The Downtown Eastside is normally a hotbed of artistic activity. But this fall, it will be even busier, as Vancouver Foundation and the Carnegie Community Centre have announced the first round of successful applicants in a pilot program called “DTES Small Arts Grants.”
August 5, 2009 — The Downtown Eastside is normally a hotbed of artistic activity. But this fall, it will be even busier, as Vancouver Foundation and the Carnegie Community Centre have announced the first round of successful applicants in a pilot program called “DTES Small Arts Grants.”
The program is intended for artists who demonstrate a history of original art practice, and show a vital engagement with the DTES community. Funded by a grant of $100,000 from Vancouver Foundation, DTES Small Arts Grants has awarded almost $30,000 in the first of two rounds.
Of the more than 100 artists who applied to the program, 31 were chosen by a community advisory committee to receive grants ranging from $500 to $1,000 to showcase their talent and help take their careers to the next level.
The funded projects represent a broad spectrum of artwork: Daniel McRorie will recreate the children’s story The Velveteen Rabbit on six large panels of leather, in Braille; Milisa Gardy will create three photo books that celebrate the diversity of families in Strathcona; and Robi Smith will create a series of “superhero” paintings, and trading cards, using ordinary people in the DTES. Other successful applications include a video, a traffic installation, website creation, a graphic novel, and performance art. The work must be presented publicly by November 30, 2009.
“Our staff identified a gap in community development for individual artists,” says Faye Wightman, CEO of Vancouver Foundation. “They can’t apply to us for grants as individuals. By partnering with Carnegie, we were able to offer support directly. And the DTES seemed like a great location for the pilot program because of the number of low-income artists practicing in the area.”
With more than 1,300 funds, and assets of $700 million, Vancouver Foundation is Canada’s largest community foundation. Since it was founded in 1943, Vancouver Foundation, in partnership with its donors, has distributed more than $740 million to BC charities.
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