The Canadian arts sector and arts community have been severely impacted by COVID-19, especially with the restrictions placed on gathering, sharing and collectively creating which are so vital to the arts.
Emergency support, funding, information, social services and other resources to help artists, creative entrepreneurs and non-proﬁts during the crisis is currently dispersed throughout hundreds of websites, and so overwhelming many folks don’t know where to start.
artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts began from a community-identified need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March and April of 2020, Artscape reached out to our communities, artists, and artist-led families to find out what their greatest needs were during the COVID-19 crisis and how we could help. We found out that the situation is indeed desperate: nearly 40% of our community anticipated food insecurity within a matter of weeks. Our community also expressed concern about being able to locate resources and support, as well as apprehension around what the future might hold.
Artscape developed a responsive constellation of programs in an effort to support our communities. These programs include catalyzing our network of resources, advocating for artists and the creative community, rent abatement programs and the artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts website.
artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts is designed as a free, centralized, comprehensive, humanistic wayﬁnding service to support artists, creative entrepreneurs and the arts sector access available beneﬁts and support. It will prepare artists for a world that is fundamentally diﬀerent by providing a dynamic service that proactively adapts and responds to the changing needs of the sector to become a vital long-term support during recovery and regeneration. artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts aims to provide support and opportunities for growth across three phases: immediate relief, generating possibilities for artists’ remuneration and stabilizing for long term recovery.
artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts has 3 goals:
- Directly and positively impact artists and creative entrepreneurs by providing emergency relief and support, participating in recovery and fostering long-term growth.
- Support artists and creative entrepreneurs in accessing resources with successful outcomes.
- Build resilience in artists and creative organizations.
In order to achieve these goals, we must work together across sectors and across the country. Artscape has reached out to our friends, family, partners and like-minded organizations to catalyze the development of this website platform as a resource for everyone. Toronto Artscape Foundation provided the seed funding towards the development of a prototype, and we are currently working together to engage community, content, development and funding partners to create a long-term website resource, which would be free for all to access.
We launched the first phase of this resource in May 2020 and are looking forward to your feedback, thoughts and suggestions for how this platform can be improved for you. Please reach out, we’d love to hear from you.
Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
artsUNITE/UNITÉ des arts provides an online platform that is inclusive and serves as a catalyst for artists to thrive. Our mission reflects this intention, as we welcome people from all experiences, inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, race, Indigenous status, ethnicity, mental and physical ability, caregiver status, housing status, place of origin, age and all other statuses protected by the the Canadian Human Rights Act. Please click here to read our commitment statement for additional information.