Artscape is a not-for-profit organization that
makes space for creativity and transforms communities.
Toronto-based Artscape is a not-for-profit urban development organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities.
Since its beginning in 1986, Artscape has become recognized as an international leader in creative placemaking, a practice that leverages the power of art, culture and creativity to catalyze change, growth and transformation of place. Artscape achieves its mission through developing and managing a growing portfolio of unique cultural facilities—including community cultural hubs, multi-purpose creative spaces and artist live/work projects—and by delivering programs and services that create the conditions for artists to thrive.
Every day, Artscape spaces come alive with the ideas and passion of the 149 organizations and 2,600+ people who work and/or live within our portfolio of buildings. Forty-two public venues pulse with the energy of the 190,000+ people who take part in exhibitions and performances annually and the thousands more who participate in our programs, tenant-driven activities and city-wide events. Every year, we deliver a plethora of benefits including millions in economic savings to the community.
Over the past year these benefits included:
Our success is driven by our ability to work effectively across disciplines to align values, leadership, investment and public policy. We work constantly to expand our portfolio, share our expertise and advance the field, offering training, mentoring and coaching, and learning opportunities through our Creative Placemaking Lab and tools and resources on http://ArtscapeDIY.ca.
Get all the details on upcoming creative placemaking initiatives in Momentum, our latest annual publication available here.
You have a role to play in the Artscape community. Take part. Make an impact. Help keep art and culture at the centre of city-building in Toronto.
Artscape projects are built from the ground up with the support of their local communities. Steering committees containing representatives from the creative sector, residents, community leaders, and local BIAs help define the project vision and drive development momentum. Because all Artscape projects must function as self-sustaining social enterprises, these committees are not an exercise in "blue-sky" thinking--they're hard-working teams invested in the outcome of each project.
In Artscape’s unique social enterprise model, funds raised from a variety of public and private sources are leveraged to make the one-time capital investment required to open a new project’s doors to the public. Once operational, Artscape facilities are sustained through planned revenues generated from below-market rents, memberships and user fees. Long-term debt is kept to a minimum and ongoing operating subsidies are not required.
Our approach to development involves rallying artists, designers, urban planners, community activists, environmentalists, government officials, as well as community, economic, and real estate developers around projects where all parties benefit. This multi-stakeholder approach allows Artscape to design projects that deliver a "quadruple bottom line" (cultural, economic, social and environmental). Artscape initiatives often start with an exploration of what combination of art, culture, and creativity might add value to a building, development site or neighbourhood. Then, we look at how the project can support community and economic development and serve as the social heart of the neighbourhood. We always work to ensure that our projects are economically and environmentally sustainable.
Through its approach, Artscape has been able to elevate the aspirations of its work beyond serving the basic needs of creative practitioners and focus on unlocking the creative potential of people and places to build vibrant, resilient, and inclusive communities.