North York Arts is thrilled to introduce Ebony Viani-Singer, the coordinator for one of our signature fall programs – Second Act: ESL Theatre Program. Second Act provides a series of free theatre-focused workshops for youth to feel more comfortable and confident speaking English.

Ebony is excited to bring her passion for the arts into her role as coordinator for the program

Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Ebony Viani-Singer and I was born and raised in Canada, but my parents both immigrated here from Venezuela. I have always had a passion for acting, music and the arts in general. Right after high school I went to York University to pursue a degree in music to become a teacher after that, but quickly realized it wasn’t the career path for me. I took some time off to rediscover what it was that was truly my passion, and I enrolled into the Child and Youth Care program at Humber. I am currently in my last semester of the program and love the fact that I get to help people as my career. It has given me a new drive and sense of purpose I have not been able to find in anything else I have tried to pursue. 

What are you looking forward to with Second Act?

What I am most looking forward to is combining two of my biggest passions, acting and helping others, and getting to hear the stories of all the youth who will be a part of the program. I believe that there is so much to learn from the experiences of others and cannot wait to help others grow, but also have them help me grow as well.

How has arts and culture made an impact in your life?

Arts and culture have allowed me to express myself when words were not enough. There have been so many opportunities where I did not have the words to speak, but art gave me a voice whether it was through music, drama, painting and drawing. I am so grateful that I was able to use the arts as an outlet and a tool to feel truly free. 

How do you think art can play a role in helping to reduce language barriers?

Art is a universal language that can be felt and understood by all. Though different places around the world have different artistic styles, all seek to have their art be an expression of self. Whether or not you speak the same language as someone, everyone has felt pain, joy, sadness or any other emotion at some point in their lives. Art transcends speech and allows us to connect on a level that is not just understood, but felt. It allows for someone to share thoughts and ideas without necessarily needing to say a single word. It creates a connection between in a very unique way.

To learn more about Second Act and other North York Arts programs, visit http://www.northyorkarts.org/project/second-act

Interview by: Rachel Birnberg

Development and Communications Coordinator