Black Arts Projects
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, with notification of results released approximately 4 months after submission date.
For questions about this program, contact Timaj Garad, Outreach and Access Program Manager
The Black Arts Projects Program supports arts projects by Black artists, Black artist collectives, and Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving organizations1. For the purpose of this program, “Black” refers to African descendant people across the diaspora including but not limited to African Canadian, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, East African, West African, Southern and Central African, Afro-Arab, Afro Indigenous, etc. This funding program is intended to support the development, continuation, and flourishing of Black arts communities.
What does this program support?
The Black Arts Projects Program provides support to individual artists, artist collectives of 2 or more Black artists working on a non-profit basis and incorporated non-profit Toronto Black arts organizations.
TAC recognizes the need to respond to barriers that Black arts communities face due to anti-Black racism. The program is designed to increase access to, awareness of, and participation in Toronto Arts Council funding by Black artists, while amplifying the work of Black artists in the city and creating avenues for sustainable art practice.
This program is multidisciplinary and recognizes a diversity of art practice, including new and emerging art forms, culturally relevant art practices, and multi/ interdisciplinary arts projects. Applicants can apply for projects that engage one or multiple arts disciplines. Applicants may apply in one of two categories described below:
1. Creation & Development: Supports full creation, partial creation, or completion of work-in-progress of an arts-based project at any stage and in any arts discipline. Project activities may include artistic creation in one or more stages of a project, including an arts education project (i.e., workshop(s)). This may also include OR solely focus on the beginning stage of research and development. The research and development stage may include testing an idea, developing processes, building scope, building collaborative relationships, gathering and organizing information, accessing, archiving or documenting knowledge. Applicants must clearly state in what stage is their project and for what part(s) of the project they are seeking funding.
- Open to individual artists and artist collectives
- Maximum grant in this category is $10,000
- Maximum grant in this category including a mentorship component is $15,000
- Expenses can include:
- Artistic, production and administrative fees and costs, including venue, publicity, marketing and outreach;
- Fees paid to collaborators, mentors and creative resources;
- Studio costs, materials and production elements that are essential to creation;
- Rental of space or software to conduct research interviews; accessing support materials, i.e., archives;
- Visiting sites of significance.
2. Presentation: supports exhibition, presentation, and dissemination of work by Black artists in any arts discipline
- Open to individual artists, artist collectives and arts organizations (this component does not fund creation of works meant for presentation);
- Activities may include a series or one-off exhibition, festival, or presentation in one or more arts disciplines and/ dissemination of existing work;
- This component does not fund workshops and conferences;
- Maximum grant in this category is $15,000;
- Maximum grant in this category including a mentorship component is $20,000;
- Expenses can include:
- Artistic, presentation, exhibition and administrative fees and costs, including installation, rehearsal, venue, and production;
- Dissemination costs including publicity, marketing and outreach;
- Fees paid to collaborators and mentors.
TAC may fund up to 100% of the requested amount. If the requested amount is below the total project budget, applicants must indicate other revenue sources, which may include donated goods and services.
Additional resources for project grant recipients include:
- i. Mentorship – mentorship for project grant recipients interested in connecting with artists that can support them in building or acquiring skill sets to develop their art practice. A mentorship option will be available in each project grant category and applicants will be asked to indicate which mentor(s) they would like to work with and provide rationale for the mentorship. An additional budget of up to $5000 is available as compensation for mentors and mentees.
Grant recipients will also receive information about additional supports such as Arts Career Development workshops and Black Futures Studios Co-Creation Lab as they become available:
- ii. Arts Career Development - drop-in workshops focused on growing and establishing art practice. Project grant recipients may request and select sessions that are of benefit to them.
- iii. Black Futures Studios Co-Creation Lab - access to a multidisciplinary co-creation lab for artists to collaborate, meet, and exchange ideas. This space will provide open multidisciplinary studio spaces to create and collaborate on work. ***access to a physical space for this component is subject to COVID-19 guidelines on public indoor gatherings. Registration may be required to accommodate capacity limitations due to COVID-19.***
All additional resources are optional. Arts career development workshops and Black Futures Studios co-creation lab may be accessed as needed. The mentorship component must be selected within the application. Please contact the Program Manager for more information about these supports.
TAC Accessibility grant
Projects involving Deaf artists and artists with disabilities may apply for an additional TAC grant by completing the Accessibility Expenses section of the application and including the requisite information in their budget. A TAC Accessibility grant will provide up to a maximum of $5,000 towards accessibility costs for artists incurred during the project. Accessibility costs include but are not limited to: ASL interpretation, audio description, closed captioning, communications assistants, attendant care (including helpers for Elders), support workers and equipment rentals or other supports required to meet artists’ accessibility needs).
When can the project happen?
- The Project Start Date must be a minimum of 4 months after the submission date
- All projects must be completed within two years of the date on the Notification Letter
Who can apply?
If you have any questions about your eligibility or the eligibility of your project, please contact the Program Manager.
- Applicants must identify as a Black professional artist2 or artist collective, or be an incorporated not-for-profit arts organization that is Black-led, Black-focused, and Black-serving, including a majority of Black members on its Board of Directors and Board Executive.
- The payment of artists’ fees is a requirement of all categories in this program.
- You may not apply as an individual and an organization or collective for the same project at the same time. If you are one of the members of an applicant collective, you may also apply as an individual for an unrelated project in the same competition year.
- The project for which the funding is requested must take place in the City of Toronto
- Individuals must have been a resident of the City of Toronto for at least one year prior to the deadline, and live and work in Toronto for at least 8 months a year
- Applicants may receive only one grant per calendar year through the Black Arts Project program, and may not also have a pending application to the Black Arts Operating program. However, applicants may still apply for different projects to arts discipline programs as well as other strategic initiatives programs that TAC offers. In this case, the applicant may receive up to one project grant in each funding stream and three project grants  total per calendar year.
- Organizations and collectives must be incorporated non-profit organizations or unincorporated collectives which operate on a non-profit basis. A collective is defined as two or more artists working together under a group name, either on a single project (ad hoc) or on an ongoing basis. For collectives of two artists, both must be City of Toronto residents and Black. For collectives of more than two artists, the majority of members must be City of Toronto residents and Black.
This Program does not fund:
- Projects that have been completed prior to the announcement of results. Toronto Arts Council does not fund retroactively.
- Non-Black artists, organizations and collectives;
- Organizations and collectives that receive Operating funding from TAC;
- Undergraduate students.
- Schools that are part of Ontario’s public or private education system;
- Educational and religious institutions, unless there is a clear separation in both programming and budget between their regular activities and their arts activities;
- This program is not intended to support ongoing operating costs, such as permanent staff salaries, general administration and ongoing activities of an organization or collective.
- Costs related to equipment purchase, capital projects , fundraising activities, deficit reduction, publishing and archiving projects, awards and award ceremonies, projects conceived for competitive purposes, art therapy;
- Activities taking place outside of the City of Toronto.
How do I apply?
Applicants register and submit the application on TAC Grants Online (https://tac.smartsimple.ca). Applications can be submitted on an ongoing basis, any time before 11:59 pm on October 2, 2023 . TAC does not accept applications by any other means of delivery. You will receive a confirmation email when your application is submitted. Check your spam/junk mail folder if it doesn’t arrive in your in-box. After 11:59 pm on October 2, 2023 your 2023 application can still be accessed in your Application History page in TAC Grants Online. To work on a new application after October 2, 2023 you can start a new draft from the Apply page after the program re-opens by November for the following granting year.
Please download the full Program Guidelines for complete program details and application specifics.
Application Accessibility Support
Applicants who are Deaf, have a disability, or need support to complete their grant applications can apply for funds to cover the costs of assistance from Application Support Service Providers. Up to $500 is available per eligible applicant in each calendar year. Please contact your Grant Program Manager at least six weeks before the grant program deadline to determine eligibility, request application support funding, and to review the process for payment to be made to your Service Provider. Requests for application support require approval from the Grant Program Manager.
Black Arts Program Development
Over the past year, TAC has been consulting with Black arts communities across Toronto to support the development of a community-driven funding program to support Black artists and Black arts organizations in Toronto. Over 300 Toronto-based artists and arts workers joined the conversation. Here is what came out of those conversations, which informed the development of this program:
Following the report 'Black Arts Funding for a Black Arts Future', TAC implemented recommendations from Black arts communities through a community co-design process, and increased the overall budget for the first year from $300,000 to $500,000. During the co-design process Black artists and arts workers shared their feedback about the program design, program guidelines, and application process. While the first consultation focused on community needs, this process focused on how the program would best address those needs through the program design.
We will be releasing a follow-up report soon outlining how community recommendations were implemented into the program through the co-design process.
We want to thank all the Black artists and arts workers across the city who participated in the consultation and co-design process for their contributions to the development of this program.
Please contact Outreach and Access Program Manager Timaj Garad
416-392-6802 x 209 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Black-led: majority of leadership at all levels are Black. Black-focused: primary goal of the organization is to meaningfully support and engage Black communities. Black-serving: a significant portion of program activities prioritize serving Black communities
2A professional artist is someone who has developed their skills through training and/or practice; is recognized as such by artists working in the same artistic tradition; actively practices her/his/their art; seeks payment for her/his/their work; and has a history of public presentation.
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