Creative Communities Project Grants

Application Deadlines: February 1 and August 3, 2021

For questions about this program, contact Kevin Reigh, Creative Communities Program Manger

Note: The program name Community Arts was changed to Creative Communities in late 2020. 


WHAT DOES THIS PROGRAM SUPPORT?

The Creative Communities Projects program provides funding to Toronto non-profit organizations and collectives to pursue one-time or time-limited arts projects that enable public participation and engagement in arts and culture. The City of Toronto supports this program through a funding allocation approved annually by Toronto City Council. Creative Communities projects create a powerful sense of inclusion, understanding and the possibility of self-expression among participants. Projects can involve one or more art practices, such as music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and storytelling, but the collaborative involvement of professional artists with community members is a necessary component. Emphasis is placed on projects that:

  • highlight co-creative processes between artists and communities
  • offer skill building experiences that can lead to presentation or exhibition opportunities for participants
  • increase access to arts activity for the broader community

The maximum grant available in this program is $15,000. Applicants may receive less than the full amount
requested. TAC will fund 100% of the project budget up to $8,000. For requests to TAC over $8,000:

  • the budget must show revenue from other sources
  • the TAC contribution may not exceed 50% of the project budget
  • in-kind contributions may not exceed 25% of the project budget.

Grants contribute to the costs associated with the proposed project, including artistic fees, production and technical costs, marketing and publicity costs, administrative costs, etc. Please note that artists’ fees are the highest priority; this program requires the payment of artists’ fees.

Applicants may apply in one of two categories:

Arts Engagement: Projects in this category engage the community through their art form, work with community members to encourage maximum participation in the arts practice and the art making, and recognize that the process of collaboration is as important as resulting artistic products.

*Key Consideration – How does your project encourage maximum participation of your target community?

Examples:

  • Arts programs in neighbourhoods and communities that help overcome barriers to participation in the arts. Examples of possible barriers are age, physical ability, health status, geography, or economic and socio-cultural barriers.
  • Artists’ collectives partnering with a community organization to undertake a project or residency. Applications relying on host-artist partnerships may include a Letter of Agreement between the host organization and the artist.

Arts Community Development: Projects in this category develop artistic communities through the development of art practices, art forms and/or emerging artistic voices. Eligible applications must define their artistic community and terms of engagement with one or more art forms.

*Key Consideration – How does your project preserve or develop an artistic community?

Examples:

  • An arts organization or collective seeking to work with an artist who practices an ethnically specific, culturally diverse, or traditional art form, to increase their artistic skills, knowledge, range of creative expression and build a community of practice, with the aim to engage a broader community upon completion of the project.
  • An artists’ collective that is part of a specific cultural community seeking to work with artists who have experience working with that community to create and present work in one or more artistic disciplines, with the aim to develop emerging or under-represented artistic voices of community members and/or address issues relevant to their community.
  • An arts organization or collective may hold an arts festival or event that celebrates a specific community. However, simply identifying as a community-based event does not of itself make the project eligible. The event must include participatory arts activities in which members of the community are engaged by Toronto-based professional artists.

 

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?

Project applications submitted to the February deadline must be for projects commencing after June 1. Project applications submitted to the August deadline must be for projects commencing after November 1. Projects must be completed within two years of the date of your Notification Letter.

 

WHO CAN APPLY?

If you are a first-time applicant to the Creative Communities Projects program or if you have any questions about your project’s eligibility, please contact the Creative Communities Program Manger.

  • To apply to Creative Communities Projects applicants must be either an incorporated non-profit organization or an unincorporated collective operating on a not-for-profit basis.
  • A collective is defined as two or more artists working together under a group name, either on a single project or on an ongoing basis.
  • Organizations and collectives must be located in the City of Toronto. A Post Office Box address cannot be used to meet this requirement. Organizations with a regional Toronto office must have operated in the City of Toronto for at least one year prior to the deadline.
  • 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.
  • Artists must be professional. 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 tradition; actively practices her/his/their art; seeks payment for her/his/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) that 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.
  • The project for which the funding is requested must take place in the City of Toronto.
  • Applicants may receive only one grant per calendar year through the Creative Communities program and may not apply to other TAC discipline programs. However, TAC offers other types of granting opportunities through its Strategic Initiatives envelope, and you may be eligible to apply to one of these programs. Please consult TAC’s website for other granting opportunities.


THIS PROGRAM DOES NOT FUND

  • Projects that have been completed prior to the announcement of results. Toronto Arts Council does not fund retroactively
  • Funding cannot be used to support an organization’s ongoing staff or faculty salaries. 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
  • This program does not support schools, tuition-funded training programs, curriculum-based programs, or research projects. Projects with a school as the venue cannot take place during school hours
  • Organizations or collectives that receive Operating funding from TAC
  • Educational and religious institutions, unless there is a clear separation at both the program and budget level between their regular activities (i.e. religious/congregation activities or educational/student body activities) and their arts activities
  • Schools that are part of Ontario’s public or private education system
  • Individual artists
  • Costs related to equipment purchase, capital projects (e.g. building purchases, renovations, etc.), film/video production, archiving, publishing, awards and award ceremonies, art therapy, fundraising events/projects and deficit reduction are not covered by these grants. Costs related to activities occurring outside of the City of Toronto are also not covered (e.g. touring, travel, etc.)
  • Arts-based research initiatives or arts enrichment programs for students.


HOW DO I APPLY?

Applicants register and submit the application through TAC Grants Online (https://tac.smartsimple.ca). Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on the deadline dates. 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.

Please download the full Program Guidelines for complete program details and application specifics. Program Guidelines for 2021 will be added 3 months prior to the application deadline. 

 

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.

 

QUESTIONS?

Contact Creative Communities Program Manager Kevin Reigh (he/him):
416-392-6802 extension 227, kevin@torontoartscouncil.org


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