In 2020, we worked with 91 artists; We organized 101 workshops; We hosted 166 workshop participants; We counted 2300 audience members; We produced 34 public events,
We were the Recipient of the 2020 Commnity Arts Award by the Toronto Arts Foundation
And all of this, during a pandemic.
By Isorine marc
Founder, Executive and Programming Director
Excerpts from Acceptance Speech - 2020 Community Arts Award
“Jamii is about to celebrate its 10-year anniversary (2011-2021) and this award feels like a recognition for and appreciation of the artistic quality, the depth of our social contract, and our commitment to the Esplanade community. It is also an energizing wind blowing our sails as we look ahead to the next 10 years.
This award goes to the hundreds of artists who define Jamii; to the hundreds of Esplanadians who have participated in arts-making with us; to those who have worked with us through the years, paid or unpaid, including directors of our board; and to those who kept on encouraging us in their own way during our journey.
At Jamii, we define our success by the legacy of qualitative memories we ignite for all “Esplanadians” - people of all ages who have taken part in the Jamii’s journey. By creating shared memories, we are creating stronger connections and bonds between people. In doing so, we create a sense of belonging, ownership and identity for the people engaged in the work we do in the community. This circles back to our mandate of enhancing social cohesion through the arts.
A “memory” doesn’t happen overnight. It lives through time – and often enough, it changes and transforms with time.
My hope is that, as we celebrate our 10th anniversary, people will be sharing “Jamii memories”: things they have done with us that will connect all of us together: “Do you remember when…?”. This “thing” they’ll remember will be the social glue that keeps us united - even in challenging times.
And I hope, I sincerely hope that Jamii will continue building the capacity to pursue its mandate, continue collaborating with creative people to create the qualitative memories we will share, and continue building a legacy for all Esplanadians.
Oh, and on a personal note, something else I shared in my acceptance speech for the award: my hope is to inspire my daughters with the work I do. If I inspire them, chances are that Jamii will inspire countless other girls and boys. And this is the the ultimate goal - so that the work carries on to the next generation.”