Published on LocalLove by Charlotte D’arcy
By Charlotte D’arcy
When she was just a teenager, Rupal Shah decided she was going to have a career in the theatre. “It just brought me so much joy and motivation—I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” she says. “When I look back on it, it was about making something with a group of people. I felt this euphoria that came from making something together that none of us could have made on our own.”
After more than a decade working for indie theatres across the city, Shah wanted to take on a more multidisciplinary role and support the broader arts community. As a Strategic Programs Manager at Toronto Arts Council (TAC), she is part of the team that organizes funding programs and strategic partnerships—designing and spearheading innovative programs like the Newcomer and Refugee Artists Mentorship Grant. The grant gives artists on the periphery of Toronto’s arts community the opportunity to work with a more established mentor who can help them navigate the city’s art scene and develop their own network of fellow artists—something many newcomer artists struggle with when they move to Toronto.
In the past two years, nearly 50 artists have received the grant, empowering them to practice their art and find a place for themselves in the city’s art scene. Most importantly, it’s supporting artists offering new and unique perspectives on the issues facing the GTA.
We sat down with the current CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow to learn more about why she thinks all artists deserve a seat at the table.
Read the full piece and learn more about Rupal and what she does.