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StreetARToronto (StART) programs and projects are designed to celebrate the City of Toronto motto "Diversity Our Strength" and foster a greater sense of belonging among all.  StART welcomes and actively seeks out partners for initiatives that support program objectives and works closely with partnership staff in other City divisions and agencies and supports City partnership activities.

StreetARToronto Just Us Art Project

StART has received requests from artists interested in doing more projects in support of Black Lives and justice for Indigenous Peoples. In response, this “Just Us” Art Call is for concepts for murals that highlight social injustice, equity, race relations and community engagement. (See "Just Us Theme Ideas" below for a complete list). StART is collaborating with NIA Centre for the Arts and 7th Generation Image Makers for the 2021 Just Us Art Project.

For this Request for Concept Descriptions, the City of Toronto is seeking submissions from street, mural and graffiti artists or artist collectives who have access to a wall exposed to city streets with written authorization from the property owner granting the artist permission to paint their mural concept on the wall.

All projects must be located in Toronto.

The goal of this Request for Concept Descriptions is to establish a roster of projects eligible to participate in the StART “Just Us” Art Project. An Advisory Panel will select up to 10 projects from the roster to receive up to $3,000 toward the creation of their mural.

Background and Objectives

"Just Us" art call is a request for mural proposals in support and recognition of Black lives and the rights of Indigenous Peoples produced by StreetARToronto (StART) in collaboration with Nia Centre for the Arts and 7th Generation Imagemakers. The "Just Us" art call seeks mural concepts that create awareness surrounding social injustice, equity, race relations and community engagement. The mural proposals should speak to historic and current social issues and movements within Black and Indigenous communities, and the importance, benefits and opportunities to build a better future through inclusion, collaboration and knowledge sharing. 

About StreetARToronto

StreetARToronto (StART) a suite of innovative programs specifically designed for streets and public spaces, has been successful in working with artists to produce vibrant, colourful, community engaged street mural and graffiti art. StART programs encourage active transportation (walking and cycling), make our streets more inviting and safe, showcase local artists, mentor emerging talent, and create opportunities for positive engagement among residents, business, artists, arts organizations and City staff. While based on themes relevant to local sites and neighbourhoods, StART artworks and artists also reflect the City of Toronto motto: Diversity Our Strength and foster a greater sense of belonging among all. An initiative of the City of Toronto, Transportation Services Division, StART has become a leader in significant mural, street and graffiti art installations since its inception in 2012.

About Nia Centre for the Arts

Nia Centre for the Arts is a Toronto-based non-profit dedicated to promoting, showcasing and preserving Afro-diasporic art. Since 2009, Nia Centre has created meaningful cultural, artistic experiences rooting in Black traditions. In 2020, the Centre launched construction to transform their facility into Canada’s first professional multidisciplinary Black arts centre. Learn more at niacentre.org.

About 7th Generation Image Makers

7th Generation Image Makers is a dynamic, youth-led Aboriginal community arts program operating within Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. Since 1995, 7th Generation has provided quality and accessible art and media based programming in a culturally supportive and safe environment to Toronto-based youth and youth at-risk. Learn more here.

Overview of Artist Selection Process

Artist submissions will be evaluated on a rolling basis at the end of July, August and September, 2021.

Submissions will be reviewed by an Advisory Panel composed of at minimum: two representatives from each community with an arts, equity and inclusion background, and one StART staff, who will select up to 15 concepts to receive funding toward the installation of their mural.

• Artist applicants must reside in the City of Toronto.

• Artist applicants must be at least 18 years old.

• City of Toronto employees are not eligible to apply

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.