Press Release: VIBE Arts and TO Live Present NExT: The Future of Art Exhibition 4.0

“I feel more confident after seeing and learning from other artists that are in similar situations and getting the opportunity to hear different perspectives on some of the topics we discussed. I think I’ll be able to carry out my goals by finally learning where and how to access help.”

– NExT IV Artist

March 15, 2023…VIBE Arts and TO Live present NExT: The Future of Art Exhibition 4.0, an exhibition celebrating Black Futures running from March 21 to April 12, 2023 in the Gallery at the Meridian Arts Centre (5040 Yonge St, North York).

NExT: The Future of Art Exhibition 4.0 is a celebration of the works by artists participating in VIBE Arts’ 2022-2023 Black Youth Mentorship Program. Short for Network and Explore Together, NExT was built on the vision to build, connect, and strengthen networks of Black artists throughout the GTA and to increase the visibility of Black Youth Artists in public Canadian exhibitions. This program supports the truth that Black perspectives are essential in shaping the future of the arts.

Join us to celebrate these talented artists at an opening event on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 from 6-9 PM. The evening will include an intimate Artist Talk and performances. This event is free to attend, pre-registration is required. Please register in advance here.

Regular gallery hours from Wednesday, March 22 to Wednesday, April 12, 2023 are:
Wednesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 6 PM
Sunday, 12 PM – 7 PM

“This will be the third year that TO Live has welcomed VIBE Arts to the Meridian Arts Centre to show work by emerging Black Artists included in their NExT Exhibition. This annual exhibition is one of the highlights of the Meridian Arts Centre Gallery, and we are proud to be able to play a role in ensuring the work of these outstanding young artists is seen by as many people as possible.”  

– Josephine Ridge, Vice President of Programming, TO Live

NExT Artists have participated in a 9 month mentorship program which included 1-on-1 mentorship sessions with our roster of professional artists and creatives, attended professional development workshops and networking opportunities, as well as received funding to create new work that is now being exhibited to the general public.

VIBE Arts’ NExT Program is made possible by TD Bank. 

NExT: The Future of Art Exhibition 4.0 is made possible with support from Entro. 

2022-2023 NExT Artists:

Andre Lopez, CJ Mayers, Jessica Campbell, Klaid, Maliik, Martin Gomes, Nia Osei, Nya, Rahim Perez-Anderson, S!sha, Sarah Okello

2022-2023 NExT Mentors: 

Akua Delfish, Anique Jordan, Anthony Gebrehiwot, Britta B, Camelle Davidson, Kofi Frempong, Myles Isley, Naphtali, Nayo Sasaki-Picou, Rich Kidd 


 About VIBE Arts 

Established in 1995, VIBE Arts is a charity dedicated to providing arts education and professional artistic mentorship to the next generation of creatives. VIBE seeks to increase access and equity to the arts to encourage wellness, resilience and a sense of belonging.

VIBE values the significance of lived experiences, and NExT is one of many initiatives created to invest in this truth by creating and strengthening networks of Black artists, creating spaces and opportunities to help overcome barriers.

Stay in Touch! | @VIBEArtsTO


About TO Live

TO Live is one of Canada’s largest multi-arts organizations, operating three iconic venues: Meridian Hall, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and Meridian Arts Centre. In addition, TO Live presents a full range of performing arts, theatrical, and concert events at these venues in both downtown and uptown Toronto. With these two hubs of creativity and content creation, TO Live has a unique place and perspective to activate creative spaces by inspiring local and international artists, connect audiences and to be the nexus for new ideas, elevate artistic potential, and be the catalyst for creative expression that is reflective of Toronto’s diversity. For more information, visit

Happy Black Futures Month from Onika Powell, Artistic Director

It’s February already? Where did the time go? It felt like yesterday we were wrapping up the year, sharing all the wonderful memories we were able to make through our 2022 Impact Report. Yet today, we are almost a week into February celebrating Black Futures Month.

I am proud to work for VIBE Arts, an organization that continues to push forward a mission and vision to highlight and celebrate diversity of creatives and leaders that are hidden through the fabric of our city. I am even more proud of initiatives and programs that elevate marginalized communities, such as the Black community. The attention that this community receives at an amplified level during the month of February, is the energy we are focused on providing year round.

VIBE has seen great success in programs that teach others about the Black lived experience whether it is through our book, spoken word or drumming programs and more. We also can’t forget one of our top mentorship programs, NExT, now in its 4th year. This program is dedicated to providing opportunity to and visibility for Black youth artists that consistently face barriers when pursuing a career in the arts, all while building their own network (stay tuned for the March exhibition launch date).

As a Creative and Administrator, I am proud to see my community reflected in our leadership team, artists roster and considered in the programs we deliver. We acknowledge our community partners that also are working hard to contribute to a shift in the narrative of how the Black community is considered, valued and celebrated not yearly but daily.

To those who are new to this transformative journey… look, listen and learn. The stories and solutions have been there before this month, and will remain there after. Remember when you are finding reasons and resources to amplify voices of the Black community, be reflective and reflexive of your intent. There is more than just hearing about their lived experiences, there is allyship that is needed now more than ever. Amplify the solutions, contribute to the action. That is how we are going to make long-lasting changes in our communities and sector.

To the Black community of artists, be gentle with yourselves but shine in whichever way you feel necessary. Never forget to be authentically you, because our world needs it more than ever.