Mentor in Residence for Black Arts Projects

We are excited to announce a new partnership between Neighbourhood Arts Network’s Mentor in Residence program and Toronto Arts Council's (TAC) new Black Arts Projects Program that will provide free pre-application support to prospective Black Arts Projects applicants.

Created by Toronto Arts Foundation’s Neighbourhood Arts Network (NAN) and presented in partnership with TAC’s Black Arts Projects grant, Mentor in Residence for Black Arts Projects is a new initiative within NAN’s existing Mentor in Residence program, designed to support Black artists planning to apply to TAC’s Black Arts Projects.

Mentors may provide support to the prospective applicants in the following ways:

  • provide direction in development of project ideas
  • connect mentees to resources to support project development
  • assist with grant-writing and editing
  • support with professional development and networking

Meet the Black Arts Projects supporting mentors!

Paulina Anthony looks intensely at camera against a yellow background. Her hair is braided and she wears a black turtleneck with a colourful scarf on her left shoulder, and dangling earrings
Paulina O’Kieffe-Anthony (she/her) is an award winning Toronto writer, playwright, performer, producer, arts educator, creative consultant and is currently the Resource Development and Marketing Manager at SKETCH Working Arts. Paulina's work has been featured in media on Bell Fibe TV, Huffington Post Canada, AfroGlobal TV, Metro Morning and CBC Morning and published in 3 anthologies and 1 book. Paulina is the recipient of a Toronto Foundation’s Vital People Award and was recognized as one of 150 Black Women Making Herstory (as featured on CBC) for her contribution to building the arts scene in Toronto.
Read her detailed bio here.

"When we talk about supporting Black artists, we must talk about it in a holistic way. Providing funding for Black artists is a great step in the right direction, but we must also ensure that Black artists are able to develop their ideas in a way that increases their chances in successfully accessing that funding by offering mentorship, guidance, space, networking opportunities and key insights into the world of arts project funding. As a Black artist myself who had to learn the hard way on how to navigate the funding world, I feel it is my duty to be able to share my knowledge to make this funding more accessible and offer the opportunity to ease the way for other Black artists to access funds and develop creative projects that will inevitably impact all of our lives." Paulina O’Kieffe-Anthony


Fiona-Raye Clarke stares intentently at camera, against a background of greenery.. She wears a dark pink blouse.
Fiona Raye Clarke (she/her) is an award-winning Trinidadian-Canadian writer, theatre and community-engaged artist. She is the editor of Basodee: An Anthology Dedicated to Black Youth (2012) and Black Like We: Troubleshooting the Black Youth Experience (2018). Her writing has appeared in various publications online and in print. She is the Artistic Director of the Black youth oral history project, INTERGENERACIAL, and is a TD-Diaspora Dialogues Black Playwrights Mentoring Program mentee, working on her first full-length play, Broken Windows

Read her detailed bio here.


Headshot of Wayne Dunkley smiling broadly and looking to his right. He wears a dark shirt with a broad neckline.
 Wayne Dunkley (he/him) is a graduate of X University and the University of Toronto who has worked in both commercial and art photography. He was awarded the Paul D. Fleck award for Innovation in the Arts from the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity and a commission from the Banff New Media Institute. His practice includes photography, digital media & storytelling, cultural mediation, lectures and workshop facilitation. Dunkley is also a professional voice actor.

Read his detailed bio here.

Mentors will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. Mentees will be able to access two mentorship sessions through this program. 
Register for Black Arts Projects application support by completing the form here.
Please let us know in the registration form if you require any accommodations, such as ASL interpretation, note taking, and other forms of support, to access this mentorship.

About Black Arts Projects

TAC’s Black Arts Projects granting program is designed to support arts projects by Black artists, Black artist collectives, and Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving organizations. This funding program is open to all arts disciplines and intended to support the development, continuation, and flourishing of Black arts communities as well as amplify the work of Black artists in Toronto. 
Applications for the Black Arts Projects Program are accepted on an ongoing basis until October 7, 2021.
Click here for more details.
Please note that there is also a mentorship component within the Black Arts Projects program, which is separate from the above mentioned pre-application mentorship. Visit our website here to learn more about funded mentorship options available to successful Black Arts Programs applicants.

About the Mentor in Residence program

NAN’s Mentor in Residence program was launched in the aftermath of the pandemic to support artists coping with the cancelation of in-person events, presentations, concerts, and other activities essential to their artistic practice. The Mentor in Residence program assists artists with developing community arts practices by providing mentorship support in career planning, project development and entrepreneurial skills through virtual consultation sessions with industry professionals.
Click here for more details.

About Neighbourhood Arts Network

Neighbourhood Arts Network is a strategic initiative of Toronto Arts Foundation. Visit for more information.

For information about Mentor in Residence for Black Arts Projects, please contact Timaj Garad, Outreach & Access Program Manager:
416-392-6802 x 209 |

Haroon Khalid, Interim Communications Manager:
416-392-6802 x 217 |