Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere (RISE) is a community led by youth, comprised of artists, activists, free-thinkers and revolutionaries, that provides opportunities and spaces for youth to develop artistically, personally, and spiritually. RISE comes from a place of love, social consciousness and political engagement. Together, they help to create a safe and welcoming platform for self-expression and healing through the performance arts.
RISE has provided: opportunities for young emerging artists to deliver and participate in high-quality personal and professional development workshops; multiple ‘Edutainment’ conventions, an initiative to help bridge the gap between emerging and professional artists; the to the ability for youth to showcase their work across the GTA in schools, community settings, and through their annual 416RISE event; and RISE Mondays; an incredibly successful weekly platform for new, emerging, and professional artists to express themselves.
RISE, started by community legend Randell Adjei, began as a small, intimate group of 20 youth informally sharing their poetry and stories, and in 2012, they successfully applied for their first grant- $6,100 from ArtReach to fund a Poetry Workshop series. Fast-forward five years, two additional ArtReach grants, and an outpouring of community support and love, and by 2017, RISE has seen 219 successful RISE Mondays, 2,218 artists on stage, and 16,830 attendees. Talk about coming full circle.