Throwback to a 19 year old Paulina O’Kieffe, talking about the impacts of ArtReach on her life and community when she was just a budding youth artist and community grassroots leader. In 2006, the organization Paulina worked for, RHYME, was awarded a $10,000 grant from ArtReach to coordinate the GTA Neighbourhood Youth Slam Poetry Network, held in priority neighbourhoods with weekly workshops, and monthly youth Slams.
Through ArtReach’s early investment, Paulina is now fully seasoned as a community leader and artist, and a decade later, now sits as the Director of ArtReach. Paulina has also gone on to become the recipient of the Toronto Community Foundation’s Vital People Award, recognized as one of the CBC’s 150 Black Women Making Herstory, and has developed curriculum + taught slam poetry at the Harbourfront Centre, Toronto Boys and Girls Club, Delisle Youth Services, Canadian Stage, Lakeshore Arts, Lost Lyrics, Words by the Water, Afrochic, various TDSB locations, and Art Starts.
Because of her experience as a young grantee, Paulina is making sure that the same investment opportunities are being given to the next generation of youth artists and community leaders. Talk about coming full circle.
You can help invest in a young person’s full circle by donating to our $20 to 20 Campaign. Head to artreach.org/donate to learn how.