On June 29th, Toronto City Council:
See here for a full description of the decisions that the City Council has adopted.
SKETCH Working Arts supports the advocacy, platforms and calls to action from Toronto Prisoners’ Rights Project, Black Lives Matter – Toronto, Defund.ca and NoPrisons.ca to defund the police and invest in arts, education, increased mental health services, housing initiatives, income security, harm reduction services, accessible rehabilitation, mutual aid, conflict resolution services, transformative justice, and other community-based support systems.
Defunding the police and investing in community-based programs is one step in the direction of the larger goal of abolition in policing (and prisons!) For more on policing abolition, please check out this great infographic created by Critical Resistance.org.
Petitions and Initiatives for Justice:
SKETCH has sent the following advocacy letters:
SKETCH will continue to write letters where it can for campaigns that will have impact. It will consider best how it can support community-led strategies first.
SKETCH studios at 180 Shaw Street will remain closed to public access until further notice. We are forced in this time of pandemic to rework and consider our sustainability given public health priorities and resources. We will keep you posted on new designs in September.
Connect here for wellness supports.
We've launched our Equity at SKETCH Web page to be in dialogue with you about our Equity goals.
Black activists and communities everywhere are working hard to lead all society to call out and authentically address the violent impacts of White Supremacy in policing, justice, education, health, community and in all systems and infrastructures across Turtle Island (North America). Anti-Black racism is deeply embedded in every fabric of our society. This, as well as our violent colonial legacy of Indigenous erasure, constant gender discrimination and violence, and the violence and mistreatment of those in the disability community, are pervasive pressing truths that we need to face and address, daily, to make change in real ways. We need boldness, energy, honesty, deep listening and accountability, to generate sustained action and inversions of power in the immediate, medium and long term.
What can a community-engaged arts organization in Toronto like us do, to take up its role in this critical renaissance of justice? Join us in learning together with us, what this means.
SKETCH is deeply committed to supporting, learning from and amplifying the brave and creative leadership of young Black Artists and Activists. Check out Art in Pandemic and be inspired by the incredible work of young artists creating during this time.
We call on the Arts Councils to create a Black Artists Fund to support Black Artists and Black Arts and Culture Organizations, recognizing and investing in their leadership in arts and culture, and in building fair and inclusive communities.
Follow us at @SKETCHToronto, and reach out if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please support us to be a just, accountable and vibrant arts platform for young people on the margins! We need your help now more than ever!