Search
Close this search box.
UrbanArts Toronto logo

Search

Search
Close this search box.

ABOUT THE Team

A small but dedicated team of individuals committed to positive social change in York South-Weston

Mick Brambilla

Interim Executive Director

Mick is excited to return to UrbanArts as the Interim Executive Director. He previously worked for UrbanArts from 2017-2021 as the Development Coordinator and Program Manager. He is an enthusiastic arts worker with over a decade of experience and expertise in grant writing, community outreach, research, and event production. Mick believes in the transformative power of arts in communities. He is an original collective member of Long Winter Music and Arts Festival which has received international acclaim from Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. He has also done development work for Paper Bag Records and the Canadian Intern Association.

Mick was born in Winnipeg (Treaty 1 Territory) and moved to Tkaronto/Toronto to complete his Master’s in Art History at the University of Toronto. He has been working in the arts and music community of the city ever since

Allinah Moroke

Operations Manager

Ms. A is a management professional who brings a wealth of international experience and a diverse skill set of over 10years to UrbanArts. Her strong educational background and commitment have established her as a key player in driving positive change and a broad range of abilities that greatly enhance her performance in her current position at UrbanArts.  
 
Her unique skill set, educational experience, and unshakable commitment position her as a driving force behind fostering resilient, flourishing communities via the transformational power of the arts. At the forefront of her career is a deep-seated commitment to using the arts and education to empower young people and communities. Her work demonstrates her dedication to make a significant impact; it goes beyond simply being a profession.

Rare

Program Coordinator

Natalie Chattargoon better known as ‘Rare’ is a multifaceted Toronto born and raised creative, passionate in community building, creative writing and photography. In the start of her career, she became a self taught 5x published photographer with work showcased around the GTA. Her art is featured on the Globe & Mail website, in the TTC & Pearson Airport in 2023. Rare faced many challenges throughout her journey that motivated her to strive for a better life. She believes in the concept of planting a seed & watering it daily. Her work focuses on spotlighting key social issues and expresses it through her many projects. Rare’s World is a platform where she hopes to help others look deeper into the mind, body and soul to find their ultimate purpose. Rare has a passion for working in marginalized communities to break down stigmas. She is truly a one of a kind, so divine and a hard to find individual.

Deanna Frank

Program Assistant

Fashion, art, and music are some of Deanna Frank’s passions. She is motivated, creative and bubbly. She is very enthusiastic about child and youth work and seeks to make a difference in the lives of children and youth of underserved communities through the arts. Deanna sees art not only as a means of self-expression but also as a healing medium and is excited to work with UrbanArts and spread light and love throughout the communities through the arts.
Shakkoi Hibbert headshot

Shakkoi Hibbert

Program Manager

Natalie Chattargoon better known as ‘Rare’ is a multifaceted Toronto born and raised creative, passionate in community building, creative writing and photography. In the start of her career, she became a self taught 5x published photographer with work showcased around the GTA. Her art is featured on the Globe & Mail website, in the TTC & Pearson Airport in 2023. Rare faced many challenges throughout her journey that motivated her to strive for a better life. She believes in the concept of planting a seed & watering it daily. Her work focuses on spotlighting key social issues and expresses it through her many projects. Rare’s World is a platform where she hopes to help others look deeper into the mind, body and soul to find their ultimate purpose. Rare has a passion for working in marginalized communities to break down stigmas. She is truly a one of a kind, so divine and a hard to find individual.

Board Chair

Karen Lawrence

Karen Lawrence is an Afro-Ameri-Canadian who has lived in Toronto since 1970.  She has leaned toward the Arts throughout her adult life, first by earning a degree in music education, then by becoming a self-employed cabinetmaker. After 12 years in the shop, she moved back to the classroom where she mostly taught woodworking and various computer applications. Now in retirement, and fully engaged as Secretary of the Board of Directors, Karen feels the work of the Board is to ensure that UrbanArts continues to plant the seeds of opportunity, water them regularly with a plenitude and variety of experiences, and record the culmination of the process to inspire others. The goal is to add depth to the quality of life of each program participant through shared experiences and to create a community of people bound in the knot of respect, appreciation, generosity and kindness.

Board Member

Lensa Simesso Denga

Lensa has over 10 years of Senior Management experience with  international and national not for profit organizations with strong expertise in Strategic Planning, Organizational Development, Human Resources Management and Employment Counselling. Lensa completed a Post Graduate in Development Leadership from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, along with an undergraduate studies in Business Administration, Applied Linguistics, and Communications. Furthermore, Lensa is Certified in Organizational Change and Learning, Women’s’ Leadership, Advocacy and Citizen Engagement, Conflict Transformation and Peace building.

Tevya Reids

Vice-Chair

Tevya D. Reid, B.Ed OCT

Tevya Reid is an innovative educator with numerous years of service engaging inner city youth across the Toronto District School Board.  Tevya’s varied experience in Community Development has led the TDSB as well as various Community Organizations across the Greater Toronto Area to seek his leadership and expertise.  His passion for the Arts and Entertainment has led him to a successful career working at some of Toronto’s premier entertainment establishments.  He holds a B.S. in Management from Xavier University of Louisiana accompanied by a B.Ed from the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Board Member

Alexander Shvarts

I completed a BA in Russian/Sociology and Honors in Sociology at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.  I completed an MA and a PhD in Sociology at the University of Toronto.  I was awarded the University of Toronto Open Fellowship from 1999-2002.  I have taught various Sociology, Crime and Deviance, and Race and Ethnicity courses at Humber College, the University of Guelph-Humber, the University of Guelph, the University of Toronto, and the University of Waterloo.  I am currently a full-time professor at Humber College, where I have been teaching since 2001. I have presented papers on Russian Entrepreneurs, the Russian Mafia and Russian Jews at several conferences (ASA, CSA, ESS, Kokkalis, EGOS) in Canada, the U.S., and Europe including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Boston, Anaheim, New York, and Lyon.  I have published a book based on my dissertation, Russian Transnational Entrepreneurs: Ethnicity, Class and Capital. I have published articles on the Russian Mafia in Contemporary Justice Review, International Review of Modern Sociology, and Michigan Sociological Review.  I have also published articles on Russian Jews in Diasporic Ruptures: Globality, Migrancy, and Expressions of Identity and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism. 

Board Member

Greg Gooding

Greg Gooding is a music producer and owner of independent music label G-THREE, he has worked in a variety of genres including Blues and Jazz. His credits include nominations and wins at the Juno Awards and Global Music Awards in the world music and jazz categories. Greg also serves as the director of the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund (AASF), a Toronto-based not-for-profit organization that supports young people in the Black community who are entering post-secondary school advanced music programs by providing bursaries, mentorship and performance opportunities.

Treasurer

Sapna Rajput

Sapna Rajput, CPA (she/her) joined the Urban Arts Board of Directors in November of 2022. Sapna holds a Bachelor of Business degree and Graduate Diploma in Accounting from Wilfrid Laurier University. She is dedicated to strengthening financial policy to expand the organization’s capacity to serve the community. 

Sapna currently works as a Senior Financial Analyst at Ernst & Young. She is a former writer for Sidedoor Magazine,  has authored financial literacy textbooks and has facilitated financial literacy workshops for students and community. Sapna is excited about the growth and transformation of Urban Arts and looks forward to continuing serving the members of the Urban Arts community.

Board Member

Earl Phillips

Earl Phillips has a passion for youth, community development and poverty reduction and has worked with both local and international non-profit organizations for over 20 years.  He managed a program with Canadian university interns in rural communities in South Africa, addressing education, poverty and resource scarcity.  With a background in operations and project management, Earl is continually focused on finding solutions to systemic challenges faced by equity deserving individuals.  Recent projects include the management of a 2-year poverty reduction project in Dufferin County, which assisted 100 individuals and families experiencing homelessness and other aspects of poverty. He has been a music performer, and also developed resource fairs, music festivals, and housing summits to connect community members with resources and opportunities in their communities.  Earl has presented at a variety of conferences including the CAEH’s National Conference to End Homelessness.  Earl has been involved with the Weston-Mount Dennis community for 8 years, including working with UrbanArts on a variety of projects including CultureShock (2016), and is a member of the Weston Writers Group.

Board Member

Mehran Rafy

Mehran Rafy obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Wilfrid Laurier University and has since obtained extensive experience in accounting, finance, and organizational leadership.  Drawing on his professional background, Rafy has actively engaged with children and youth as a JUMP Facilitator and through various work and volunteering activities. With an unwavering commitment to fostering creativity and enhancing cultural vibrancy in his community, he brings a unique blend of expertise and passion to the table. Rafy’s experiences have equipped him with invaluable insights and guidance to support UrbanArts and the community it serves.

Join Our Network

Sign-Up to receive our newsletter and updates!

UrbanArts Toronto logo