Artscape Lauches Regent Park Video Series
For more than 25 years, Toronto’s Artscape has pioneered the concept of creative placemaking by leveraging the power of art, culture and creativity as a catalyst for change, growth and transformation. To celebrate the September 2012 launch of the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre, Artscape has commissioned a series of short video documentaries that explore the role that arts and culture play in the lives of the neighbourhood’s youth. The videos can be seen at www.regentparkarts.ca and Artscape is inviting viewers to share their own stories on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #regentparkarts.
Andrew Gunadie was commissioned to create a trailer and five short videos introducing viewers to young people from Regent Park who have found their voices through creative expression — from music to theatre to visual arts to poetry: Mustafa Ahmed, a poet; Cecilia NuguyenTran, a pianist; Fathima-Husna Fahmy, a visual artist; Tony Le, an actor; Steve Harmony, a singer-songwriter; and Matthew G. Brown, an actor and musician.
A new cultural hub, the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre is part of the 15-year revitalization of Regent Park and has been envisioned to showcase and incubate creative voices like those captured in the documentary series. Artscape, Toronto Community Housing, The Daniels Corporation and members of the local community have partnered to develop the innovative 60,000 square foot, purpose-built facility. Designed by the award-winning Diamond & Schmitt Architects, the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre will be the newest addition to downtown Toronto’s thriving cultural landscape when it opens its doors to the public in September.
Today, the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre welcomed seven dynamic tenant organizations to their new home: ArtHeart Community Art Centre, Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), COBA Collective of Black Artists, Native Earth Performing Arts, Regent Park Film Festival, Regent Park School of Music and the most recent addition, Regent Park Community Health Centre Pathways to Education Program. These tenant organizations were selected for their proven ability to engage with communities, to encourage artistic creation and education, to advance learning and offer an inter-cultural experience.
Regent Park is one of the most dynamic cultural neighbourhoods in Toronto — with 56 different countries of origin and 47 different languages spoken — but historically, has lacked the facilities to showcase its talent. The Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre is poised to become the artistic, cultural and social heart of the revitalized neighbourhood, and will offer a new platform for creativity and cultural exploration while encouraging the community to tap into its rich creative potential.
Located on Dundas Street East just east of Parliament, the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre is the result of more than seven years of consultation and collaboration with members of the Regent Park community and project partners. Toronto Community Housing’s plan for the Regent Park revitalization includes replacing 2,083 social housing units, adding more than 3,000 new condominium units, a new aquatic centre, a community centre, and a new six-acre park. The revitalization is more than the sum of its parts, and is an ongoing catalyst for other changes in the community including The Citadel, home of dancers Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie and YogaBeat community yoga studio, which opened its doors in 2011 and is now a fully integrated and thriving member of the Regent Park neighbourhood.
For more information on the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre visit http://torontoartscape.org/regent-park-arts