Press Release: VIBE Arts, in partnership with TO Live, presents NExT: The Future of Art Exhibition 2.0

“The best part of NExT is the intentional programming and linked mentorship with established Black creatives. I never had this opportunity when I entered the arts community. Also, the final exhibition is key to take up spaces where we are excluded from and give voice to upcoming generation of artists”

– NExT II Mentor

March 16, 2021… VIBE Arts, in partnership with TO Live, presents NExT: The Future of Art Exhibition 2.0, an online and outdoor exhibition celebrating Black Futures, March 22–May 11, 2021. 

The Future of Art will run online and outdoors in a window exhibit at the St Lawrence Centre For the Arts (27 Front St. E., Toronto ON), in accordance with local COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Join us for the exhibitions online launch and artist talk Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 6 PM. Please register in advance here. This free event will be held on ZOOM and is open to all. 

NExT: The Future of Art Exhibition 2.0 is a celebration of the works by artists participating in VIBE Arts’ 2021 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. 

“VIBE Arts creates invaluable opportunities for young Black artists, and this year’s NExT participants show such exciting potential,” said Josephine Ridge, TO Live’s Vice President of Programming. “ TO Live will proudly be helping to share their works online, but I also can’t think of a better way to bring the windows of the St Lawrence Centre for the Arts to life, than by giving them over to these passionate storytellers, spoken word and visual artists, film, music, dance and theatre makers.”

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.

The NExT Program is made possible by Canadian Heritage’s Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives (CSMARI) Program.

“I have completed my last mentorship session. It was the best one ever. Thank you for guiding me to someone with energy like me! I really loved the experience and learned A LOT, I really feel like my mind is at a new pinnacle. I have so many thoughts for future projects and gained the clarity I need to find my focus for the next couple of months.“

NExT II Participant

2020-2021 Cohort of NExT Artists:

Desiree Mckenzie, Howard Hamilton, Isiah, Jade Kent-Brewster, Jega Delisca, Marissa Shawné, Mike Regis, Nailah Ramcharan-Gibbs, Rare, Shelly Grace, SRE, Tennessee Jones 

2020-2021 NExT Mentors: 

Aidan Sykes, Akua Delfish, Anique Jordan, Anthony Gebrehiwot, Camelle Davidson, Coco Murray, Emaul Spencer, Kofi Fremprong, Lady Supa, Mafa Mukhubalo, Nayo Sasaki-Picou, Sean Morgan, Travis Williams

About VIBE Arts 

Established in 1995, VIBE Arts is an award-winning charitable organization committed to providing children and youth in under resourced communities with high-quality community and school-based arts education.

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.

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