Bridging the Gap Discussion Follow Up

discussion groups

On  April  21st,  2011  the  Neighbourhood  Arts  Network  and  Scarborough  Arts brought together artists and cultural workers from across Toronto at AccessPoint on Danforth. The topic for discussion  was  bridging  the  gap  that  exists  between  arts  communities  in  the downtown core and the inner suburbs.

The  event  started  off  with  two  short  presentations,  providing  context  for  the following  discussions.  Tim  Whalley,  Executive  Director  of  Scarborough  Arts touched  on  some  of  the  realities  of  arts  programming  in  the  inner  suburbs. Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival’s Heather Keung (Artistic Director) and  Louanne  Chan  (Director  of  Marketing)  then  spoke  about  Reel  Asian’s  work connecting with new audiences outside the downtown core. Over  forty  representatives  of  arts  organizations  based  in  the  inner  suburbs  and the  downtown  core  participated  in  small  group  discussion.  Wide‐ranging conversations  touched  on  issues  such  as:  infrastructure,  communication,  and partnering.

Over  forty  representatives  of  arts  organizations  based  in  the  inner  suburbs  and the  downtown  core  participated  in  small  group  discussion.  Wide‐ranging conversations  touched  on  issues  such  as:  infrastructure,  communication, and partnering.

AccessPoint on Danforth is a newly renovated community space

We have compiled a summary of notes taken during this discussion;  they  are organized  into  three  sections:  Challenges  and  Solutions,  General  Observations and Misconceptions, and How Can We Connect? Many insightful solutions/strategies were developed in response to  difficulties commonly faced by arts groups,  such as how to overcome the geographic and communication barriers that make it challenging to forge partnerships, and how to facilitate the exchange of resources and information between downtown and suburban groups.

Many insightful solutions/strategies were developed in response to  difficulties commonly faced by arts groups,  such as how to overcome the geographic and communication barriers that make it challenging to forge partnerships, and how to facilitate the exchange of resources and information between downtown and suburban groups.

The Bridging the Gap discussion  notes are available online on the Neighbourhood Arts Network website or here: NAN_Bridging the Gap_April 2011

We hope these notes will help you in your efforts to connect with other arts communities in Toronto.

If you have any questions or if there is anything you would like to add to our “Bridging the Gap” discussion please contact skye@torontoarts.org

Katie Fry is the Spring 2011 Research Intern at the Neighbourhood Arts Network

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