The arts are a powerful and motivating way that youth are involved in their communities. Whether it’s in someone’s basement, or through a community program – young people are creating art all over this city. ArtReach’s annual Pitch Contest works to support youth aspirations in the arts, by giving them the chance to win up to $5,000 for their community arts or business based ideas.
But this is more than just an event- “the pitch contest challenged me on so many levels. I’ve had the opportunity to pitch for funding before, but I’ve never done a creative pitch with other people. Through the experience I learned how to be a better leader and how to deliver an entertaining pitch in front of a panel of judges. I was also able to meet new friends and establish connections that I didn’t have before. It was hands down one of the most exciting experiences of my life”, said XyXv’s Anthony Gebrehiwot.
Asia hoped the prize money would help her with funding to attend a Jewelry Arts Academy for Goldsmithing in Trinidad and Tobago as well as to hire an assistant to help with existing demand, two key pieces she felt she was missing. In her pitch, she used a combination of audio/visual projection and live models to entertain and win over the crowd. “Preparing for the pitch contest was a challenge because I really wanted to win but was made nervous by my amazing competitors – I was already aware of and inspired by their work” says Asia, “I have connected with some of the other finalists and even made plans to collaborate on future work which is dope! I’m looking forward to that.”
The 2014 Pitch Contest was hosted at the Scarborough Civic Centre, 2014’s Toronto Cultural Hotspot, and was hosted by the amazing Femi Lawson and Kayla Greaves. Also, thank you to our wonderful judges: Ashley McKenzie-Barnes, Bryan Brock, Jalani Morgan, Tara Muldoon, and Caroline Mangosing. And as always, ArtReach and our partners congratulate all contestants in the 2014 Youth Arts Pitch Contest for their passion, bravery and talent!
And the winners are…
Community Arts Category:
First: Black Like We
Second: XvXy Photo
Creative Enterprise Category:
First: Wild Moon Jewellry
Second: CoreX Media
Finalists: Alien Nation, and PIQUE Toronto