Living Black Genius returns this fall for 6 weeks running from September 17th to October 25th, 2019., selected as a Cultural Hotspot SPARK project in partnership with the City of Toronto with UrbanArts.
Living Black Genius (LBG) is a program developed by PIECE OF MINE Arts to highlight and connect prominent Black Canadian Leaders with youth and the larger community. The program has successfully run in partnership with Rathburn Area Youth Project (RAY) in Etobicoke for two consecutive years, through ArtReach Toronto’s project funding. Weekly guest mentors include artists, journalists/content creators, entrepreneurs, and more. Our participants nominate, research and interview mentors, and the footage is edited and uploaded to Youtube as educational public content. Youth also receive facilitated workshops; trips to shows; and opportunities to be mentored one-on-one with invited facilitators.
The career development aspect of the program encourages youth with real-life success stories from leaders they can identify with. Workshops foster a safe space to share experiences, challenges, and opportunities in an open dialogue for communal growth.
There are three main categories that the program covers:
- Mentorship/Speakers – Each week, one mentor will lead an intimate conversation on their personal/professional journey towards success. Half of the mentors will be selected in advance with suggestions and feedback from the participants, including researching each guest and prepare one insightful question each to ask during the Q&A session. This process allows the youth to develop their analytical, communication and networking skills, as well as enhance their community knowledge/relationships.
- Creative Exploration – Two sessions will be dedicated to exploring literature, film, music, etc. from Living Black Genius’, both Canadian and from the African diaspora, to demonstrate examples of prominent/published/timeless work. From there, participants are led through a series of theatre exercises that involve physicalizing language. Through play, reading, writing, improvisation, and experimentation, participants will develop critical life skills such as leadership, teamwork, public speaking, and reading comprehension.
- Trips – A special outing will be planned to attend an event, typically in the G.T.A. that highlights artistic work by Black Canadians that speaks to the interest of participants. Travel, snacks, and entry will be free of charge.
Past mentors have included: Past Living Black Genius guests include: Host of CBC’s Exhibitionists Amanda Parris, Falconers LLP Lawyer Anthony Morgan, Fashion Designer of Omi Woods Ashley Alexis McFarlane, Former Co-Owner/Chef of Windup Restaurant Bryan Birch (pictured above), Secrets of a Black Boy playwright Darren Anthony, and more.
For partnership and workshop inquiries please email info[@]pieceofminearts[.]com.