Live Arts is an expanding arts investment program that has developed from the Arts in the Hood initiative, a community arts initiative with a special focus on underserved youth and on transforming lives and building community in underserved neighbourhoods through various forms of art.
Currently, there are five streams in the Live Arts program: Live Arts Inc, Live Arts Innovation, Opportunity and Prosperity Partnership, Live Arts Mentor, Live Arts Apprentice and Live Arts Abilities. All program streams are designed with objectives that target goals of the Creative Capital Gains initiative and the Community Arts Action Plan.
Not all streams of Live Arts are implemented concurrently. The program streams being offered as well as the number of participating groups and organizations vary from year to year to align with the overall Arts Services programming goals at the time, community needs, available funding and other resources.
Live Arts Inc
Piloted in 2010, in partnership with Business Incubator and Commercial Economic Development, Live Arts Inc is a first step virtual cultural incubator for artists in the city’s underserved neighbourhoods and populations. This program seeks to be a model of innovation, excellence and leadership and aims at helping emerging, talented entrepreneurs develop the business and professional skills required to thrive, to be successful in their own neighbourhoods and beyond, and to give back to their communities, and mentor the next generation. It is also the first step for artists looking to build their careers in the arts and culture sector with some customized support and guidance.
Live Arts IOPP
Since 2010, the Live Arts: Innovation, Opportunity and Prosperity Partnership (IOPP) program has been developing partnerships with locally based and locally focused art organizations to carry out projects and programs in line with City objectives. The key goals are to :
1. Enhance the growth and sustainability of cultural infrastructure in locally based, locally focused arts organizations working with Toronto's underserved populations and neighbourhoods; and
2. Reach and positively impact underserved populations and neighbourhoods through partnerships with locally based community arts organizations to carry out innovative and authentic community arts programming.
In 2013, program participants are KeepRockingYou and R.I.S.E. Poetry.
Live Arts Abilities
Piloted in 2012, the Live Arts Abilities program seeks to build the capacity of underserved youth and young adults with varying abilities through the arts and creative processes. By partnering with organizations that carry out innovative arts programming and services, this program aims at providing opportunities for access and real life participation for this demographic segment; to enhance program participants' level of confidence by removing barriers and by facilitating everyday experiences that encourage inclusion, fun, skill-building, sharing self-empowerment and empowerment of others.
In 2012, the Guild Festival Theatre implemented an 8- week voice and speech training program with the objective of capacity building for four youth with varying abilities. To further hone their presentation skills, these participants acted as volunteer ushers and public announcers at the 2013 Guild Festival Theatre's open performances at the Guildwood Park.
Live Arts Apprentice
In 2012, Live Arts Apprentice was created to provide opportunities for aspiring youth cultural workers from priority neighbourhoods and underserved communities to further build cross-sectoral cultural management skills through a customized apprenticeship initiative. The goals of the program are for the Creative Apprentice to:
1) Acquire an overall understanding of a municipal culture operational framework and that of the non-profit partner organization.
2) Gain insight of the day-to-day functioning in a corporate environment and that of the partner community arts organization
3) Develop knowledge and practical skills to manoeuvre with ease in both operational settings. The overall goal is for the apprentice to build their administrative skills, navigating both worlds with ease, and at such, further promote arts programming and services that enhance the sense of belonging of youth, newcomers, and underserved populations and help them develop skills through the arts for their future work in the arts and cultural sector.
Live Arts Mentor
In 2013, a new stream Live Arts Mentor has been developed to specifically address one recommendation of the Creative Capital GainsInitiative, to "establish a program to support mentorships and partnerships cross-sectorally between established organizations and emerging cultural organizations, especially youth-led organizations, all across the city." This program also addresses one recommendation of theCommunity Arts Action Plan.
Key goals of the program are to:
1) Create the environment for success for smaller/newer arts organization that works with youth, newcomers and members from underserved populations by ensuring that the smaller/newer arts organization will receive customized mentorship from a more established/mature arts organization to co-identify gaps and take tangible steps to address them.
2) Enhance sustainability of the community arts sector by strengthening that ability of smaller/newer arts organizations to build their organization infrastructure (such as governance, programming directions, networking and community outreach, etc) by working alongside a more established/mature arts organization, to develop overall confidence, artists and/or managerial skills and knowledge with on-the-spot learning opportunities.
Current participants are:
1. Children's Peace Theatre and the Grassroots Youth Collaborative
2. MABELLEarts and MABELLEarts Youth Leaders
3. VIBE Arts, East End Art and East York Neighbourhood Initiatives