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The Commons

DesignTO Youth is a community engagement program which offers youth access to creative disciplines and professionals, culminating in a public exhibition of their work. This year working in partnership with SKETCH Working Arts, DesignTO Youth focuses on public space and public art. Keen observations and critical conversations about public spaces nurtured the youths’ imagining of ideal futures, and re-imagining of cities, spaces and homes.

Delivered in the form of a six-week residency program plus DesignTO Festival exhibition, youth artists are given opportunities to engage with and discuss civic issues and public space through tours, talks and workshops. The program offered a guided tour of The Bentway with co-executive director Ilana Altman and Public Space fellow Gelila Mekonnen, an artist talk with Ekow Nimako, a guided tour of Stackt Market with founder Matt Rubinoff and architect Janna Levitt, and an empathy mapping workshop with Ryan Lo from Urban Minds.

Established in 2019, DesignTO Youth is a program that provides youth with access to creative disciplines and professionals. The program works with local artists and designers and community collaborators like schools, non-profit organizations, and community groups that are already actively engaging with youth.

The 2020 DesignTO Youth program is supported by the City of Toronto, Economic Development, and Shopify. Venue provided by stackt.