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Community Arts Space, 2017

Community Arts Space: Request for Proposals

Tue Jul 03 to Aug 31, All Day

Since the summer of 2016, the Gardiner Museum’s Community Arts Space program has acted as an incubator for arts-based community projects. Inspired by the transformative aspects of ceramics, both real and metaphorical, the Community Arts Space initiates both dialogue, and the hands-on creation of equitable and inclusive cultural initiatives that engage and give voice to local communities.

For the past two years, the Gardiner has supported the delivery of diverse public projects and wide-ranging activities including workshops, talks, screenings, music, and performances, all offered at no cost to the public.

Now entering its third cycle, the Community Arts Space project continues to evolve and position the Museum as an active force in the community and a compelling arts destination.

The Gardiner’s 307-square-metre third-floor special exhibition hall is open to proposals for the summer of 2018 from July 3 to August 31. We’re inviting applications from cultural and community organizations, collectives, presenters, artists, curators, designers, makers, architects, organizers, and producers that outline what they would do in the special exhibition hall that relates to our Community Arts Space theme for a two-week period. The possibilities are endless—dance, music or theatre performances, workshops, community arts outreach, installations, performance art—our space is yours for the taking.

We will be hosting a free information session on Wednesday, November 15 to highlight what to expect for this year’s program.


Click here to download the Request for Proposals

To apply, please submit your proposals by 5 pm on December 1, 2017.

Proposal Requirements

Public Space Intervention Project
Project open to public from July 5 – Aug 29
Design-build and/or socially-engaged installation that re-imagines what accessible, downtown public space can look like.
Apply here

Performance on the Plaza
Five performances staged during July 5 – August 29
The Gardiner’s Outdoor Plaza continues to be a place in the Yorkville neighborhood for free outdoor performances. We invite applicants to submit proposals for a performing art series that will amount to five performances staged during the Community Arts Space project. Whether it’s an open air concert or unique theatrical event, we invite applicants to make our public space come alive.
Apply here

Young People Project
July 3 – 20 or July 31 – August 17
The Gardiner believes in providing creative, hands on opportunities for children, tweens, teens and families. The Young People Project would engage this young audience, connecting them to local contemporary art and cultural heritage. Additionally, this project is invited to re-imagine our Family Sundays public programming during its run.
Apply here

Visibility and Representation Project
July 3 – 20 or July 31 – August 17
The Gardiner wants to authentically make space for the stories and lived experiences of local Queer, Trans, Indigenous, Black and People of Colour (QTIBPOC) communities. The Visibility and Representation Project supports critical engagement around issues like identity and belonging, as well as the systematic barriers and disenfranchisement these communities face. Additionally, this project is invited to access space at The 519 for workshop programming that supports skills sharing, professional development, and peer-to-peer learning.
Apply here

Museum Intervention
August 21 – 31
The Gardiner is accepting proposals that explore the expanded field of ceramics, evoking participation, performance, and pedagogical potential. The Museum Intervention invites a project that uses installation and site sensitivity to engage with not only the Gardiner’s Exhibition Hall but also its lobby. Additionally, this project can access six months of free studio time at one of Akin Collective’s studios, as well as kiln firing access.
Apply here

Community Partners


The 519 is committed to the health, happiness, and full participation of the LGBTQ2S community. A City of Toronto agency and a registered charity with an innovative model of Service, Space and Leadership, The 519 strives to make a real difference in people’s lives while working to promote inclusion, understanding, and respect.

In 2017, The 519 provided in-kind space and resources for artistic workshops in support of the development of two process-driven projects, NU_FORuMS and Collecting Personal Archives. For Community Arts Space 2018, The 519 will again provide workshop space for a process-driven project, supporting the delivery of knowledge and skill-sharing serving the LGBTQ2S community in Toronto and beyond.

Akin Collective is a Toronto-based arts organization that provides affordable studio space as well as arts-based programming through its sister non-profit organization, Akin Projects. Akin provides space to nearly 250 visual artists, designers, and creatives in studios that maintain a friendly and inspiring atmosphere where people can work on creative endeavors and entrepreneurial undertakings of all kinds. Akin builds community through monthly art critiques, free or low-cost workshops, open studio events, gallery tours, exhibitions, as well as various other projects. During the Community Arts Space’s inaugural 2016 cycle, Akin Projects mounted Place/Setting, an exhibition hall project delivering all-ages clay-making workshops and community events. For Community Arts Space 2018, Akin will provide six months of free studio time at one of its studios, as well as kiln firing access.