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Make your mark on a Blank Canvas

For the second year in a row, the AGO welcomes Blank Canvas, an innovative, youth-run arts organization to spearhead a unique series of free workshops.

Crowd of excited people clapping and smiling

Image © Blank Canvas

Since coming together in 2016, the youth-operated community arts organization Blank Canvas has boldly innovated arts education programming and curated events for young people across the GTA. And with more young people spending time at the AGO, it makes perfect sense that, for the second year in a row, we have partnered with Blank Canvas for Drew a Blank, a six-week series of free workshops, offering highly engaging programming for youth ages 14 – 25.      

Originally conceived as an initiative to create more spaces for young, emerging artists of colour, Blank Canvas has grown into a full-blown community-building powerhouse, partnering with many local organizations to develop programming. Originally launched in early 2018, the Drew a Blank workshop series at the AGO acts as a knowledge hub, offering an array of practical training for young people seeking a sustainable career in the arts.

The series kicked off this month with Let’s Talk About Grants, an in-depth tutorial on effective grant writing led by members of the Toronto Arts Council. In an era with fewer technological barriers to art creation than ever before, there is an increased amount of competition for funding sources like government grants.

In The Art of Curating, which takes place on February 11 from 4 to 6 pm, attendees will get valuable face time with the AGO’s Associate Curator of Photography Julie Crooks. She will share information about her curatorial career path and discuss the significance of the upcoming exhibition The Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs, launching in 2021. The AGO’s acquisition of this vast archive of images was made possible with the support of individuals from Toronto’s Black and Caribbean communities – an important example of participatory community empowerment.       

Additionally, Drew a Blank will offer free workshops on the art of DJing, illustration, event planning and networking throughout the remainder of the season.       

The information-rich, do-it-yourself nature of the Internet age is inspiring many young artists, but many of these new creatives are left in the dark without any formal training or guidance. Blank Canvas and like-minded organizations can help bridge this gap – and the AGO is proud to play a role! 

Find out more about this and other youth-focused programs at the AGO here.

Admission to the AGO Collection and all special exhibitions is always free for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass holders and visitors 25 and under.

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