Local Arts Service Organization (LASO) providing opportunities for diverse cultural expression, artistic development, training and employment to members of urban communities with a focus on youth in central west Toronto; UrbanArts focuses on engaging community through the arts; UrbanArts is an incubator for local arts, with a range of programs led by professional artists in visual, digital, culinary and media arts, theatre, dance and music. As the thread to weaves together generations, UrbanArts in the process of transitioning its delivery of programs and services to include the broader community with a focus on youth.
UrbanArts is committed to the goal of building inclusive, engaged communities by enriching peoples’ lives through the arts, culture and heritage, with programs, services and resources delivered within the former City of York boundaries, with a focus on York South-Weston.
Enhancing neighbourhoods by engaging community through the arts; beginning with a focus on youth, UrbanArts provides the thread that weaves together generations.
UrbanArts is a progressive not-for-profit local arts service organization (LASO) linking the needs of those who create/make art, those who engage the artist as an essential element of their own development, and those who support UrbanArts because it adds value (sense of identity, lifestyle, prosperity) to the neighbourhood.
“UrbanArts is committed to accessibility, equity & accountability through our innovative youth arts programs, inclusive space & diverse staff we are working to create an environment where all of our community feels welcome, safe & celebrated.”
Our strategic priorities are:
- Focus on High Density Communities – to serve neglected high-density communities in central west Toronto;
- Encourage Positive Cultural Diversity – to celebrate and encourage the astounding cultural diversity in our local communities;
- Focus on Residents Facing Barriers – to provide arts opportunities at a beginner and intermediate level to youth and the broader community, especially those facing socio-economic barriers, and provide an outlet for their energy and talents by creating pathways to excellence;
- Leverage the Experience of Professional Artists and Community Members – to allow professional artists and mature members to share their skills and knowledge with youth and the broader community;
- Beautification of High Density Communities – to beautify communities of focus through the arts and create an atmosphere that is beneficial for communication, celebration and commerce;
- Excellence in Community Arts – to provide quality programs and services that will allow community members to achieve their full artistic potential.
We aim to provide artistic activities for residents that will allow them to improve their neighbourhoods by
- improving themselves through skills training, high quality artistic experience and employment
- improving physical environments through artistic design
- improving fellow citizens in their neighbourhoods by spreading values of inclusion, diversity, civic and country pride and most of all critical thought
Role of Artistic Policy
The role of our organization and especially our citizens is to provide relevance and information to a population that continues to struggle for inclusion in the current civic/social framework. Our programs and, in turn, our residents, help show that culture in this city is not mono-cultural, is not meant only for the wealthy and does not only exist downtown. By providing experiences in art forms outside of the funded norm and by providing opportunities to residents who are oftentimes neglected or oppressed based on their race, gender, sexuality, religion, and/or income, UrbanArts helps the communities we serve and the entire city grow a cultural identity that will serve every citizen well into the future.
Impact Report 2015-2016