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THE SCOOP | Applications For TO Live Explorations Initiative Open To June 28 2024

By Anya Wassenberg on May 17, 2024

Graphic of a stylized person thinking about music.
Image by Peace,love,happiness from Pixabay

TO Live has announced that applications for the organization’s explorations initiative are open now with a deadline of June 28. The grant is designed to support innovation by Toronto artists, which may include research, testing out new techniques, or otherwise taking their artistic practice in new directions.

“We are thrilled to, once again, launch this important program of support for the artists of the City of Toronto. explorations is just one initiative in a suite of programs that TO Live has created to support local artists at all stages of their creative development process,” said Clyde Wagner, President & CEO, TO Live in a statement.

TO Live is a multi-arts organization that operates three Toronto venues: Meridian Hall, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and Meridian Arts Centre. The funds are meant to support artists so that they have the time and space for the creative process, without having to predetermine (and then prove) their ultimate goals. The only goal is to learn from the experience.

Research without an end goal is not typically a part of the structure of arts funding, which is more often project-based.

Past Applicants

Successful applicants from previous years reveals the diverse nature of the city’s artistic life. In 2023, Tanveer Alam’s research into group choreography connected with his interest in Islamic architectural geometry and Kathak aesthetics. Joe ‘Jojo’ Bowden looked into his family’s origins as Black Loyalists to research the connections between early Black Loyalist settlements and Black Canadian music as a genre.

In 2022, flamenco artist Carmen Romero, in collaboration with guitarist Benjamin Barrile, looked into using technology to augment performances. Emmanuel Jal, former child soldier and refugee from South Sudan, used the funding to research how to record and preserve the music of choirs from the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

The Details

explorations is in its fourth year, and is open to individual artists, artist collectives or project-based organizations based in Toronto. So far, explorations has funded 26 artists, providing more than $150K in direct financial support.

  • Submissions are welcome in all artistic disciplines;
  • Six artists will receive $7,000 each to carry out research.

The submissions evaluation process will consider the driving force behind the concept in question, along with its potential to broaden the artist’s practice. How will it play out in future projects, both professionally and artistically?

Applications are encouraged from Indigenous artists, racialized artists/artists of colour, persons with disabilities, women, 2SLGBTQIA+ artists, and any individual who identifies with a marginalized or equity-seeking group.

  • The deadline for applications to explorations is Friday, June 28, 2024 at 5 p.m.
  • The names of the six applicants chosen will be revealed on September 11, 2024.
  • Artists will have until December 31, 2024 to work on their idea.

Find application details and background on previous explorations artists [HERE].

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