Designing Accessible Futures
Promotional Flyer Photo Description: A black background with grey geometric lines is overlaid with a large multicoloured node graphic. The centre is a large orange circle with black text that reads: Designing Accessible Futures. Stemming out from the node in blue pink and green are several circles with smaller symbols on them representing various disabilities and artistic mediums. Some of these include a painter’s palette, a wheelchair user doing a wheelie and a scribble person outline representing various invisible disabilities. White text below the node reads A City of Toronto Cultural Hotspot Signature Program. In the upper left corner in a white rectangle overlay are the logos for the city of Toronto, North York Arts and The Cyborg Circus Project.
Video Description: Natasha Bacchus, a black woman with short pink hair, is wearing a pink sweater and has bright green fingernails. She is standing in front of a grey backgrounding signing the program information in American Sign Language. The information in this video is represented in the text below.
Important video edit: Applications and interviews for the program will take place in October and the program will start in November
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
North York Arts and The Cyborg Circus Project present a City of Toronto Cultural Hotspot Signature Program, with support from the Ontario Arts Council.
Designing Accessible Futures is a free six-month virtual mentorship program for Deaf, *Mad or Disabled artists living in Toronto.
Running from November 2020 to March 2021, we are recruiting six artists who are looking for support to run their own project or program.
If this sounds like something you would be suited for, please keep reading for more details and how to apply!
HOW TO APPLY
We will be accepting and screening applicants through an interview process starting in October. The program will be capped at 12 participants and will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis.
REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED
How does the program work?
Designing Accessible Futures is a 6 month-long program with a minimum time commitment of approximately 30 hours.
The program is structured as follows:
Interview Process: We will be screening applicants through an interview process starting in October. Interviews will be capped at 12 participants and will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis. After the interviews, we will choose the six participants.
Group Meetings: Starting in November, the group will meet 6 times online (using Zoom or a similar videoconference platform). The meetings will be held once or twice a week in the evening depending on what works best for the participants. Each meeting will be 3 hours.
One-on-One: Participants will be matched with a mentor to continue to develop their project 1:1 over the following months.
Town Hall: Finally, we will host a town hall in March to talk about what we have learned, and participants will be asked to attend this 3 hour event.
When is the program?
The program starts in November and will end in March. All sessions will be scheduled with participants.
Who should apply?
Deaf, Mad, and Disabled artists living in Toronto, with some experience in their chosen discipline who are looking for support to run their own project or program. This program will provide mentorship and guidance for artists and is best suited for people who have not yet begun or are at the beginning stages of their project.
For example, someone who has participated in several theatre projects has an idea for a show they would like to create, but doesn’t know how to get started on the process. Or, someone who is interested in starting a community program, but is unsure of how to set it up, or how to get funding.
Everyone who participates in the program will receive an honoraria of $200 for their time.
What kinds of disabilities does the program consider?
This program defines disability broadly. This program is focused on the needs of artists who are Deaf, Disabled or Mad. People with invisible disabilities and chronic illness are welcome. People who are undiagnosed, but also experience disability are also welcome.
What access features are part of this program?
This program will have ASL interpretation for all virtual gatherings. ASL can also be provided during the mentorship stage if necessary. We will be asking all potential participants about their access needs during the interview process, and we will be designing the program after those needs are identified. There is an access budget to ensure that participants can have their needs met. There is the potential to purchase a limited amount of technology to ensure that everyone is able to participate in virtual gatherings.
What is the application process?
We will be accepting and screening applicants through an interview process starting in October. Interviews will be capped at 12 participants and will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis.
We will arrange a time for the interview and plan for any necessary accommodations. The interview questions will be available in advance and will be sent to you when the time is confirmed.
After the interviews, we will choose the six participants.
* Why are we using the word “Mad”?
With guidance from our partners at Cyborg Circus Project, NYA is using the term “Mad” in support of Mad Pride, a movement that seeks to reclaim discriminatory language against those who have been labeled “mentally ill”. While “Mad” is commonly used in community arts and accessibility arts spaces in Toronto, we recognize that the term is not universally known or accepted. NYA has chosen to support our partners with the use of this term for this program.
To learn more about Mad Pride Toronto please visit: http://www.torontomadpride.
North York Arts (NYA) collaborates with artists, arts organizations, and partners to develop, strengthen, and promote cultural programming and initiatives for North York communities
Melissa joined North York Arts in 2014 and has 15 years working in various roles throughout the public sector. She holds a BA (hons) in Theatre Studies from York University and a Community Arts Practice Certificate from York University. She also holds a post-degree diploma in Arts Management from Western University.
What does art mean to you?
Exploring our shared humanity