Celebrating Black Creative Community Spaces

As February comes to a close, we reflect on and celebrate the many Black individuals who have and continue to shape history. Across Ontario, there are many arts-based community organizations creating safe and supportive spaces for Black creatives. Here are several examples of Black-owned/operated organizations doing important work that manage creative spaces in Ontario.

Nia Centre for the Arts

The Nia Centre for the Arts is a Toronto-based not-for-profit organization supporting artists and community members through artistic cultural experiences. Their mission is to “support, showcase and promote an appreciation of arts from across the African Diaspora.” Born from a need for more safe spaces for African-Canadian communities, the centre recently received a capital project grant of up to $480,000 to support the construction of an accessible, energy-efficient indoor and outdoor multi-use space at their new facility. 

Nia Centre for the Arts will eventually hold programs, events and provide space for artist studios and galleries. The funds will also support the construction costs to develop a co-working space, a roof-top patio, enhanced Wi-Fi infrastructure and upgrades to building accessibility.

Visit their website.

Wildseed Centre for Art & Activism

Wildseed Centre for Art & Activism developed through the work of Black Lives Matter activists. The centre is a multipurpose space designed to provide a safe space for “radical Black experimentation and creation”. Wildseed provides skill-building and professional development opportunities for Black creatives through their programmings, such as their Black Arts Fellowship 20 month program for Black visual, movement, and performance artists.  

Visit their website.

Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue – BAND

The mandate of the Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue (BAND) is to support, document and showcase the artistic and cultural contributions of Black artists and cultural workers both in Canada and internationally. BAND also offers a variety of programs including their Emerging Artist Exhibitions (solo professional exhibits) , Performing Arts Series (emerging and established artist showcase), and Canadian Culture Series (presentation and speaking series).

Visit their website.

Creative arts initiatives and contributions of Black-led organizations continue to make a vital impact on Ontario arts communities. We support and honour the work done, and the great work to come.