Maintenance and Orientation Strategy
Administration and Special Projects
Revenue Generation/Social Enterprise Development
Admin Hub Deficiencies Plan
Public Relations & Communications Support:
Executive Assistant Administration Support:
Research and Impact Statement
Welcome and Wayfinding
Youth Participation and Profile
Dab It/Cross Hatch It
Adventures In Sound
Seeds of Creativity
Turn Up Your Volume
Wooden It Be Nice
Pottery Road Collective
Community Artists Program
SKETCH Youth as Program Facilitators
Connect to Youth/Acting Out
SKETCH as Learning Organization
Program Development and Evaluation
Individual Giving and Third Party Initiatives
Marketing and Communications
“The Chief was there to consult with his people so that everything moved smoothly in the community because we worked in a circle.”
–Corleigh Powderface of the Stoney Nakoda
SKETCH has the opportunity to significantly impact on thousands of young people who are facing barriers because of poverty and other forms of marginalization. This quarter has been about sinking into the space, practicing and learning how to use the resources we have to reach out, partner, teach and build a safe infrastructure for all of us to learn and grow.
SKETCH continues to practice a new iteration of our program engagement framework. Youth are welcomed into programs through orientations, tours and community outreach activities. Through 10-week artistic-development sessions in a wide range of media (visual arts, fibre arts, silkscreening, music, creative writing, movement, ceramics, enviro and culinary arts), young people engage in artistic discovery and skills development in the arts that lead to opportunities in leadership, arts-career development, education, employment and social activism.
The start of the new year brought new vigour in terms of finishing off the studio spaces and establishing real guidelines for operating in the a shared SE and Programming space. During this quarter we focused on role definition, and what areas and staff responsibilities Operations, SE, and Program manage.
During this quarter there were several developments within the studios elevating them to a more rentable/ program operational space.
With the studios and spaces in constant use now there does seem to be some concern in terms of security and accountability in renters managing their own spaces on a close down, etc. The procedures, guidelines, and protocols will be finished in Q2 since there is a dire need for them to regulate the space. There are documents now that show some protocol as adopted by Program and SE however we need an overall procedures-and-guidelines document that covers all spaces for all departments.
The new year also brought the long overdue installation of the Living Wall donated by My City Gardener and maintained by InSitu Plants. The wall was donated by Audrey Flanders from discovering our environmental arts program. InSitu Plants wanted to try and test out new methods in maintaining and creating a new living wall system. Naturally the partnership was symbiotic and organic.
With the addition of the living wall, a lot of considerations were actioned into place to insure that the structure was in line with health and safety codes, and that it would not damage any of the pre-existing building structures in place. The wall needed a watertight trough (in order to recycle the plant water) the foundation for which had been built during the space’s construction. The second element was the addition of specialty grow lights that needed to be a certain brand of UV lighting, specifically 175 Watts Metal Halide lights.
Unfortunately the trough that was built for the Living Wall was not well sealed by the initial contractors and was not watertight. An addition was made to the trough through a custom-built water-tight acrylic box to retain water for the wall and to maintain the flow of water by cycling the water through the system.The living wall is doing quite well with regular upkeep courtesy of the Environmental Arts Program.
At the end of the quarter it became more apparent that, due to the frequency of equipment and furniture breakages, a need for a general space orientation for new facilitators is necessary.
One case study leading to this decision was the 2014 Q4 Open Studio. Facilitators were responsible for the set up of their individual areas to showcase the work that participants created during the module. During set up, one of the facilitators decided to move the lighting on the tracks that hang in the media gallery area. Instead of unclipping and removing the light and moving it to the proper location, the facilitator decided to push the light down the rail with force. This caused a massive surge and a small electrical fire which was contained when the breaker blew.
Not only was this incident a health and safety risk (the facilitator and surrounding participants were exposed to a shower of sparks and smoke), it was also a very costly mistake which impacted the operations budget needlessly: the entire section of the track needed to be replaced, and the one damaged light needed to be removed and discarded.
To ensure that these situations do not happen again, it is suggested a formal induction and orientation be presented to all new facilitators, volunteers, CAs, and staff using the Lower Level Studios. Currently, Program only gives new space users a tour of the space facilities, and does not cover health and safety, IE., showing where fire exits are, where first-aid boxes are kept, where fire extinguishers are, etc.
This general overview would cover how to use the thermostat and how air flow works in the studios, off-limits procedures such as moving lighting stuctures and using the south entrance for deliveries. A more formal Studio Specific Orientation should occur on a case-by-case basis.
This full orientation is currently being developed and will be completed in Q2.
Silk Screening Studio, Audio Arts Studio, Industrial Arts
There was focus during Q1 in setting up the Silk Screening Studio, Audio Arts Studio and Industrial Arts for SE purposes, and to begin running programming out of these areas.
Silk Screening Studio
It was agreed through the ED and SE that Genvieve Joudin would be hired to oversee the silk screening studio. Genvieve worked for the print studio at 401 Richmond as a technician for quite a long time and is an avid printmaking artist. She is extremely skilled and knowledgeable in this area and would ensure the best set up of the space. Staff worked closely with Genvieve helping her create signage and facilitated what she needed to purchase and kept her organized in terms of managing her budget. Genvieve:
Rosa’s new silk screening program in the now-prepared studio is a very popular hit. There are issues in terms of keeping the studio area organized and also with some protocols such as returning screens etc. This space is a rentable space for SE.
Audio Arts Studio
Towards the end of Q1 the Audio Arts Studio was examined again in terms of what is working and what is not working. It was clear that the Audio Arts did not have any storage areas to keep their instruments and gear off of the ground. It was virtually impossible to make this space an organized controlled space. Since there was a need to finish spending the Musicounts funding we decided on purchasing much need equipment and materials. Here are a few line items that was finished:
A few more storage solutions need to be made for SE and Program use. Also a way to lock some instruments and equipment away should be developed in the next quarter to make this space rentable by SE.
Also at the end of Q1 there was a week-long SE rental scheduled for Industrial Arts that offset the costs to service all the large scale equipment. The booking was secured and a service person came in and serviced 9 pieces of heavy machinery.
To date the industrial arts worked seamlessly for the rental and the space was used optimally. The rental has not ended as of yet but a real assessment is to see how much the studio has changed. Remaining operational tasks for this studio include a proper inventory, as well as developing specific protocols and guidelines based on health and safety.
Q2 will be focused on writing and small build outs to facilitate SE rentals.
Hayley was approved to take an unpaid leave of absence over the course of the 2014 4th Quarter, which continued over to January of 2015. Upon her return mid- February, Hayley took back most of her previous responsibilities from SKETCH Operations Associate, David Yu, who covered Hayley’s position while she was away. Hayley’s responsibilities currently fall under four distinct pillars: Special Projects, Public Relations & Communications, Executive Assistant Administration, and Financial Administrative support.
Over the course of the first quarter, we continued to support Sponsorship Administrator, Danielle Boyer, with scheduling and communications support for the SKETCH Team. Working closely with Marketing & Communications Associate, Dale Roy, Hayley met with Danielle to be briefed on the project’s status and the necessary next steps. Following the update meeting, Hayley and Dale connected with the Program Team to develop a program outline that could then be shared with Taste@SKETCH stakeholders. Hayley also developed a one-pager that served as an update for external stakeholders. Feedback on these documents has yet to be received. Looking to the second quarter, an internal strategy meeting will be scheduled followed by a full committee meeting.
Taste@SKETCH- A celebration of the Palate!:
Hayley supported the event committee in planning an evening for SKETCH to celebrate the launch of Taste@SKETCH as well as the Rotary Club of Toronto’s contribution to the Culinary Arts program. In addition to taking the lead on committee communications and event planning logistics, administration worked closely with SKETCH Operations Associate to meet specific event deliverables such as menu development, event layout, and sponsorship stewardship.
Due to low ticket sales, the event planning committee made the strategic decision to postpone the event to the fall of 2015 and focus instead on the internal development of the Taste@SKETCH partnership.
SKETCH’s relationship with Indie88 has continued to flourish in the first quarter of 2015. Marketing & Communications was able to solidify quarterly PSA’s to run throughout the rest of the year. Special Projects Associate has taken the lead on putting together the second quarter PSA, which highlights the launch of SpaceShare. This PSA was finalized and sent to Indie88 at the beginning of the second quarter.
Revenue Generation team also developed new communications material to be uploaded to the Indie88 website that is a better fit for I88’s tone and audience. This was sent at the end of the first quarter with the intent of having it updated in the next couple of months.
In addition to this, the RevGen Team met with Indie88 promotions team to further discuss the areas in which we can collaborate. The following collaborative opportunities were discussed: SKETCH feature artists promoted online and social media, Indie88 “high fives” featuring SKETCH, volunteer days, on-site broadcasting, and much more. Towards the end of the first quarter, RevGen Team met with Indie88 Management to review the next steps in order to continue to deepen the relationship. Hayley is scheduled to meet with the Music Studio Coordinator, Michael O’Connell, to review the possibility of Indie88 DJs attending a SKETCH jam session.
There continues to be a new strategic relationship that has continued to be in development between Osmington, Union Station, and Envion LED Lighting. Hayley supported Dale over the course of the first quarter by attending a meeting and tour with LED Envision and Osmington to further discuss their partnership with SKETCH. It was determined that their support would be divided into three pillars: in-kind donation of light bulbs for the Lower Level Studios, potential in-kind donation of advertising space on screened-pillars in Union Station, and a fundraising event hosted at Union Station by Envision LED and Osmington to support SKETCH.
To continue the development of this relationship, Envision LED requested an event proposal/outline that could then be shared with their stakeholders to have the event approved. The first quarter ended with the document still in progress but will be sent the beginning of the second quarter.
The first quarter saw the successful launch of SKETCH’s first social enterprise initiative, SpaceShare. The Revenue Generation Team held weekly meetings to discuss alternative revenue generating ideas for SKETCH. These meetings took place internally with both the Revenue Generation Team and Program Team as well as at the office of the communications firm TraffikGroup, the staff of which had been consulting on the project.
Together the Program Team and Revenue Generation Team developed the idea to host corporate Community & Volunteer Days as well as corporate workshops in the Lower Level for a fee. In addition to this idea, the Revenue Generation Team worked with Traffik to develop a concept of hosting “industry nights” and “relationship building nights” entitled SKETCH After Dark/Game Gambits. After SE Associate, Elly Green, gathered market research both concepts appeared to be valid opportunities for SKETCH to generate money outside of traditional funding.
A few roadblocks arose closer to the end of the first quarter due to some questions around staff involvement and job descriptions. Following a meeting with Social Enterprise consulting firm, Mendicant, the Revenue Generation Team determined that an overall strategic plan needed to be developed before further developing individual initiatives.
Near the end of the first quarter, Hayley supported Management by re-visiting the current Admin Hub set-up. After getting a feel for the space, the need to review the initial set-up has become apparent. Working alongside SKETCH volunteer, Bettina Hoar, Hayley, Rudy and Phyllis did an Admin Hub walkthrough to discuss some immediate needs and long-term objectives. Bettina created a survey that could be sent to SKETCH staff to get a sense of how they would like to see the space used and how they are finding working in the space. There is a need to find resources to support the redesign plans and make the space more conducive for independent work.
Marketing & Communications Associate has continued to take the lead on most PR and communications related tasks throughout Q1. However, with more HR shifts on the horizon, Hayley supported the development of the 2015 communications strategy with the intent of taking back PR responsibilities in the second quarter, and joined the Marketing and Communications Working Group to further support the development and strategy of SKETCH’s communications.
In addition to this, Hayley and Dale met to develop a 2015 PR Strategy that is scheduled to be shared with Management in the second quarter.
Hayley continued to support Management throughout the first quarter in her role as Executive Assistant. As she is slowly transitioning to take on more project management leads.
Hayley continues to support the booking of the Admin Hub meeting space, office supply management and cleanliness, BOD correspondence and support, calendar support for the Executive Director, and HR administrative support (file organizing & subsidized contracts).
Management is moving the financial administrative tasks slowly off of the Executive Assistant so that they can focus on Special Projects in balance with Administrative support. Hayley is now trained to administer SKETCH payroll independently, as well as all bill payments which will play a role as backup once a new financial person is in place by the Q2 period.
Our work has been supported by a parallel development of our Impact Statement and Theory of Change, which have been tested by staff and participants. The Theory of Change proposes three progressive levels of engagement, and sets three-year targets in each category: Welcome and Wayfinding (1800 youth), Arts Incubator (600 youth) and Arts Platform (200 youth).
“SKETCH was probably my first experience of what a community is. What a community should strive to be like. I didn’t know before that. Community wasn’t a word that came up in my vocabulary, it wasn’t a concept I was passionate about until I found community. The concept of community building and engagement has become such a part of my life because of SKETCH.”
Of these youth, 49% identified as female (43% of visits), 36% as male (46% of visits), and 22% across the non-gender-conforming spectrum (18% of visits). For male- and female-identifying youth, these numbers are fairly similar to previous quarters.
For gender non-conforming youth, we have seen great increases over the last few quarters, due in large part to the presence and popularity of Krafty Queers and Pink Ink, two LGBTQ-focused programs.
In terms of ethnicity: 40% of individuals (46% of visits) were by youth identifying as African/ Caribbean, 45% of Individuals (45% of visits) by youth identifying as European, 11% of Individuals (9% of visits) by youth identifying as Latin American, 7% of Individuals (5% of visits) by youth identifying as First Nations, 7% of Individuals (2% of visits) by youth identifying as Newcomer. While there are few dramatic shifts from last quarter, we are seeing numbers of First Nations and Newcomer youth decrease as community-specific programs ended.
Of the 188 new youth, the majority first joined by attending SKETCH’s Open Studio event (30 youth), Silkscreening (17 youth), Weave (16 youth), Artrepreneurship Trainings (16 youth), or one of SKETCH’s monthly Orientation sessions (13 youth).
SKETCH also did outreach with Arts Etobicoke, Delisle Youth Services, YouthLink and Sherbourne Health Centre. While the number of new youth is steadily increasing, it is still lower than desired. The program team is finding it challenging to both operate a full program and outreach to external partners. We are in the process of developing a strategy to increase reach to diverse youth communities.
The walls were lined with beautiful visual and fibre-based art, youth performed their original music and spoken word, youth vended their silkscreened patches and t-shirts, Culinary Arts youth catered, Krafty Queers hosted art making workshops, and Vocal Jam led improvised singing!
SKETCH served over 800 healthy and home cooked meals this quarter, creating an environment of care and dignity for participating youth. This is the greatest number of meals prepared since SKETCH was located at 580 King Street. We also made 66 referrals to resources such as shelter and housing, food security resources, arts and youth-focused resources and partner agencies.
“Exploring all these different mediums, exposure to all these different artmaking techniques [that kick-started something] like ‘people like what I’m making, that’s cool’ and you enjoy it and [realize that] you can make a life out of it.”
Krafty Queers, an arts and crafts skill share for LGBTQ youth, explored needle felting, sculpting, beading, mandalas, and making artful “survival packs” with safer sex and safer injection supplies. Throughout, facilitators and mentors led discussions on themes of healing, recollection and chosen family, creating a space for LGBTQ youth to share experiences of homophobia and transphobia and build a safe and supportive community. In an anonymous evaluation, youth shared that the project helped them expand their art skills, experience relief from life stressors, and improved their mental health, leaving them feeling supported, inspired, passionate, and connected with their peers. Community Partners: East Mississauga Health Centre, Queen West Community Health Centre, Program Coordinators Afi Browne and Alyssa Meyer.
In Dab It / Cross Hatch It, youth focused on the visual artist’s practice through skill building in painting and drawing, studio time to develop their individual style, and exposure to working artists.
They toured several galleries, including the AGO, where they saw the Basquiat exhibit and discussed how his work explores politics and cultural awareness. They also held an artist talk, with two artists who showed their work and spoke about the challenges and celebrations of being professional artists. Many youth shared that the program leaves them feeling more motivated to make work to show: several youth who previously made work only for themselves are now enthusiastic about the prospect of exhibition and vending, and are considering elements of quality control and presentation. This is one of the programs that youth returned to most frequently. Community Partners: Art Gallery of Ontario, guest artists Anahita Azrahimi and Keli Safia Maksud.
In Textiles, SewGood was a beginner’s sewing series, focusing on hand sewing, clothing repair, fabric dyeing, and other small textile projects. Many youth attended with no prior sewing experience, and built impressive skills. In SewBetter, advanced sewers deepened their technical skills and experimented with prototypes for sellable pieces.
The small-group format gave the youth the space and time to successfully complete more complex projects, such as a beautiful tailored dress. Several youth have plans to pursue vending opportunities or textile-based creative enterprise, and so the sessions featured many discussions about how to start and run a business; to this end, the facilitators brought in a professional textile artist to mentor a youth on their design.
There is a clear desire for more training on how to start a small business, and so in the coming quarter, the Textiles program will launch the SKETCH Textile Arts Collective to prepare youth to sell and exhibit. Community Partners: Textiles Program Coordinator Lynn Hubbs, volunteer Sharon Abel.
In this session’s Silkscreening sessions, long-time SKETCH artist Rosa Mindreau led a comprehensive series, including making a screen, stenciling, Photoshop, printing multiple colours and quality control. Youth finished with screens and a wooden t-shirt presses they can use to print from home, printed original designs on paper, canvas patches, tote bags, and t-shirts.
Several youth vended at Open Studio, generating supplemental income and promoting their music projects, and also spontaneously shared information about relevant employment and educational opportunities. Silkscreening continues to prove itself as a medium that is popular for many reasons, including its revenue-generating capabilities. This is another program that youth returned to most frequently. Community partners: facilitator Rosa Mindreau, Wooden It Be Nice.
Youth produced kumihimo braids, felted coasters and hair accessories, a group braided mural, and spun hand made wool (using wool and dog hair!). The workshops created a safe environment to engage in an open conversation about cultural appropriation, marginalization and exclusion. In addition to the weekly workshops at SKETCH, the facilitators also ran sessions at Delisle Youth Services, SOY and YouthLink Scarborough. Community Partners: guest facilitators from Tanya Turton and Raz Rotem.
Street Voices led creative writing workshops and helped youth develop their branding and marketing skills. Select written pieces were then published in Street Voices, a magazine designed to empower marginalized voices through publishing poetry, writing and artwork by homeless youth.
This opportunity to work on written pieces, get constructive feedback, and then be published is a transformative experience for participating youth; as one youth said, “I finally have a platform to express my voice”. Community Partners: guest facilitator Lance Bucknor.
This program partnership has succeeded in bringing in youth who are affiliated with SOY but new to SKETCH, and thus fosters inclusion for LGBTQ youth. Community Partners: Sherbourne Health Centre.
Through Adventures in Sound, youth attended Guitar Circles to improve guitar skills, participated in Live Jams to improvise and experiment across genres, learned how to construct their own original electronic beats (for hip hop and dance music) and made high-quality recordings of their music. New and established musicians built skills and developed their music literacy, discovering the power of music for pleasure, performance and production.
In Vocal Jam, youth participated in vocal improv and body percussion, incorporating existing songs and improvised melodies and beats, and demonstrated the power of collaborative music-making. Community partners: volunteers Gabi Charron-Merrit, Duane Forrest, Elaine Overholt, and ChoirChoirChoir, facilitator Ella Cooper.
This quarter, SKETCH began running Culinary Arts workshops in which youth developed basic culinary skills: knife skills, kitchen safety and cooking techniques such as stir frying, baking, making sauces and stocks.
At the end of the quarter they practiced and shared their new skills by catering the Open Studio event. Many youth reported using their expanded culinary repertoire at home, inspiring them to cook more often and more healthfully. Some youth have been inspired to seek employment in professional kitchens, and are building their transferable skills and getting reference letters to seek work in the field. Community partners: Second Harvest, McGreggor’s Meats.
In this quarter’s inaugural Ceramics program, youth learned basic handbuilding techniques, the characteristics of clay as a medium, surface treatments, and glazes, while making both sculptural and functional pieces (jewelry, tiles, and abstract sculptures, as well as mugs, bowls, plates).
They viewed other ceramicists’ work, and did a gallery tour of the Gardiner Museum for inspiration. The youth were thoroughly engaged, focused, driven, and inquisitive while working in the studio, feeding back that working with clay was a meditative and healing experience, making them feel proud of themselves and their work. Community Partners: facilitators Melissa Harendorf and Pottery Road Collective, Gardiner Museum.
In Seeds of Creativity, youth created visual and sculptural arts inspired by the natural world: painting inspired by plant life, seed starting, resin casted jewelry with plant material and tiny terrariums.
The program maintained last quarter’s fairy garden installation, and set up a new living wall, a beautiful garden oasis in the midst of the studios. They also overlapped with Dab It to learn fundamental painting techniques, and to experience the artist talks and gallery tours.
“Being involved in the program gives me confidence. Like, in my stage shows and performing – the more I do here, the more confident I am in the things I do outside of here. It’s about the professionalism. Here, I’m put in a category where I’m a professional. Then when I go out there [to d live performances], it brings me to the next level in the eyes of my peers.”
In Turn Up Your Volume, youth created press kits, wrote bios, booked gigs, built sound check skills, released music online, registered for royalties, and developed skills around the business of being a professional musician.
They also held peer-to-peer songwriting critiques, in a supportive and creative atmosphere; after these sessions, several youth returned with new work that reflects growth based on the feedback they received. The music industry can be intimidating and alienating; this program works to demystify the industry and provide clear information about how to realistically launch a music career. Many youth expressed gratitude for having been offered tangible, actionable steps to move forward as professional musicians.
Youth developed creative business plans, including a business description, value proposition, operational strategy, a marketing strategy, and a profit equation. Youth talked extensively about their desire to be financially independent through their creative passions, and by the end of the series they were markedly more confident, enthusiastic and excited about the prospect of becoming self-sufficient through their art. This is another program that youth returned to most frequently. Community Partners: Toronto Art Services, Enterprise Toronto, Artreach Toronto.
The Wooden It Be Nice youth-led creative enterprise continued to develop their business, including making commissioned projects (such as a platform bed) and facilitating woodshop projects for other SKETCH programs (teaching silkscreening participants how to make t-shirt presses).
Their ability to handle commission projects independently has greatly increased: this quarter, they received an order, made a quote, arranged materials and completed the work without any guidance from the Program Coordinator, a real demonstration of the incredible capacity they’ve developed through their mentorship. Several WIBN members briefly left the collective in order to find consistent paying work, and now that they have found alternate income supports, they are coming back in different capacities: two have found full time work related to their training, and one is returning to school to pursue trades. “I like this work, and if I’m this good at it now, I decided to get even better. So I’m going to George Brown!”
The Pottery Road Collective continued to run their twice-weekly PWYC sessions for the public out of Evergreen’s Brick Works location, practicing their ceramics social enterprise while facilitating sessions with people of all ages.
They were contracted to co-facilitate a ceramics series with SKETCH’s programs, and showed themselves to be dynamic and inspiring facilitators. They also took March Break as an opportunity to run a week-long ceramics intensive for the public. Community Partners: Evergreen Brick Works
In the Community Artist program, the CAs entered the second half of their training. They have all grown so confident in this leadership, and are seeing how the trainings are applicable to other aspects of their lives. They continued their mentorships, independent studio time, while also participating in numerous special projects and launching into their individual placements.
The placements are each partnered with a professional working in their field of interest, so they can job shadow and build their professional networks. They are also ready to launch their own youth-led multi-media workshop series this spring. A major highlight of the quarter was a five-day adventure in Serpent River First Nation, hosting an Artful Anti-oppression workshop, then leading group puppet making. This was a deeply affecting project, which youth described as grounding, inspiring and spiritual. Community Partners: Toronto International Film Festival, New Mentalities, Rosa Mindreau, Mixed Company Theatre, Charles Street Video, Indie 88.
This quarter, several projects featured long-time SKETCH Youth as Program Facilitators: Rosa Mindreau led Silkscreening, Ezekiel Hersi co-facilitated Culinary Arts, the Pottery Road Collective co-facilitated Ceramics, Afi Browne led Krafty Queers and Joel Zola led Street Voices (the latter two on SKETCH’s mentorship platform).
In each case, the youth facilitators have received mentorship and capacity building through other SKETCH programs (the CA program, placements and/or special projects) and have now developed such strong skills that they are returning in the role of program facilitators. Their return, in paid positions sharing expertise in their medium, demonstrated to other youth that there are realistic and exciting opportunities to make an income through your arts practice. These youth leaders have credibility and the respect of their communities, and tend to bring in members of their personal networks to participate in their sessions, thus bringing in new, and often diverse, youth. These sessions also tended to be the programs with the greatest attendance.
Youth in Connect to Youth/Acting OUT led popular theatre workshops incorporating real-life scenarios with social service workers and Foster parents. Several youth have developed their capacity to the point that they are now facilitating the group, increasing their ownership of project and honouring their incredible skill.
Two cohorts are active right now: one primarily leading workshops with social service workers, and another focusing on issues faced by queer and trans youth. In one session with Foster parents, parents acted in scenarios exploring gender bias and transpobia, and were very receptive to feedback from the C2Y trainers about how to learn about their own operating assumptions, and better support their children. This was an incredible demonstration of the power of the C2Y model, as a safe way for adults in supportive roles to learn how they can best care for youth. Community Partners: Street Youth Legal Services.
This quarter, CUE distributed 29 arts grants and mentored 33 youth. They funded 19 art projects by emerging artists working in a wide variety of media, including many musicians, and worked with a music mentor to develop their career resources.
CUE, SKETCH, and the other Platform A partners are in the midst of planning a collective arts exhibition for June, which will showcase all 19 CUE artists. CUE also distributed ten Creative Enterprise grants, and partnered with the CA training program to have four sessions of the CA trainings be geared specifically to the Creative Enterprise grant recipients, as they covered all aspects of building and running an arts-focused small business. Community Partners: Platform A, Creative Directors Jason Samilski and Zanette Singh, Program Coordinator Ashton Shearer, Literary Arts Facilitator Whitney French, Music Mentor Ayo Leilani, Videographer Jake Lopez, and Website Heather Fulton.
SKETCH’s Mentorship Platform this quarter featured nine youth-led emerging initiatives: CUE (supporting artists on the margins with arts project mentorship, support and exhibition), R.I.S.E. Edutainment (education and entertainment in vocal performance art), Pottery Road Collective (a ceramic social enterprise), ODE (safe space for Aboriginal two-spirit LGBTQ youth to tell stories, make art and perform ceremony), Krafty Queers (an arts and crafts skill share with queer, trans and two-spirited youth), Street Voices (a workshop series and print magazine for youth living in shelters to produce their stories, artwork, and ideas), WATAH school (a wholistic artistic development institute that cultivates artists as healers, mentors, and keepers of the sacred), LiftED by Purpose (a music stress management program for youth coming out of detention), and YAMH (arts-based programming for youth living with mental health issues and illnesses).
“When we have more folks taking about how we can explore arts and equity and anti-oppression in an embodied way, we can make powerful change”
This quarter SKETCH saw an increase in members of the general public – specifically people working in arts and equity – who are working and learning alongside us as we refine our model. Through these activities, SKETCH is proliferating our model and also participating in a broader cultural conversation about the value of arts-based programming with marginalized populations as we work toward broader goals of equity, social justice and inclusion.
SKETCH continued to host placements and volunteers: we hosted 9 university and college student placements, as well as 4 consistent volunteers, who offered support in hosting program, supporting youth and facilitating workshops; they also received mentorship and learned through participating in the behind-the-scenes of running programs. In addition, SKETCH toured and oriented 80
OCADU students, 30 York University students and 40 students from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. SKETCH also partnered with Neighborhood Arts Network and AVNU to host a Courage Lab – a very popular skills share and creative space for community-engaged artists to explore the intersections of arts and equity. Artists experimented with concepts, ideas, tools and practices for living equity through the arts. Community Partners: OCADU, AVNU, Grassroots Youth Collaborative and Neighbourhood Arts Network.
SKETCH’s new program is being continuously evaluated. Program staff have held several evaluation sessions, gathering feedback and recommendations for adjustment to how we deliver program. Some of our key findings include:
Physical and Operational Infrastructure in Continued Transition – SKETCH is still very much in transition. While the Creative Hub studios are almost complete, quite a few areas are unfinished – an unfinished build in visual arts, the lack of art storage, tables and other essential furnishings, and the digital media lab – which continues to pose some challenges. As well, the work to develop operational space protocols is ongoing. The program team, youth and community partners are continuously learning as we offer programs in the space.
Review of Coordinator Roles – SKETCH has been piloting a new program format since launching in the Creative Enterprise Hub, and one feature of the new format has been to host programs run by youth leaders, partner organizations, and volunteers. We are also learning the value of having coordinators as “hosts”, setting an inspiring and inclusive program environment, and supporting the varied programs on offer. Program Coordinator roles are thus shifting from direct program facilitation to mentoring and supervising external facilitators, who join to offer expertise and inspiration in their medium. This is a positive transition – it means that we can involve more diverse facilitators and artists working in a wider variety of media – but does take some adjustment in roles and responsibilities.
Outreach – SKETCH is steadily connecting with new and diverse youth, however we are recognizing the need to develop a strong outreach strategy to ensure the youth community continues to grow and expand. We utilize several outreach tactics – social media, workshops with partners, flyers and orientations – but recognize that direct, personal relationship-building is the most successful approach. In the coming quarter we will increase our focus on running activities in partner agencies, to develop relationships with youth and then invite them to join us at our studios. Nevertheless, we must balance our capacity with our resources. We are seeing good numbers of youth given existing resources (staff time, program costs) but we have the capacity to engage more youth in our wonderful new studios. This, however, will require greater resources.
Increasing Access – A trend we are noticing this quarter is the increased participation by youth with a varying abilities and access needs. This is due to our efforts to provide accessible studio spaces, and to our attention in addressing additional barriers that youth may experience. This includes accessible washrooms, ASL interpretations and childcare. There is still more to do, which will be captured in an accessibility audit planned for the near future.
Summary: In the first quarter of 2015 we raised $25,797 or 21% of our goal, compared to $38,779 or 31% in 2014. However, in 2014 we received a $5,000 gift from Ubisoft and $8,944 from the Scotiabank Run, which did not come in the first quarter of 2015. This year, a $10,000 gift from Ubisoft was lost in the mail and will be received in Q2. Scotiabank funds were received in the same calendar year as the race (2014), whereas the 2013 race proceeds were received early in the next year (also 2014).
Summary of Activities
ADMIN + GRANTS
Ongoing Donation Administration and Stewardship – continued as usual, with Verity Eaton processing all donations and issuing tax receipts.
Grant Writing – RDA’s time has been spent mainly on grant writing, and developing other revenue generating initiatives such as Corporate Team Building, as opposed to IG, event and 3P fundraising efforts. Proposals submitted to The City of Toronto – Urban Health Fund, Rainbow Health Ontario, Softchoice, Keep Family Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Toronto, and Shaw.
Tax receipts and thank you letters/cards were sent out in January to all donors who gave over the holiday season.
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon – It has been decided that SKETCH will no longer continue with this event, as we do not have the capacity to make it worth our while.
Taste @ SKETCH – Some time was spent coordinating a fundraising event for The Rotary Club of Toronto, which ended up being cancelled due to low ticket sales and postponed to a later date, hopefully in the fall of 2015.
No direct mail solicitations occurred in the first quarter. However, donors will receive a direct mail solicitation package in the second quarter, as well as the 2014 Annual Report.
Throughout Q1, the Marketing and Communications Department’s focus was on developing and co-coordinating Rev-Gen projects, two events and third-party outreach.
Many projects now organized via Smart Sheet
Increase following for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Two new projects:
Purpose: To increase SKETCH’s presence as a proponent and supporter of arts-related people/events on our social media. Platforms involved: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram
Purpose: It was a pilot project to look for ways to continue to increase SKETCH’s profile as a unique, leading voice on youth-and-the-arts through an accessible and public platform.
Build / Construction:
Social Enterprise Development:
SpaceShare Marketing & Communications o Web structure completed:
The bigger picture of Social Enterprise at SKETCH: Jumped into additional potential initiatives with staff team – Team Building, Sketch After Dark – now on hold
o Participated in revenue growth exploration with Traffik
o Participated in consulting meeting with Mendicant.