Mentor in Residence

Offered in partnership with Toronto Arts Council (TAC), we are pleased to offer pre-application support to prospective Black Arts Projects applicants!

TAC’s Black Arts Projects granting program is a new program designed to support arts projects by Black artists, Black artist collectives, and Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving organizations. This funding program is open to all arts disciplines and intended to support the development, continuation, and flourishing of Black arts communities as well as amplify the work of Black artists in Toronto.

Mentors may support applicants to the program in the following ways:

  • provide direction in development of project ideas

  • connect mentees to resources to support project development

  • assist with grant-writing and editing

  • support with professional development and networking

Mentees are able to access 2 mentorship sessions each through this program. Mentors are assigned at a first-come-first-serve basis.

Do you require accomodations to access mentorship? ASL interpreation, note taking and other forms of support may be possible. Let us know how we can help you access this offering in the registration form.

A video tutorial of how to set up a Smart Simple account for your application is available on the Toronto Arts Council website.

Please note: The pre-application mentorship is separate from the Black Arts Projects mentorship program. To learn more about funded mentorship options available to successful Black Arts Program applicants, visit TAC's grant webpage.

Meet the 2022 Black Arts Projects mentors!

Fiona Raye Clarke (she/her) is an award-winning Trinidadian-Canadian writer, theatre and community-engaged artist. She is the editor of Basodee: An Anthology Dedicated to Black Youth (2012) and Black Like We: Troubleshooting the Black Youth Experience (2018) which was the winner of the ArtReach Youth Arts Pitch Contest. Her writing has appeared in various publications online and in print, including The Puritan Town Crier, the Room Magazine blog, Broken Pencil Magazine, The Peak Magazine, Shameless Magazine blog, and, among others. Her plays have been produced by the rock.paper.sistahz festival and InspiraTO Festival, and she was a top ten finalist for the Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Award. Her co-created short film, Intersecting, was the winner of the CineFAM Short Film Challenge and screened at the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival and the Queer National Arts Festival. She is the Artistic Director of the Black youth oral history project, INTERGENERACIAL, currently in its sixth year, and is a TD-Diaspora Dialogues Black Playwrights Mentoring Program mentee, working on her first full-length play, Broken Windows. Her fiction and plays have been supported by the Ontario Arts Council and she is an alumnus of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and the Diaspora Dialogues Long-Form Mentorship Program. A certified Amherst Writers & Artists Method creative writing facilitator, she has facilitated creative writing workshops with support of Toronto Arts Council, Toronto Arts Foundation, and the City of Toronto for the Toronto Public Library, Parkdale Project Read, the 519, the Grand Valley Institution for Women, Durham Art Gallery, Regent Park Film Festival, Artscape Daniels Launchpad, and elsewhere. She is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, an associate member of the League of Canadian Poets, and a member of the Editorial Board of Canthius a feminist literary magazine. She is a Nia Centre for the Arts Creative Consultant, offering long-term mentorship to three emerging writing mentees and holds a Creative Writing Certificate from Humber College and a Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Paulina O’Kieffe-Anthony (she/her) is an award winning Toronto writer, playwright, performer, producer, arts educator, creative consultant and is currently the Resource Development and Marketing Manager at SKETCH Working Arts. A past member of the League of Poets and Associate member of the PlayWriters Guild, her high level accomplishments include being featured in When Sisters Speak on stage at the St Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts, co-producing the Spoken Soul Festival, and representing Toronto as twice national team finalist in the Canadian Festival Of Spoken Word. In 2019 she was a TEDx speaker and in 2020 an excerpt of her first play How Jab Jab Saved the Pretty Mas was featured as part of Piece of Mine's Black Women in Theatre Festival. As a member of the SpokenSoul Collective, she is currently working as one of the co-curators for the Scarborough Hub as part of Toronto’s Year of Public Art. Paulina's work has been featured in media on Bell Fibe TV, Huffington Post Canada, AfroGlobal TV, Metro Morning and CBC Morning and published in 3 anthologies and 1 book.  Paulina is the recipient of a Toronto Foundation’s Vital People Award and was recognized as one of 150 Black Women Making Herstory (as featured on CBC) for her contribution to building the arts scene in Toronto.

Anthony Gebrehiwot (he/him) is an award winning visual artist, photographer and community leader whose creative lens re-visions photography as an ongoing dialogue of social change between subject and society. A self-taught artist and photographer, Gebrehiwot founded XvXy-photo in 2014 focusing on studio portraiture. To date, he has worked with several notable brands such as Nike, Royal Bank of Canada, Vice Canada, Absolute, Hudson Bay, The City of Toronto and Linkedin to name a few. His work has been featured in over thirty local and international publications such as the Star, the Globe and Mail, PAPER Magazine, Elle UK and Yahoo Lifestyle.




Tamara Mariam Dawit (she/her) is an Ethiopian-Canadian filmmaker and policy advisor in the creative sector. Her most recent film is the award-winning documentary Finding Sally which premiered in 2020 at Hot Docs. She is currently producing and co-producing a slate of feature documentaries and dramatic films. Previously Tamara worked as an administrator in both the music and theatre industries in Canada for over a decade. Tamara works as a consultant in the screen sector on strategies to address access, export, stability and sector development in both Africa and in North America for equity-seeking communities. In Canada, she is a founding board member of the Racial Equity Media Collective and in Africa of Ethiopia Creates and the East Africa Screen Collective. Tamara was a resident in Docs in Progress, the Logan Non-Fiction Residency and is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents, Durban Talents, Doha Producers Lab, Rotterdam Lab, Apost, and EAVE. In 2021 she was named a TIFF/Netflix producing fellow, won the Gordan Parks Award for Excellence in Black Filmmaking and was given the Doc Institute Vanguard Award.


Mentorship is allocated on a sign up/first-come-first-serve basis. If the mentor you selected is unavailable, we will recommend someone else.

Register here:

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