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ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION

Thirty Five years of impact in the York South-Weston community

Building inclusive, engaged communities by enriching peoples’ lives through the arts, culture and heritage.

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.

An environment where all of our community feels welcome, safe & celebrated

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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 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.

Community

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. Our programming stretches in reach to include 7 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. These are neighbourhoods that the City of Toronto has identified as areas deserving extra attention based on factors including economic opportunities, civic engagement, walkability and accessibility to green space and healthy food, and population health.

Our Statement of Purpose

Together, the following vision, mission, mandate, and manifesto values are designed to inspire, engage and inform the community we serve as well as keep our Board, volunteers, management and staff connected to our organizational purpose.

MISSION
UrbanArts is committed to the goal of building inclusive, engaged communities by enriching peoples’ lives through the arts, culture and heritage, through programs, services and resources delivered in York South-Weston and beyond. 

VISION
Enhancing neighbourhoods by engaging and building community through the arts; beginning with a focus on youth, UrbanArts provides the thread that weaves together generations. 

MANDATE
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. 

MANIFESTO
UrbanArts is committed to accessibility, equity & accountability. Through our innovative arts programs, inclusive space & diverse staff, we are working to create an environment where all of our community feels welcome, safe & celebrated. 

Land Acknowledgment

We recognize that the creative arts work we do and the people we serve are situated upon traditional Indigenous territories that include the Wendat, the Anishinaabeg Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations. The treaty that was signed for this parcel of land is collectively referred to as the Toronto Purchase and applies to lands east of Brown’s Line to Woodbine Avenue and north towards Newmarket. Weston is situated on what is commonly known as the The Carrying Place Trail.

We reaffirm our accountability to these Indigenous nations, and to all Indigenous peoples and communities living in Toronto or Tkaronto. We deeply respect Indigenous arts and voices and the role they play in enhancing our understanding and appreciation of our collective history and culture. In the spirit of peace, friendship and respect, we invite you to join us as we deepen our commitment to reconciliation through arts creation, performance and appreciation.

African Ancestral Acknowledgment

We recognize and acknowledge those of us who were brought here forcibly, notably resulting from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and, later, the Underground Railroad. Many segregated or unmarked graves of persons of African descent can be found throughout Canada. During Slavery, the burial of Black bodies was significant and important for Africans and African-Canadians whose humanity was often contested. This acknowledgement celebrates the sanctity of Black Lives and the importance of our shared history. Therefore, we honour and pay tribute to the ancestors of African Origin and Descent

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