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As one of Canada’s artistic hubs, Toronto is a longtime proponent of arts accessibility for youth. Toronto-based charity ArtBound is dedicated to bringing those same opportunities to young people on a global scale. Since it was established in 2008, ArtBound has committed to fostering the creative potential of young people around the world. With spring finally upon the city, ArtBound kicked off the spring events season with their dynamic ArtBound pARTy at Maison Mercer. Discover what ArtBound is all about and why everyone from Toronto’s creative industry, to socialists and philanthropists, are supporting this cause.
ArtBound’s mission is as simple as it is poignant: ‘We believe in the power of the arts to empower those in need, providing them with the tools to reach their full potential.’ ArtBound is a creativity-fuelled, non-profit organization with a global impact. Aiming to bridge the boundaries for children affected by poverty around the world, Artbound helps enable access to education and community centres. At its core, ArtBound promotes artistic programs and creates alternative income streams.
To date, ArtBound has funded several community centres, in addition to supporting established charities and organizations. In 2011, ArtBound funded the Kisaruni all-girls Arts School in Kenya. The school provides arts programming, classes and activities to the girls on a weekly basis.
ArtBound funded an arts-focused community centre in Rajasthan, India — which provides academic and arts education, in addition to clean water, healthcare and income streams. This centre not only educates and fosters creativity, but it provides participants with access to clean water and healthcare.
The Spring 2016 Artbound pARTy marked the launch of a new ‘Creative Deeds’ program, which allows anyone to start an online campaign to raise funds for one of their upcoming artistic projects. Campaigners do inspiring things to fund arts initiatives across the globe – with projects ranging from art and photography, to fashion and photography, to dance and food. 100% of public funds go to your chosen project.
The ‘deeds’ are as unique and diverse as the campaigners themselves and the causes they support. Example projects include private dance lessons with Jillian Vanstone, Principal Dancer of the National Ballet of Canada, in support of Unity Day Programs across Canada (via Unity), or going backstage with Canadian opera soprano, Simone Osborne, in support of Creative Safe Spaces in Afghanistan (via War Child).
The proceeds from this year’s pARTy supported four notable children’s charities: Free the Children, Waves of Hope, Unity and War Child. The next step for Artbound will be to generate additional funds through an online store that is expected to be live within the next few months. The evening began with a heartfelt speech from the Directors Regan Zuzarte, Dana Shalit, and Amanda Alvaro followed by fantastic local music acts and performers, including: ONQ Drummers, Andrew Forde & Band, Unity Breakdancers, ONQ Live, DJ. Everfresh, and Dr. Draw.
Guests enjoyed a number of interactive stations due to the generous donations of Artbound’s valued partners. There was a hair braiding station provided by The Whitehouse Inc., treats by Tree-line Catering, a delicious Nutella snack station by Shop Bake as well as a live art exhibition by the talented Jess Go.
For those looking to make a global difference and would like to become involved with ArtBound, take a look at their website.