The holiday season is filled with countless ways to feel the warmth of giving. One of the most gratifying ways to feel good in 2019 is by giving back to your community. At VIBE, every day we are lucky enough to witness how community arts impacts thousands of lives across Ontario. The source of this impact is not far away – it comes from the generosity and support of people like you. Not everyone can be a philanthropist or afford to hand over fistfuls of their hard-earned cash – especially during the holidays.
That’s why we’re sharing a few simple ways that you can give back to community arts – through small gestures that have BIG impacts.
Find some local street art and show some love to your community. Toronto is full of amazing murals. Some are easy to spot, but others require some exploring. Put aside some time this holiday to find a mural in your neighbourhood. Even if you’ve passed by it before, this time really take a look at it. You might discover ways that the mural represents surrounding communities. Many of our city’s murals require a community consultation before they go up. Next time you spot a flyer for a community consultation in your neighbourhood, take part! Mural artists are hungry for inspiration and love to hear the community’s opinions and feelings before they turn it into a legacy.
Send cards. Yes, we know. It’s an old tradition, but you can find custom cards created by local emerging artists all over Toronto! Don’t have time to look? We’ve got you covered. When you give back to VIBE, you can also take care of your seasonal cards. Head to our donation page to donate and in return, receive a set of 10 cards designed by a VIBE Artist. Don’t have the time or energy to post them? No problem. We’ll customize, address and send your cards for you. Plus, there’s an added bonus: you’ll receive a charitable tax receipt for your donation.
Apply to join a Board of Directors. Not-for-Profits and Charities are always looking for talent to help grow and support their organizations. A multitude of talent is needed to strengthen every board. If you have a bit of time to volunteer and want to share your expertise, apply to be part of a board for an organization you love! Love VIBE? Apply here!
Check out a new artist. Did you know that Toronto has the highest concentration of artists in Canada? Many of these artists don’t get the exposure they deserve due to the systemic barriers they face. Try to find a new artist whose work you like and show them some love by seeing their show, buying a piece or just following them on Instagram. Don’t know where to start? Check out our amazingly diverse roster of artists here.
Buy gifts that give back. It’s easy to find gifts that give back to a charitable cause. Whether its shoes, chocolates or clothes, many companies are leading their businesses with a cause. NOGU is no different. This jewelry company gives 5% of all it’s sales to great charities! Check out this ladybug bracelet that supports VIBE Arts.
At VIBE, we’ve learned that everyone has the capacity to give. Even by reading this post and learning more about us, you are helping us continue to grow our organization’s impact. Thank you for your support and have a Happy New Year!
This July, VIBE Arts teamed up with StreetARToronto (StART) and began the process of transforming a huge stretch of brick wall into a piece of art. The finished mural, located at Centennial East Recreation Centre at 1967 Ellesmere Road in Scarborough, features multiple species of butterflies and has been named ‘Kaleidoscope’, after the word meaning ‘a collective of butterflies’. VIBE Arts will be hosting a community unveiling of Kaleidoscope at the Rec Centre on Tuesday, September 25th from 10-11am. All are welcome to attend.
The lead artist of Kaleidoscope was Ryan Dineen. Following a series of community consultation meetings with members of the Scarborough Community, Dineen spent four weeks working closely with youth employed through Tropicana Community Services’ Youth Job Connection, offering painting expertise in both aerosol and hand-painting. Dineen was assisted by VIBE Arts Assistant, Frannie Potts. “Thank you to my assistant [Frannie Potts] for being such a great teacher!” Dineen wrote on his Instagram. The pair worked fabulously together, and their collaboration truly demonstrated the importance and impact of working with children through the arts.
On July 25th, as the butterflies were receiving the final touches on their wings, child and youth participants from the Scarborough community tried their hand at painting. Participants collaborated on a series of wooden butterfly cutouts which were later installed directly onto the mural. These community-made butterflies will remain a part of Kaleidoscope as a permanent installation. The final mural proudly showcases work made by youth of many different ages and captures the spirit of the community centre – a place where Torontonians, young and old, come together.
VIBE Arts is ecstatic with the completed mural and are overflowing with gratitude for the opportunity to work collaboratively with StART, Toronto’s Ward 38 community, and all of the artists involved. We look forward to the official launch of Kaleidoscope and hope that it inspires creativity within all who see it.
StreetARToronto is The City of Toronto’s suite of innovative programs designed specifically for streets and public spaces. Initiated in 2012 as an integral part of the City’s Graffiti Management Plan, StART has been successful in reducing graffiti vandalism and replacing it with vibrant, colourful, community-engaged street art. Be sure to stay in the loop – follow StART and VIBE Arts on social media!
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