Call for Community-led Public Art Projects Seeking Support! 

Since 2011, STEPS has supported Business Improvement Areas  (BIA), community groups, and social service agencies across the GTA in realizing projects that foster vibrant public spaces and encourage diverse participation in arts based initiatives.

Do you have a community project that you’re struggling to launch?

A place you’ve identified for public art but are unsure how to make it happen? 

An identified cultural programming gap in your community, but not sure how to fill it?

We want to hear your project idea!

If you’re a non arts-based community group, STEPS may be able to help you through: 

  • sharing our knowledge and expertise in project management, partnership development, public outreach, program facilitation, artist recruitment, design development, onsite production and community engagement.
  • supporting a lead organization in funding requests through identifying opportunities, grant proposal coaching, and providing letters of support.
  • leveraging our relationships within the cultural sector in order to identify collaborating artist(s)/ artistic facilitators/ documentarians who may be a fit for a project.
  • integrating capacity building opportunities within the proposed project for host agencies and/or area residents.

This is NOT A GRANT PROGRAM. We strive to lend support, knowledge, and capacity to projects that may not come to fruition without a strong and experienced community partner. Interested?

To request an application, send us an email to renee@stepsinitiative.com that outlines the following:

  • Tell us about yourself. Are you an employee at a community agency? A member of an informal community group?
  • Tell us what you want to do. Give us the elevator pitch on your project and why it’s important to your community.
  • Tell us why you want to partner with STEPS. Based on what you know about us, how do you think partnering with STEPS will benefit your project? Is there anything in particular you think we can provide? Anything you’re hoping to learn through working with us?

The deadline to submit an application for a 2020 community partnership is Monday, November 4, 2019 by 5 pm.

Any questions? Get in touch at renee@stepsinitiaitve.com or call 416.366.6565.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will STEPS provide funding for my project?

It is important to understand that this is not a funding program. The intention of STEPS.Activate: Community is to support community-led initiatives through sharing our knowledge, networks and expertise in public art activations. We estimate contributing 35 hours of staff time in supporting each selected project.

Can individual artists apply?

No. STEPS.Activate: Community is intended to support non-arts based organizations, collectives and community-based groups in realizing public art projects. If you are an individual artist or arts collective with a community-based project idea, please contact Program Manager Bebhinn Jennings at bebhinn@stepsinitiaitve.com.

I don’t have any confirmed partnerships. Can I still apply?

Of course! If you don’t have any confirmed partnerships, please list potential project partners to give us an idea of who in your community you would like to involve in your project.

Will STEPS write the grants for my project?

No, though if your project is selected, STEPS can support your grant applications in the following ways:

  • Providing letters of support,
  • Proofreading applications,
  • Providing feedback on applications,
  • Providing templates for timelines/budgets/etc.,
  • Helping to identify additional funding opportunities that may be in alignment with your project.

If you feel your project will need additional support in developing funding requests, please be sure to check administration support in your application.

What is the selection process and when will we find out if our project is selected?

STEPS.Activate: Community partnership projects are shortlisted and selected by STEPS programming staff. In assessing proposed partnerships, we look for the following:

  • Impact of the project on your identified community,
  • Alignment with the STEPS mandate,
  • Ability for STEPS staff to provide the necessary support towards the partnership.

We will aim to communicate final decisions in early December 2019.

How many projects will you accept?

Unfortunately, we can’t answer this question with certainty, as each project is unique and requires varying supports from STEPS staff. On average, we accept 4-5 projects per year.


Any other questions?

Get in touch! Contact Program Coordinator Renee Castonguay at renee@stepsinitiaitve.com.