Toronto is getting an animal rights lab, studio, incubator, and training centre!
The first two stages of this project — and for which we are currently raising funds — are a creativity studio & streets/incubator & lab that will bridge the gap between bright lights in the animal liberation movement wanting to do something…into actually doing it! This is a fully scalable pilot project in Toronto which can then be replicated around the world. The collage above will give you an idea of how the space will look.
Art/creativity is proven to be highly effective in influencing society’s acceptance of issues, which is why it plays such a large role in social justice movements. Clever, compelling pro-vegan content is the spoonful of sugar that will make the medicine (hard truths) easier to swallow.
Smoothing the way for activists to focus on coming up with fresh ideas and implementing solutions to the real-life issues faced by animals is critical. Savvier, well-trained activists flexing their creative muscles to produce unique, high-quality material and execute strategic, imaginative campaigns will help shift public opinion against animal- and planet-exploitative industries.
The Studio & Streets component will offer a dedicated bricks-and-mortar location humming with creative energy, talent, and industriousness, along with provision of necessary equipment and other materials to execute great ideas.
- Space for an office, meetings, small workshops, presentations, photoshoots, collaborative gatherings, jam sessions, resource centre/library, headquarters/satellite offices for grassroots organizations and groups, etc.
- Professionally-equipped recording, production, and broadcasting studio designed to provide an optimal environment for podcasters, videographers, video-editors, photographers, musicians, etc.
- Supply of equipment (megaphones, lasers, speakers, etc.) and costumes for innovative and effective street activism
- Creation of in-house content…podcasts, online games, cooking shows, etc.
The Incubator & Lab portion will allow activists both in-person and online to have unlimited access to vital practical and technical know-how, valuable open-source information, helpful collaboration and skills-sharing with fellow advocates, and other essential supports. We’re not just placing “artivists” on a level playing field…we’re giving them the edge over their non-vegan counterparts.
- Impactful programming such as recorded workshops, training sessions, and lecture series (online and small in-person groups) held on at least a monthly basis to inspire creativity in different mediums and teach critical skills like grant writing, video editing, etc.
- Website showcasing:
• open-source campaign ideas and strategies bank
• shareable creative materials and campaign templates/models (no more reinventing the wheel)
• funding resources list and comprehensive/categorized database of strategic contacts
• video-recordings of workshops/speakers from in-person and online sessions
• variety of relevant how-to guides
• content and promoting the work of animal advocacy creatives, vegan businesses, etc.
- Content distribution…connecting artivists creating content with those who seek it …op-eds and comic strips in newspapers, etc.
Animal Rights “Edutainment” Facility facing heavy foot traffic and with square footage sufficient to welcome the public to rotating art shows and multimedia/multisensory/VR installments/exhibits, film screenings, animal and planet exploitation museum, a virtual zoo, inspirational speakers, show recordings, vegan markets, a café, etc…with the goal of becoming a go-to tourist and school field trip destination.
Are you as excited as we are?!?
This project is not going to come cheap. We have secured a fantastic space for phases 1 and 2 where we need only pay for rent, Internet, and contents/liability insurance. Then furnishing and equipment costs (which will include previously-loved and repurposed items). We plan to use as many volunteers as possible, but anticipate needing part-time staff and contractors with expertise in certain areas.
We know this is a big ask…and a big project. But we know we can make a huge difference in the Toronto community (and beyond), where we have been activists for many years. Any amount you could spare towards helping us achieve our goal would be massively appreciated.