Artists In The Library

Toronto Arts Council’s Artists in the Library grants program provides grants of $20,000 to professional artists, arts organizations and collectives working in any artistic discipline to create and deliver free community-engaged arts programming at selected Toronto Public Library branches in the Fall of 2024.

A woman stands with her ear to a speaker at a Toronto library.
Christopher Willes presents Quiet Concerts Performance by Jason Doell and Xuan Ye. Photo by Claire Harvie (2017)

Application deadline: October 1, 2024

  • Full Program Guidelines for 2024 will become available approximately 3 months before the deadline date

  • Apply

For questions about this program, contact Lena Golubtsova, Program Manager, Strategic Initiatives: lena[at]torontoartscouncil[dot]org


WHAT DOES THIS PROGRAM SUPPORT?

Created in 2014 as a partnership between Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Public Library, Artists in the Library program intends to provide paid opportunities and space for Toronto artists while increasing access to the arts in Etobicoke, York, North York, East York and Scarborough through programming in the local branches. Funding for this program is provided by the City of Toronto.

Artists in the Library program provides funding to professional artists, arts organizations and collectives working in any artistic discipline to create and deliver free community-engaged arts programming at one of the listed branches of the Toronto Public Library. This program encourages applications from TAC’s equity priority groups, as well as emerging artists, those reconnecting with their artistic practice, and artists local to the branches.

Grant recipients will have an opportunity to explore their art practice in a community setting; access space and facilities for arts programming and presentation; engage with the branch and its surrounding community in a meaningful way; work closely and be supported by the branch team; navigate a multi-stakeholder environment and create and deliver community-engaged arts programming from start to finish.

Community engagement is a requirement in this program, but its format may vary. Activities may include exhibitions, installations, performances, concerts, screenings, readings, filmmaking, storytelling, workshops, artist talks, open studios, participatory programs, arts education and mentorship programs, presentations of work in progress, and other arts programming. Projects involving co-creation with community members, arts education and/or mentorship over a sustained period of time, including those designed to engage specific groups, are strongly encouraged to include opportunities for participation open to the broader public. Permanent exhibitions and installations are not eligible. All funded projects will be produced by the grant recipient and hosted and supported by the assigned library branch.

The grant amount is $20,000. This grant may cover up to 100% of project costs.

Budget: Your budget should include all artist fees, materials, equipment rental, and any other project expenses. Payment of professional artist fees is a requirement of this program. 

Timing: Programming in the branches will take place between September and December 2024.

Insurance and VSC: All grant recipients will be covered under TAC’s liability insurance. Grant recipients and all collaborators working on the project might be required to complete Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC). TPL will facilitate the process and will reimburse the cost of VSC for up to three (3) individuals per project.

Registration/ticketing: Activities can include drop-in and/or pre-registration. All tickets must be free of charge.

Participating Branches:

  1. Albert Campbell (Scarborough)
  2. Amesbury Park (North York)
  3. Black Creek (North York)
  4. Danforth/Coxwell (East York)
  5. Ethennonnhawahstihnen’ (North York)
  6. Flemingdon Park (North York)
  7. Malvern (Scarborough)
  8. Maria A. Shchuka (York)
  9. Maryvale (Scarborough)
  10. Mount Dennis (York)
  11. New Toronto (Etobicoke)
  12. Richview (Etobicoke)
  13. Victoria Village (North York)
  14. Weston (York)
  15. York Woods (North York)

Please see the branch descriptions enclosed in the Full Program Guidelines document (PDF). You can only apply to program one branch. Please include your branch of choice in the application, specifying alternative choices. Note:  A different branch might be assigned. Not all branches will be programmed. 


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?

All projects must be completed in the 2024 calendar year and, in exceptional circumstances, no later than within two years of the date on the Notification Letter. The project cannot begin before the results are announced. Programming in the branches will take place between September and December 2024.

The duration and the structure of the project will depend on the proposal and can vary from regular workshops throughout four months to just a few larger-scale engagements and presentations to anything in between. The programming schedule will be developed in consultation with the branch staff. Scheduling options will vary, depending on the branch and its capacity to support programming activities.


WHO CAN APPLY?

This grant program is open to professional artists, not-for-profit arts organizations or artist collectives. Experience working with communities or children and youth is an asset.

A 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 field; actively practices their art; seeks payment for their work; and has a history of public presentation.

TAC recognizes that due to systemic barriers within the broader arts community (e.g., limited mainstream presentation opportunities for artists from equity-seeking communities) some flexibility may be required in interpreting eligibility criteria to take into account equivalent professional experience and contexts. Potential applicants from equity-seeking communities are encouraged to discuss their eligibility with the Program Manager in advance of submitting an application.

You may not apply as an individual and be part of an organization or collective applying in the same competition.

You may not apply for the same project in different grants programs.


TAC has two distinct funding envelopes. Applicants may be eligible to apply for one grant in each category per year, so long as they have no incomplete projects or outstanding final reports. The two funding envelopes include:

1.     Arts Discipline: project and operating grants in dance, visual arts, theatre, etc.

2.     Strategic Programs: Animating Historic Sites, Open Door, etc.

With a few exceptions (TAC Leaders Lab, Newcomer & Refugee Artist Mentorship, and TAC-CS Digital Solutions Incubator, Black Arts, Indigenous Arts), applicants can receive only one grant from each funding envelope per year. The Artists in the Library program falls within the Strategic Funding envelope. Any other Strategic Program grants must be completed with a final report filed and approved to meet eligibility criteria.


Eligibility criteria specific to Individuals:

If the applicant is an individual artist, the following eligibility criteria apply:

  • Individuals must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents or have an application pending for Permanent Resident Status or be a Protected Person (approved refugee claimant). If requested, you must be able to provide documentation to verify this. Grant recipients must have a Social Insurance Number.
  • 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. A Post Office Box address cannot be used to meet the residency requirement.
  • Professional artists pursuing graduate studies may not apply for work related to their program of study. A letter from the graduate program director specifying that the project is not related to the graduate student’s program of studies must be submitted with the application.

Eligibility criteria specific to Organizations and Collectives:

If the applicant is an organization or a collective, the following eligibility criteria apply:

  • Organizations and collectives must be incorporated non-profit arts organizations or unincorporated arts 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. For collectives of more than two artists, the majority of members must be City of Toronto residents.
  • Organizations and collectives must be located in the City of Toronto. A Post Office Box address cannot be used to meet this requirement.
  • Collectives must be prepared to submit bank account information (in the name of the collective as listed in the application) if the application is successful.

This program does not fund:

  • Undergraduate students;
  • Commercial businesses or for-profit organizations;
  • Costs related to equipment purchase, capital projects (capital assets such as vehicles, computers or cameras to be used beyond the duration of the project), fundraising projects, deficit reduction, publishing and archiving projects, awards and award ceremonies, projects conceived for competitive purposes, art therapy, academic research, commercial activities (i.e.: the sale of art);
  • Activities taking place outside of the City of Toronto (research, touring, travel, accommodations);
  • Ongoing operating costs, such as permanent staff salaries and general administration of an organization. This program is not intended to support an organization or collective’s ongoing activities. Where a portion of permanent staff or administrative resources are dedicated to the project, you may estimate the value of these resources and include a detailed breakdown in the budget as in-kind revenue;
  • 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.

APPLICATION ACCESSIBILITY SUPPORT FOR DEAF PERSONS OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Applicants who are Deaf or have a disability and 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. For additional information please visit the TAC website > Grant Programs > Application Accessibility Support.

HOW DO I APPLY?

Applicants register and submit the application, including the required support material, on TAC Grants Online (https://tac.smartsimple.ca). Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on the deadline date. 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.

New applicants to the program are encouraged to attend the information session (or watch the recording) and speak with the Program Manager prior to submitting an application.

 

Questions?

Contact Lena Golubtsova, Program Manager, Strategic Initiatives: lena[at]torontoartscouncil[dot]org


  • Full Program Guidelines for 2024 will become available approximately 3 months before the deadline date

  • View past recipients

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