Increasing Support for the Black Arts Community

New support for the Black arts community

TORONTO, July 23, 2020 - Toronto Arts Council is committed to confronting the systemic anti-Black racism and inequity that exist in Toronto’s arts sector today. TAC joins Black and Indigenous communities in support of equity, justice and human rights.

TAC's Board of Directors has committed new funding in 2020 to contribute to systemic change. Consultations are being held to provide recommendations and guidance on expenditures of new funds.

Consultations, including interviews, focus groups and a survey, are being facilitated by Paulina O’Kieffe-Anthony and Kai ner Maa Pitanta under the guidance of TAC's Equity Steering Committee. Paulina and Kai will gather insights from members of the Black arts community (individuals, groups and organizations), colleagues and partners.

This survey will take approximately 10 mins to complete. We thank you in advance for taking the time to support this process. The end of the survey includes options for dates to participate in follow up consultation sessions. 



Portrait of Paulina O’Kieffe-Anthony
 Paulina O’Kieffe-Anthony is a Toronto based artist, arts educator and creative consultant. She is recognized as a leader in both the social service sector and arts community and has worked in a number of community building capacities with many organizations such as the City of Toronto, Ontario Arts Council, SKETCH, UrbanArts, ArtReach, For Youth Initiative, Love Music Initiative and the Harbourfront Centre. Her work in the not for profit and arts and culture sectors have given her multiple opportunities to support and provide guidance to organizations (from both a position of leadership and as an external facilitator) through strategic visioning processes, change management activities, resource development strategies and working with board members and staff to navigate the current challenges in authentically increasing diversity within their organizations. In 2016, her work and leadership in the community sector was recognized as she was the recipient of the Toronto Community Foundation Vital People Award and again when she was recognized as one of 150 Black Women Making Herstory (as featured on CBC) for her contribution to building the arts scene in Toronto.

Portrait of Kai ner Maa Pitanta
Kai ner Maa Pitanta has been involved in education for 25 years in which he has experience as an educator, counsellor, and program leader for children, youth, and families in community, residential, and institutional settings. He has worked to develop integrated curriculum experiences emphasizing African spiritual principles as an integral tool for instruction and cognitive development. Kai has provided comprehensive project management training to youth leaders which included arts sector overview, planning, budgeting, grant writing, leadership, and project evaluation. He has also facilitated Black men's wellness trainings and Black youth development workshops in many community spaces. Over the last 10 years, Kai ner Maa has worked to develop Children's multi-arts productions emphasizing ancient African character development principles. Kai serves on the TAC Community Arts Committee.

TORONTO ARTS COUNCIL is committed to providing accurate and up to date information for the arts community throughout the COVID-19 emergency response period. See here for updated COVID-19 web pages and all prior TAC releases and assembled resources.

Contact TAC: Please note that TAC staff will remain available to answer your questions and provide updated information throughout the outbreak. Please contact us any time.

Other resources: Please see the TAC COVID-19 Updates pages for links and resources including statements from Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.

About Toronto Arts Council
Toronto Arts Council (TAC) is the City of Toronto’s funding body for artists and arts organizations. Since 1974, TAC has played a major role in the city’s cultural industries by supporting a very broad range of artistic activity. From the emerging artist to the most established, from celebrated institutions to arts that challenge convention, TAC is typically the first funder to offer support. Today, TAC grants lead to exhibitions, performances, readings and workshops seen annually by over 5 million people. Through its ongoing funding of over $18 million annually, TAC cultivates a rich engagement between artists and audiences. It is proud to reflect Toronto’s vibrancy through the diversity of the artists, arts communities and audiences that it serves. For more about Toronto Arts Council, visit

Contact Information
For information, please contact Susan Wright, Deputy Director: 416-392-6802 x 211 |