Community Hub

North York Arts

Cycle #1

Melissa Foster and Lila Karim

1. What did you want to find out at the start of your project?

At the start of the program I didn’t really know exactly  what direction to go in. This was new for use but what I thought was great about the way that DART had laid out their program was that it worked for both those who were coming in totally fresh and those who had established ideas/projects.  The question that drove us though was: As a local art service organization how do we maintain a local connection to the community when working on a platform that is global and without geographic boundaries?

2. What did you actually do? 

We ended up creating a solid foundation/blueprint for an idea that helps build meaningful connections between residents and local artists, as well as a space for artists to network.  We worked through concepts and practical applications and then surveyed local artists on their needs/desires for such a platform.

3. What was the most difficult thing you found? 

Just finding the time on our end to work through the program and better take advantage of the expertise being offered to us.  It would have been nice to really dedicate a staff to this to develop it further. Also, if NYA had set aside some of the budget for development.

4. What surprised you? 

How far along the idea came from start to finish. It started as a generic question and now we have a solid basis for a program

5. What is next for you and/or your org? 

We are applying for funding to be able to develop the program over 3 years

6. What 3 quick takeaways would you give to help future participants/your current fellow participants? 

  • Any place is a good place to start from
  • Think big
  • Dedicate time as part of the staff role (more time than just the sessions, treat it like a University course or a thesis) and budget for it so that you can experiment more – make this part of your years plan so that you can take the most advantage of this opportunity