January – March 2016
“…an agent to bring us that attentive aliveness which makes poetry, makes art, and makes life worth living” ~ Adrienne Rich
Our winter session has seen the highest participation since 2011. We’re inspired to see people creating, connecting and living into the space. There are important moments of joy that deserve celebration and attention. We have been slowly learning to work with the Theory of Change, trying to establish the right indicators for our projected outcomes, and developing mechanisms to measure those indicators. We are seeking the right balance of being intentional with people promoting what is possible through the arts, yet staying present to where they are at and simply welcoming them to our community of makers. Our Open Studio in March was a sweet serenade of beautiful music and the launch of young people working together in the SKETCH Band!
We have been confirming direction for the Brand Awareness Campaign with Traffik centred on the theme: Art Transforms, and we’ve begun 20th Anniversary Celebration planning. We’ve conducted HR training around updated Violence and Harassment policies from the Ministry of Labour. The audit was conducted, the AGM held, pay equity process completed and the 2016 budget passed. ARIDO has chosen us for a pro-bono admin hub ‘redo’ with construction happening in the summer. SpaceShare, IG and 3rd Party fundraising are exceeding targets, which is helpful as we are behind target on grants. Overall we are spending considerable time reorganizing processes and systems to work more efficiently, enhance team cooperation and communication, and building a strong 20/20 Visionaries Major Donor Program to increase sustainability over the long term. Within the next quarter we will be preparing for the Strategic Planning Review process, coordinating for our 4th annual Rad Grad and 3rd A Show – all showcasing the art work and performance of the talented young people involved with SKETCH programs and collaborations.
Theory of Change Statement:
If young people living homeless and on the margins, engage and develop in the arts, they will increase their resilience and capacity to live well and lead creative and inclusive communities.
31 diverse activities
540 individual participants are recorded with 2713 total visits
379 new to SKETCH
136 returned from previous quarter
385 were involved in Engage and Incubator activities alone
127 came to all programs regularly (defined as coming 5 or more times to any program that quarter)
98 came to a specific program regularly (defined as 5+ visits to a single program)
While many exposures were made, only 20% came to repeat engagements. We need to clearly articulate what the benefits are to youth, to engage more deeply over a longer period of time. While we have a steady increase in participation in all areas generally, we want to keep watching how people are engaging and ensure they know what is available to them. At the same time we want to continue to build a robust skills portfolio so that when they do demand more, we are able to deliver quality skills enhancement that can actually lead them to future opportunities. This continues to be the ‘dance’ of being welcoming and accessible to all youth in order to get them into the place and participating, and being intentional and able to actually support their advancement into the world. We also want to balance our desire to connect people with the opportunities in order to ‘prove our theory’, with simply the desire to get to know young people, where they’re at and create with them. We want to create an environment of genuine relationships, not simply to move people through a process. Although we also do want to make sure they are getting the most out of SKETCH so that they can make connections/carve out paths for their futures.
The programs with the greatest number of individual youth attending were youth exhibiting, performing or vending at Open Studio (65), Art Hustle (62), Silkscreening (60), Live Jam (52), Visual Arts (48), CUE (44), and Beat Boxing (41).
Several programs were designed to connect with specific communities: the Young Parents Program, HOPC (newly-housed youth), Right to Dance and Weave (LGBTQ youth), and Gifted by Purpose (youth with experiences in the criminal justice system), for a cumulative total of 222 visits.
While the total number of exposures to SKETCH programming is high the number in contrast of people with deep repeated engagement is low. This suggests that while outreach efforts are working well youth still may not be aware of the benefits of repeat engagement.
256 youth, or 42% of all individuals filled out demographic information.
51% identify as female, 41% identify as male, 17% identify as two-spirit / gender fluid / non-conforming, and 11% identify as trans. (Totals amount to more than 100% because youth can identify in multiple categories.)
This represents great increases in the number of female-identified youth attending, as well as a much greater presence of trans, gender fluid and non-conforming youth. Both of these demographic shifts are the result of intentional programming to welcome these communities.
Demographics on ethnicity indicate that participating youth this quarter identified as European (35%), Afro-Caribbean (30%), First Nations (21%), Asian (10%), Middle Eastern (6%), and newcomer (6%). We are seeing greater numbers of Middle Eastern, Asian and in particular First Nations youth, which may be because of some strategic collaborations (the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and ODE) as well as a special workshop with a Two-Spirit Elder in Art Hustle.
ARTS ENGAGE Summary
- 251 individual youth x 561, 149 new
- 1500 meals, average of 30 per offering
- 30 Referrals made to wraparound support; 550 tokens distributed
- 2 Partnership Playground Orientation sessions: 17 youth and community partners
- 6 Easy-to-Engage activities: 13 youth x 13 visits; 8 of them moved to Incubate activities
- HOP-C Research project: 27 youth x 59 visits (workshops led by two peer leaders)
- Young Parents Program: 16 young parents x 48 visits
- 35 Community Partners engaged on various activities
- Open Studio: 64 youth in attendance and an audience of 125 members of the general public.
- Increased attention was given to building a comprehensive outreach strategy: including refining and updating the community partners list; strategic partnerships with specific youth serving agencies; and establishing a creative orientation for service providers to learn about SKETCH’s arts programs and initiate potential collaborations. While a full outreach strategy has been developed, we struggled to implement its components due to limited staffing resources.
- Early arts skill-building through Easy-to-Engage artmaking focused on self-care (enviro-arts such as plant care) or sparking interest in INCUBATE skill-building workshops (poetry, jamming, hand sewing, weaving, felting, collage, drawing, word games), usually led by hosts. Youth fed back that Easy to Engage artmaking fosters a program environment that is creatively non-intimidating; and that as a result they increased their confidence in the activity and increased their interest about possibilities in the arts.
- Two ENGAGE programs worked to support specific hard-to-reach communities of youth to engage fully: the HOP-C research project (supporting newly-housed youth) and the Young Parents Program. Both provide coordinated circles of support – childcare, meditation, counseling, and peer supports. This individualized touch is proving very successful in supporting youth to increase their resilience and stay engaged.
- A major highlight of the quarter was the end-of-session Community Open Studio event, which successfully brought out 250 people (youth who performed or exhibited, youth attendees, and members of the general public) to exhibit, perform, vend, share food, meet other artists, bring new youth to SKETCH, show off to friends, support each other, and generally celebrate youth creativity and artmaking.
ARTS INCUBATE Summary
- 261 individual youth x 826 visits, 161 were new
- 40 youth attended 5+ times, 6 (10+ times), 8 (15+ times)
- 42 youth attended 3+ times, specific workshop series (in either INCUBATE or PLATFORM), 77 (5+ times)
- Living Well in Toronto: 11 youth x 22 visits
- Kung Fu: 15 youth x 36 visits
- Visual Arts: 48 youth x 85 visits
- Silkscreening: 60 youth x 114 visits
- Right to Dance: 16 youth x 33 visits, 8 new (Platform Group Il Na Na)
- Writer’s Block: 31 youth x 75 visits (Platform Group Street Voices)
- Gifted by Purpose: 23 youth x 47 visits (Platform Group LIftED by Purpose)
- Music Recording: 31 youth x 57 visits
- Sonic Lab: 31 youth x 45 visits
- Music Live Jam: 52 youth x 85 visits
- Guitar Circles and Lessons: 23 youth x 46 visits
- Vocal Revolution: 19 youth x 61 visits (youth led)
- Beat Boxing: 41 youth x 88 visits, 20 new (Unity Charity)
- The drop-in and accessible nature of most programs allowed youth to expand their interests in varied art forms to see which one “fit” – youth fed back that this accessibility encouraged them to experiment, develop a wide range of skills, and often surprise themselves with where they found their creative inspiration. Drop-in style programming was nevertheless at times a challenge for facilitators, who found it difficult to lead sessions for a group of such varied skills and levels of commitment.
- More development by the program team will be done over the next quarters to develop learning outcomes for programs so that the skills development is clearer and a learning progression can be more easily tracked.
- Participation in INCUBATE programs also fostered stronger connections between youth and their peers, their facilitators and coordinators. Youth fed back that they develop strong relationships simply by working alongside each other, and that this initial friendly connection grows into genuine relationships, mentorships, and supportive relationships. Several youth in the program evaluation reported that the community they found at SKETCH was validating, accepting and affirming in ways that set SKETCH apart from other agencies – either by being welcoming to trans youth; by accepting youth with social anxiety who want to work in a quiet corner; or being a space where artists can simply explore their creativity in a self-directed way (i.e not having to choose only one medium, submit assignments, answer to teachers, etc).
ARTS PLATFORM Summary
- 179 individual youth x 1326 visits
- 61,000+ members of the general public were exposed to work by young people (60000 through INDIE88 PSAs)
- $1,275 income to youth for performances or art sales
- $7,864 income to youth for leading workshops
- $30,875 income to youth in arts grants (CUE grants and Shine Bursaries)
- Youth Facilitators: 187 visits by 11 youth facilitators.
- Youth Consultation: 9 youth x 9 visits
- Independent Studio: 37 youth x 115 visits
- SKETCH Band: 10 youth x 27 visits
- Art Hustle: 62 youth x 77 visits
- Market/Gallery: 65 youth x 78 visits
- Community Artists: 4 youth x 195 visits
- Acting Out: 26 youth x 90 visits, 74 social workers trained
- Weave: 7 youth x 35 visits
- VOID: 26 youth x 209 visits
- CUE: 44 youth x 61 visits
- Mentorship Sessions: 27 youth x 234 visits) includes emails answering questions and co-drafting grants, etc.) who are a part of 15 initiatives on the Mentorship Platform: VOID Incubator; Watah Theatre; CUE; Krafty Queers; Amelia Merhar Projects; Street Voices; Lifted By Purpose; the Jane Doe Smith Project; ODE; CANVAS; Ill Nana/DiverCity Dance Company; Power to Girls Foundation; Youth SOS; Sunset Services; and U for Change
- A quickly expanding group of emerging artists are identifying a need for advanced skill development that can support them to launch artistic careers. Youth practiced and increased their proficiency through Indie Studio, SKETCH Band, Art Hustle, Weave and the Community Artist program.
- Self-care and self-management are integrated throughout all PLATFORM programs. Youth connected, either one on one or in groups, with facilitators, elders and mentors who were able to share inspiring and sustainable practices for self-knowledge and stress management (stretching, music, meditation, reaching out for support from peers), building youths’ resilience and ability to navigate stress.
- PLATFORM programs fostered increased personal agency, direction and self-determination for youth, in particular through Independent Studio – only its second season, this incredibly successful program has connected more-established youth artists in all media with the supported time and expanded space for them to undertake larger projects in a self-directed format. Youth fed back that the program format was freeing and helped them to learn how plan art projects, follow through, complete, and share their work.
- Increased connections between youth and opportunities (education, employment, enterprise connections), and community networks, fostered stronger community connections. Several programs connected youth with opportunities to work toward sustainability or career options in the arts, such as VOID, Mentorship and the Market/Gallery program. In each, youth increased their capacity to launch enterprises, start youth-led initiatives, promote themselves as artists, apply for grants, sell artwork, or otherwise launch their next steps in the arts. Key to each of these programs was the tailored, personalized supports: all were either small-group or one-to-one sessions, resulting in individualized attention that genuinely and appropriately supported youth to examine and pursue the options open to them.
- The trend of having many programs and workshop series run by Youth Facilitators continued this quarter. VOID Incubator, Weave, Street Voices, HOP C, Silkscreening, Vocal Revolution, Sonic Lab were all lead by youth. For youth to participate in a session that is peer-led fosters strong connections, and inspires the workshop participant to imagine themselves as facilitators, and begin to consider pursuing their own leadership development.
SKETCH initiated a comprehensive Evaluation Framework, including formal feedback mechanisms from a wide variety of stakeholders: coordinators, facilitators, volunteers / placements, community partners, and direct feedback from youth. (Youth are consulted to evaluate SKETCH programs’ effectiveness through interviews and focus groups).
Through these channels, all stakeholders had generally positive feedback about the format (of 10-week program sessions, supported by a mix of hosts, coordinators and facilitators, in which youth can work in such a variety of media and at varying levels of experience, working toward showcasing work at a major public community event).
Major themes and recommendations include:
- COMMUNICATION: The need for better communication both internally (more program information shared between facilitators, consistent pre-brief, more detailed memo, a hosts check in every few weeks) and externally (an online platforms for sharing information, more program information online). The need for more outreach (and the understanding that our goals are very ambitious!).
- WORKSHOP SERIES DESIGN: Several facilitators spoke of how the inconsistent attendance at drop-in sessions can be a challenge to plan for, and that having youth at very different levels of experience or commitment can be difficult to facilitate simultaneously. This group recommended that project goals to be made explicit to youth (such as streaming workshops for certain levels of practice; both to advertise it to youth, and be transparent with youth about our overall program goals), which may motivate youth to come more consistently and engage more deeply. This would require a more robust Easy to Engage program to engage newer youth or youth who are at an earlier stage of experience.
- SPACE & EQUIPMENT: The need for better and more access to technology (laptops, software, cameras, etc) to more fully support all programs, especially Platform: marketing oneself, applying for grants, making portfolios, making music videos, and such all require a certain access to technology, as well as facilitators to support it. The continuing need for better visual arts storage and a better set-up of the project office. Hopefully the Digi Lab Gallery build out will address some of these requests
- ARTS Lab – SKETCH in collaboration with Toronto Arts Services, VIBE Arts, Work in Culture, Manifesto – wrapped up year one of supporting and tracking the journey of 5 young people to launch careers in the arts with focused mentorship and future options counselling. The project is renewed for another year.
- Emergence Equity Project – continues into 2016 with Courage Labs addressing Decolonization and Community Arts Jams later in the year – co-produced by SKETCH and Neighbourhood Arts Network (Toronto Arts Foundation).
- AVNU – SKETCH collaborates with 8 other organizations to offer youth coordinated skills workshops across Toronto through Open Badges. May wrap up in Q2 if no funding is procured.
- Platform A – SKETCH in collaboration with Jumblies Theatre, VIBEarts, Art Starts and CUE support and mentor under-represented artists. Just received OTF Grow grant to help support ongoing work. Ashow set for June 2016.
- Project Under Gardiner: SKETCH is on the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the reconstruction of 55 sections under the Gardiner Expressway into park and arts and culture space
REVENUE GENERATION Summary
- Team members and board members were involved in Brand Awareness Campaign meetings with Traffik landing on theme of Art Transforms and requesting a redeveloped contact strategy
- Secured corporate commitment from The Drake, Indie88, Holt Renfrew, and Waves Apparel in their support of the Awareness Campaign
- Team attended DX3 Conference where SKETCH was able to have a presence
- Coordinated exclusive PR interview with Community Artist and Free the Children – Post Media
- Coordinated SKETCH presence at Rotaract/Rotary Clubs of Toronto
- Developed relationship with CanadaRocksMedia resulting in 10,000 SKETCH monthly impressions
- Piloted new Lower Level/Program content-creation process to enable and enliven artmaking and art-maker images for social-media (Engage, Incubate and Platform images and stories)
- Communications Plan overall for Program is being reviewed
- Increased visibility for SpaceShare, its assets and messaging
Total Media Impressions: 360,252
Social Media stats detail:
“Followers” is how many folks have “subscribed” to our channels
“Reach” is the total number of impressions (exposures) all your posts make in a particular time. (Does not necessarily mean a viewer actually read the whole post, but that there was an “impression” and thus there was a chance of a read.)
“Engage” means the reader felt a connection with the content and chose to share, like or comment on the content.
- Program’s Facebook is enjoying fast growth in followers and reach
- Program’s Facebook engagement declined, but bound to reverse trend with content creation role piloted and confirmed
- Organization’s Facebook enjoying engagement growth due to Lower Level content creation
- Steady decline in Organization’s Facebook reach, will adjust by dramatically decreasing third-party event promotions (more than usual in Q1, and they rarely garner much interest)
- Instagram fastest growing rate of followers, will look to Instagram as principal social-media focus in Q2
Stats for SKETCH Quarterly (Community E-News List)
- 1,781 Recipients (April 2016)
SpaceShare–studio and admin hub rentals
- Revenue to-date: $31,000
- Overall SpaceShare is running well and is making advance and return bookings. Some conflicts about space rental time vs. program time are emerging. We are working to find a way to share the space for both purposes.
- Working with Pallavi and Team on all components of the SpaceShare section of the website
- No longer moving forward to secure classic “Preferred Caterers”
- Completed M/C overview for SpaceShare and handed off to M/C team
- Continued to finalize the set-up of Industrial studio. Audio and Ceramics are final. Developed specialty studio rental guidelines, checklists and staffing support needs.
- Supported first round of Finalize Partner types – Going well on all accounts, next submission deadline is May 31 2016
- Hired and trained two SpaceShare Rental Hosts. Developed a reference manual to support their shifts. This process can be applied to the Audio Technicians, Taste@SKETCH and any other human resource needs for SE
- Ironed out and implemented new Collaborative, Strategic Partner, and Community Partner Studio Booking Procedure to streamline communication and to create an easier procedure for people to follow
- T@S is on hold, waiting for the culinary program to complete program set-up and operations prior to exploring any enterprise. Justin/Rose did decide to take on one small catered lunch that will be on May 4th.
FUNDRAISING and INDIVIDUAL GIVING
- 23% of overall annual goal met
- $10,000 donation from the Kingfisher Foundation (individual donor foundation) made the difference
- 20/20 Visionaries Major Donor program under development with intentions of securing 20 people to announce at the 20th event
- December Grants received: Meighen-30k, Mackenzie-15k, RBC-20k (deferred to 2016)
- Jan-Mar new grants received: TD-35K, Canada Council Media Arts-20K
- 10 Applications were completed in Q4 of 2015 for 2016, all sizeable requests
- 8 Rejections from key larger granting bodies such as OTF and the Ministries. We will try for OTF again late in Q2 but funds would not be realized until the fall. SCEP has delayed releasing their new opportunity for funding until late May. SWC is working with us regarding our Continuous Intake proposal but it’s not funds for programming and again, wouldn’t happen until the fall.
- 11 Applications were completed in Q1. We’ve received approvals on 2 and rejections on 2 8 applications are scheduled for Q2.
- Overall our grants revenue according to our projections is on a decline. The need to build other sources of revenues is pressing. (See financial report for update on grants received against budget)
- Efficient Annual SKETCH Audit and AGM, 2016 budget approved
- Organizational Insurance with Ecclesiastical has been renewed and Directors’ Insurance and Liability has been renewed with a $200 annual increase
- Moved phone system to Vonage with new hardware and a reliable network with a cost savings.
- Connected with new contractor recommended by the Slaight Family Foundation for the soundproofing of Studio A, Studio B, and Control Booth in Audio Arts (work happening in Q2)
- New equipment sign out procedure implemented
- Reviewing and consolidating all SKETCH Policy, HR, Procedures, Orientation Manuals in Q2
- Using secured funds from Helleyer and Softchoice to outfit the Media Hallway Gallery and various media/ electronic needs
- Beginning to work on accurate monthly operations budget projections
- Some issues among team members with implementing standardized maintenance protocols. This is challenging given program activity and commitment to ensure space is left a certain way for SE clients. We’ll continue to work on this in Q2.
- HR consultant came to give training on updated Bill 168 Violence and Harassment policies as set out by Ministry of Labour. HR policy manual is updated.
- SKETCH has now registered for Police Checks. Staff and volunteers will be required to get individual police checks completed in Q2
- SKETCH redo – a design collaboration for the Admin Hub redesign with ARIDO and PERKINS & WILL: slated for summer 2016 probono
- Art Transforms – new brand awareness campaign will develop to launch in the fall
- June – RadGRAD; Ashow
And a tweet from a former participant….: