Artists and Advocates to Join in Challenging Attitudes on Sexual Violence and Harassment

Sara Diamond with OCAD Students and Government Leaders
Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 4:00am

Ontario Launches $2.25 Million Creative Engagement Fund

Ontario has launched a $2.25 million Creative Engagement Fund, which will partner Ontario artists and advocates to help prevent sexual violence. They will challenge norms and change attitudes about sexual violence and harassment through artistic projects.
The Creative Engagement Fund will support artists in provoking dialogue and action on issues such as sexual consent, rape culture and misogyny. Artists should apply now through the Ontario Arts Council, who will administer the fund. The artistic projects may include any type of creative expression - performance, writing, music, photography, theatre, videos, online engagement, installation, painting, graffiti arts, murals and traditional Aboriginal arts. 

Artists and art organizations will partner with sexual violence and harassment prevention organizations or experts to ensure projects are informed by the experience of survivors of sexual violence and those who work closely with them. Successful applicants will be announced in March 2016. 

The Creative Engagement Fund is part of It's Never Okay  - Ontario's Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment. The plan will help change attitudes, improve supports for survivors and make workplaces and campuses safer and more responsive to complaints about sexual violence and harassment. It will help ensure that everyone in the province can live in safety and is free from the threat, fear or experience of sexual violence and harassment.


Fifteen per cent of the Creative Engagement Fund is dedicated to supporting Aboriginal projects.
To date, Ontario’s #WhoWillYouHelp public awareness campaign has reached over 83.5 million people around the world.
Ontario is also supporting public education campaigns across Ontario’s education sectors, including Draw-the-Line/Traçons-les-limites and It Starts with You. It Stays With Him/ Ça commence avec toi. Ça reste avec lui campaigns.

Application and guidelines for the Creative Engagement Fund

Read: It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment

Join the conversation on Twitter: #ItsNeverOkay

"Art doesn’t just entertain — it reflects who we are as a society. The Creative Engagement Fund will support artists as they create projects that confront deeply entrenched beliefs and stereotypes and shed new light on issues of sexual violence and harassment in communities across Ontario. To successfully challenge rape culture, we all have a role to play. We must use every tool at our disposal in putting an end to sexual violence and harassment in our province."
 — Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
"Artists have challenged deep-rooted beliefs for centuries, often making us confront hard truths about our society. Through the Creative Engagement Fund, we want artists to use their creativity and skill to approach challenging topics like sexual assault, harassment, consent and rape culture."
 — Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues
"Art can fuel ideas on important issues and be a powerful tool to achieve positive social change. I’m proud that our government is supporting Ontario’s artists through the Creative Engagement Fund and I look forward to these creative projects that will add to the conversation on preventing sexual violence."
 — Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
"The arts can inform, provoke and hold a mirror to society. The collaborative projects that will be supported by the Creative Engagement Fund will bring together artists, communities and the people who work to prevent sexual violence and harassment to help transform attitudes and behaviours."
 — Rita Davies, Chair, Ontario Arts Council

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Jota Castro & Minerva Cuevas: “Art as Activism/Activism as Art”

Pink logo with a white microphone
Black and white photograph of a man wearing glasses
Black and white photograph of a woman
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 10:00pm

Co-Presented by Latin American-Canadian Art Projects (LACAP) and the Office of the President, OCAD University

JOTA CASTRO was born in Yurimaguas, Peru and cur­rently lives in Brus­sels, Bel­gium. Jota Castro is a contemporary artist who explores themes of social and political conflict through the mediums of photography, sculpture, video and installation. He curated and par­tic­i­pated in the event col­lat­eral to the 55th Bien­nale of Venice 2013 Emer­gency Pavil­ion: Rebuild­ing Utopia, took part in the col­lat­eral event to the 54th Bien­nale of Venice I Miss My Ene­mies, curated by Oxana Maleeva, and the 53rd Bien­nale of Venice 2009, The Fear Soci­ety, Pabel­lón de la Urgen­cia. He also par­tic­i­pated in the Bien­nale of Tirana, Prague and Kwangju, Korea win­ning the award at the lat­ter in 2004. Castro’s most recent exhibitions include: Gemut­lichkeit, at Gal­le­ria Umberto di Marino (2013); Trame curated by Mas­simo Minini, Ste­fano Rai­mondi, Mauro Zanchi, in the Basil­ica di Santa Maria Mag­giore, Berg­amo; Tell me whom you haunt: Mar­cel Duchamp and the con­tem­po­rary ready­made curated by Mario Codog­nato, Blain Southern, Lon­don; solo exhibition Aus­ter­ity Über Alles at Galerie Bar­bara Thumm, Berlin; Una Sto­ria Con­tem­po­ranea, Gal­le­ria Mas­simo Minini, Bres­cia; I West End? Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem; among many others. In 2011, he curated Dublin Con­tem­po­rary Ter­ri­ble Beauty: Art, Cri­sis, Change & The Office of Non-Compliance, along with Chris­t­ian Viveros-Fauné. Jota Castro is a political science graduate, former student of the College of Europe in Bruges who worked for the UN and the EU. He has devoted himself completely to contemporary art for the past 17 years.

MINERVA CUEVAS graduated with a BFA from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma, Mexico City in 1997. Her socially engaged practice encompasses a range of strategies and media including film, installation, performance, and site-specific public intervention. One of Cuevas’s best-known works is the long-term project Better Life Corporation (Mejor Vida Corp., 1998– ), which evolved from her public interventions in Mexico City. Part pseudo-corporation, part non-profit organization, the project revolves around a website that offers a range of public services including the provision of special bar codes to reduce the cost of food items at supermarkets, personalized fake student ID cards, and free phone calls. Cuevas has had major solo exhibitions at the Vienna Secession (2002); DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2004); Casa del Lago, Mexico City (2006); Kunsthalle Basel (2007); Le Grand Café – Centre d’art Contemporain, Saint-Nazarie, France (2007); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2008); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2009); Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2010); Cornerhouse, Manchester (2011); and Museo de la Ciudad de México (2012). Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (1998); Hayward Gallery, London (2000); Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent (2001); MoMA PS1, New York (2002); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2003); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2008); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2010); and the Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth (2013). Cuevas’s work was also included in the Istanbul Biennial (2003); São Paulo Biennial (2006); and Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2007). She received grants from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) in 2003 and the Fondo Nacional para cultura y las Artes in 1999. Her work is held in the collection of the Tate, UNAM, Mexico City and Van Abbé Museum, Eindhoven.

Moderated by Gerardo Mosquera.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University  100 McCaul St. Auditorium, Room 190