Special Projects

Arts & Transformative Justice


In our commitment to meaningfully engage diverse young people who live homeless, or on the margins and navigate poverty, SKETCH has been steadily developing Transformative Justice (TJ) resources and approaches in our programming.


Historically, Transformative Justice strategies were developed as a response to the criminal justice system in the US.  TJ seeks to go further than Restorative Justice practices as it not only evaluates the reasons why crime happens while seeking to repair any harms that were created by the crime, it also attempts to create an environment where these harms won’t be repeated in the future.

For SKETCH, Transformative Justice Practice (TJ) is a process that aims to include the voices of everyone impacted by a particular conflict, working to identify the harms that have been caused and understanding the conditions that led up to that conflict. We aim to craft community-informed strategies wherever possible in response to conflict. This is an incomplete and ongoing process that has evolved over time that includes the input of many young change makers and community leaders participating at SKETCH.

Current Preventative TJ processes at SKETCH include:

  • Offering preventative strategies like providing accessible food, art making, and a place to just be
  • Space Hosts to welcome community, accommodate access needs and address issues as they arise using harm-reduction and de-escalation skills
  • Inviting participants to learn about our community agreements and offering various entry points and tools to learn together
  • Acknowledging that conflict and harm will happen and providing space, strategies & supports for community members to negotiate through it together.

SKETCH TJ Resources include:

  • Working with community leaders like Peacebuilders, Rittenhouse & Justice for Children and Youth to provide consultations, lead trainings and share resources and best practices.
  • Providing trainings, programs and discussions with community that focus on building capacity to articulate our needs and boundaries, to seek consent, to build community & organize around social justice issues and negotiate conflicts.
  • Providing weekly space for community members to talk about conflicts and issues that arise in our communities and generate strategies together.
  • Maintaining a TJ Staff Team that meets weekly to generate resources, build partnerships, support youth leaders and strategize as needed.
  • Tj graphics throughout our spaces that offer visual teaching aids.

Contact info@sketch.ca for more information or get involved!

SKETCH COMMUNITY UPDATE (as of August 14, 2020)

Thanks to all who participated in Creating Against the Odds! Our online experiments offered May, June and July. Thanks to everyone who made those experiments during these challenging times.

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 info@sketch.ca.

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!

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Dear Friends and Investors,

Greetings from the SKETCH Project Home Team! We hope that you and your family are keeping well and safe during this time.

UPDATE: SKETCH is placing the capital campaign to purchase our studios on brief hiatus until the fall.

Our campaign has been a great success so far, with over $370,000 raised in funds and Community Bonds! However, in face of the COVID-19 pandemic, SKETCH is taking action to suspend the campaign to allow the time needed for those excited about our campaign to be in a more secure position to participate.

If you have already donated to the campaign, or purchased SKETCH Community Bonds, we deeply appreciate your commitment to Project Home. If you've just recently submitted your bond-purchase documents, we will still process your investment.

Have any questions about your donations or bond purchase? Please do not hesitate to contact SKETCH Executive Director, Rudy Ruttimann at rudy@sketch.ca.

This summer, we'll be working with our campaign partners and SKETCH community to determine exactly when we relaunch in the Fall. We'll be sure to keep you posted over the summer.

You can still inquire about SKETCH, our capital campaign, and its progress at invest@sketch.ca or by following us at @SKETCHToronto.

Thank you for your time, and we wish all the best for you and your family.

-The SKETCH Team & Campaign Advisory