We are excited to announce the winners of the 2017 ArtWorks TO - Youth Communication Projects!

Neighbourhood Arts Network, in partnership with the City of Toronto, Toronto Youth Equity Strategy (TYES), is thrilled to announce the sucessful ArtWorksTO - Youth Communication Projects youth artist entrepreneurs. These artists will be working with various City contracts to produce City communication materials for youth by youth!

Here are the recipients for 2017:

Adrian Huang will be working with Shelter, Support and Housing Administration on the Youth Homelessness Strategy.
Adrian is trained in the methodologies and canons of Architecture and Urban Studies at the University of Toronto from 2011-2016. His primary tools of choice are words, images, and their hybrid in-betweens as mediated by modern digital technology. Storytelling through words and images has always been an important part of his life and is his current freelancing job, where he is passionate about developing creative and engaging stories with rigorous research and compelling language. Adrian is primarily motivated by a commitment to intersectional social justice, which he believes is best contribute his strengths as a researcher and communicator.

Anthony Gebrehiwot will be working with Toronto Public Health on activeTO.
Anthony is a self-taught photographer and founder of XvXy-photo focusing on studio portraiture, and has to date, worked with some of Canada’s most prolific instigators including Che Kothari, d’bi.young anitafrika, Kardinal Offishal and Emmanuel Jal. Permanently humbled by the magnificence, brilliance and sheer beauty of the human form, Gebrehiwot often provocatively deifies his subjects; paying homage to their divine human essence through his imagery.

Atifa Nasiri will be working with Parks, Forestry and Recreation on Sign Post Makeovers.
Atifa lives in Flemingdon Park and is a grade 11 student at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute. She has experience with art for 6 years, which includes high school art classes, an art program for middle school students, and personal art projects. Some of the personal art projects that she engages in includes: painting, designing clothes, visual art and clays (making pods). Some of Atifa’s specialties are expressionism and realism painting. She was also an art facilitator for Find Your Expression which, was an after school art program, for middle school youth designed by high school students.             

Aniqa Rahman will be working with Toronto Police Services on Caribbean Carnival Kick-off.
Aniqa is a recent University of Toronto graduate, where she earned her Honours Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She owes much of her success in life to not only her family, friends, and mentors, but also to Community Arts which has been an integral part of her healing process as well as growth towards her individuality. Raised in a diverse neighbourhood in Scarborough, Aniqa has been immersed in the Arts since 2013. She participated in ArtStarts’ Sew What?!, East Music and Project Management with Scarborough Arts, We are Lawrence Avenue with Cultural Hotspot and UforChange photography classes.

Connie Tong will be working with City Planning on a website for Planners in Public Spaces.
Connie is a Scarborough-based independent artist, designer and art educator. She holds a Bachelor of Design at OCAD University in Material Arts and Design. She has exhibited her work across the GTA and has been awarded the Adobe Creative Design award for her multimedia installation, "Meet Your Meet." As a passionate advocate for art education, Connie has taught visual arts lessons at private and public institutions including The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, CedarRidge Creative Centre, Artbarnschool, Toronto District School Board and Riverdale Farm.

Corex Creative will be working with Social Development, Finance Administration on Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020; and City Planning on the Oakwood-Vaughan Revitalization Study.
Corex Creative is a multi-media agency that produces rst rate video, photos, and design. Working with nonprofits, government, internationally recognized brands and companies, as well as with individuals for both corporate and artistic projects. With a diverse team of young professionals spanning all forms of media, offering speciality services in every department of production and design.

Deaf Spectrum will be working with Social Development, Finance Administration on creating New Carding Regulations;
and City Clerk’s Office on My Local Government.
Deaf Spectrum established in 2015 after a several years of brainstorming and figuring out how to bring greater accessibility to our communities. We started off with using sparse resources, using what we have to deliver information in American Sign Language (ASL). Over the past year, we have produced more than eighty sign language translation videos, gathered more resources, and worked with more than twenty various businesses, organizations and groups. We are still a work in process – learning and gathering resources that we need to provide the Deaf communities with quality information that is accessible for all of us.

Francis Fiction will be working with Toronto Public Health on Youth Health Action Network (YHAN).
Francis (Fiction) Kabisoso is a Congolese born photographer and filmmaker whose work is an exploration of the human experience. Francis believes in bearing witness to life through the capturing and re-telling of individual human stories. The founder of Humans of Hamilton and Human Stories , established in May of 2012, he is a storyteller whose personal storyline is intertwined with the levity of Hamilton's heartbeat. He recent accomplishments have included a Solo Photo Exhibit of his Humans Stories work this past February. He is currently studying Video Design and Production at George Brown College.

Hazel Mae Valenzuela will be working with the City Planning division on the interactive 2016 Annual Report.                            
Hazel is a third year student pursuing a double major in public policy (co-op) and city studies at University of Toronto Scarborough. A self taught graphic designer, she has taken her curious passion to UTSC and has worked alongside most of the well known groups on campus such as the SCSU, TEDxUTSC, The Underground and ARTSIDE OUT. With her admiration for order, communication, branding and design - she continually challenges herself in human centered design an intersection between her two interests of creative public consultation and graphic design.

James Malekzadeh will be working with Toronto Public Library on Youth Services.
James is a recent graduate of Ryerson University’s Film Studies program, where he specialized in Documentary Production. His main focuses in filmmaking are social and cultural issues, especially within the City of Toronto.

Loveleen Kang will be working with City Planning on podcasts for Planners in Public Spaces.
Loveleen is a non-fiction storyteller. She draws from her past personal, academic, and employment experiences in non-profit and community organizing to create multi- dimensional stories that highlight the voices of those that may be underrepresented. Her recent successes have included the selection of her documentary film, Behind The Fare, for a screening at Mayworks in 2016, 10,000+ downloads of her podcast, The Anti- Casserole (2015), and being awarded the $15,000 Access and Career Development Grant by the Ontario Arts Council in 2015.

Maria Pineros will be working with Parks, Forestry and Recreation on Community Posters; 
and Shelter, Support and Housing Administration on Youth Tenant Education to Help Prevent Eviction.
Maria is a lead Graphic Designer and Illustrator currently working at Joint Development Collective (JDC), Toronto’s only Fundraising Communications agency. JDC specializes in telling stories in compelling and creative ways that align with your organization’s communication and organizational objectives. Through my work with JDC, I have been successful at using graphic design to support environmentally and socially conscious spaces and grow inclusive communities online and offline.

Mez Creatives will be working with Shelter, Support and Housing Administration on Youth Tenant Education to Help Prevent Eviction;
and Toronto Police Services on Caribbean Carnival Kick-off.
Mez Creatives is a full service design company. We work with small business owners and organizations to produce creative solutions that grow their brands. We believe in building with purpose, in investing in ideas and people who want to create something meaningful for themselves and their community.

Meredith Stapon will be working with Municipal Licensing and Standards and Shelter, Support and Housing on Budget Friendly Pet Care Tips for Youth.                        
Meredith is a recent graduate of York University. With a degree in Communications Studies, her academic success lead to an opportunity working with the Neighbourhood Arts Network (NAN). During this time she produced original content, maintained social media practices and assisted in the organization of community based arts events. Upon graduating, she accepted an offer extending her time with NAN, this time working independently to produce a series of 5 original videos with a goal of simplifying multiple themes of Arts Equity. These videos varied in aesthetic, but ultimately consisted of claymation, stop-motion and live painting. Meredith shot all content independently, produced scripts and narrated the footage, before editing with Adobe Premier Pro.

Paul Ohonsi will be working with Toronto Community Housing on YouthWorx;
and Social Development, Finance Administration on Toronto Youth Equity Strategy;
and Social Development, Finance Administration on Furthering our Community by Uniting Services (FOCUS).
Paul is a Toronto based multidisciplinary artist, cinematographer, graduate of the Watah School theatre program, photographer and video director for RISE Edutainment for the past 5 years. His purpose as an artist is to explore his own humanity and from this perspective, tell authentic stories about the human experience.

Polina Radtchenko will be working with Social Development, Finance Administration on Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020.
Polina is a young artist working in the animation industry. She has worked on a number of projects, including episodes of Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That, a new Netflix preschool series called Luna Petunia in partnership with Cirque du Soleil, a Canadian animated sitcom Odd Job Jack and the television series Julius Jr. She studied animation at Seneca College at York University, located in Neighbourhood Improvement Area #27. This personal connection makes her even more excited about improving these parts of the city. Using her art to help make Toronto a great place to live and thrive would be Polina’s dream come true, as she deeply values community, creativity and service in her work and other projects.

Rosa Solorzano will be working with Parks, Forestry and Recreation on Canada 150 Ceiling Banners.
Rosa Solorzano is a member of The FCJ Youth Network, housed by the FCJ Refugee Centre. The FCJ Youth Network has existed for the past five years, and developed in response to the growing number of precarious migrant youth who were needing to navigate complicated settlement and immigration processes, often on their own. Since its inception, the group has grown to welcome more than 200 members, who have worked collectively to shape an unparalleled space for refugee and precarious migrant youth. On average, 25 to 30 members meet on a weekly basis to share experiences, lend support and celebrate their resilience and talents. This is accomplished through a wide range of activities, including arts-based, community-driven programming and several awareness raising campaigns.

Torogoz Group will be working with City Clerk’s Office on Elections Youth Engagement Strategy.
Torogoz is an artist group that consists of two siblings who grew up in Toronto’s inner city. Their parents came as refugee from El Salvador. They both grew up in Regent Park and were exposed to the realities of welfare and street violence. Fortunately, with a strong foundation from their teachers in the public school system and their families they were able to overcome these obstacles and strengthen their skills in media and art. Both are advocates for at-risk youth and have created events and documentary projects that empower them.

Yael De Gale will be working with Shelter, Support and Housing Administration on the Youth Homelessness Strategy.
Yael is a professional Illustrator, Graphic Designer and Lyricist who has fused his artistic gifts into creating his own company Degale Design, mandated to break social boundaries and cultivate creative culture through illustration and Hip-Hop. Best known for delivering highly detailed graphic illustrations infused with strong poetic rhymes manifesting deep spiritual concepts, Yael aims to transport his audience into a state of self-reflection where they are able to look into themselves and elevate their consciousness.