Dear VIBE Community,
As Directors of VIBE Arts, a charitable arts organization dedicated to providing high-quality arts education to children and youth, we acknowledge that it has been a difficult time for the world, but particularly for the Black community across the globe. The cruelty that has been exposed is inexcusable and calls for us ALL to do more to break the systemic barriers that impact the lives and livelihood of the Black Community. We recognize the injustice and stand strong in the fight against anti-Black racism
Between the both of us, we are aware of the privileges and inequalities that exist for us individually; and the ways they have supported and created barriers to get us to where we are in life today. This is the reason why, together, we have worked passionately to restructure VIBE Arts over the past 2 years to better support those with inequitable lived experience, as well as continue to build a team that reflects the diversity of our city. We stand in solidarity with our Black Artists, Staff and Board members, and Community we mission ourselves to serve. We are committed to providing opportunities to educate ourselves and others as well as create space to amplify the voice of the Black community.
As an organization, it can be assured that we are committed to continuing doing work with anti-racism as a guiding principle. We will continue to stay informed on social justice issues and use the arts to discuss and find solutions. Our learning is never done. Through our mentorship framework, VIBE Arts will continue to deliver Professional Development workshops and VIBE Connect sessions that will allow our roster of Artists to gain information, tips and tools from industry experts to gain employable skills to support their well being and artistic livelihood. Artists can look forward to the return of VIBE Wave and an increase in social media presence to promote the work they do, and events in their communities. Following the success of our most recent A-Talks, we will continue to host them to amplify the voices of the unheard and underrepresented.
The work that is needed to fight the injustice in our society is not the work of one, but of many. VIBE Arts will continue to work collaboratively with other organizations to create the change that is needed now. We encourage our VIBE family and supporters to research, educate yourselves and others. Be active with your voice and hold people accountable for their acts of racism. Most importantly, support and invest in the communities we serve, so we may build a society that is barrier-free and equitable together.
Katie Hutchinson, ED
Onika Powell, AD
NExT (Network & Explore Together) builds, connects, and strengthens the network of Black artists in the GTA. The NExT program increases visibility and support for Black artists by providing mentorship, professional development, round tables, facilitation opportunities, and exhibitions. NExT works to create a public understanding of the barriers faced by Black artists in their unique pursuits of artistic success. The program’s goal is to foster confidence and break these barriers, ultimately supporting Black Artists in achieving financial and personal success.