Every so often, music, art, culture and technology collide in a way that opens up unique possibilities and shifts consciousness – a catalyst for creative evolution and social change. We sensed a groundswell of creative energy and electrifying potential, and wanted to play a role in elevating the city and its amazing people, art, and music to a higher level. We wanted to be a platform, a vessel and a vehicle, to spark new ideas and discover what is possible when communities unite. This is the spirit that gave rise to Manifesto.
Our focus is on youth, and our origin lies in hip hop culture – in its spirit of ingenuity, raw creativity, self-starting, and people power. Hip hop culture, increasingly the dominant global youth subculture, is a powerful point of departure for engaging youth that provides the tools and perspective to transform conflict into creativity; adversity into opportunity; oppression into expression, and subsequently positive change. By localizing culture and providing alternative programming, media and entertainment for young people, we are working to cultivate change in our communities and abroad.
Founded in April 2007, Manifesto Community Projects is a non-profit grassroots organization best known for our annual Festival of Community and Culture: a series of urban arts, music and dance events which culminate in a day-long free event at Yonge-Dundas Square (or Nathan Phillips Square in previous years).
Since its inception, Manifesto has organized unique, socially charged initiatives that boast commercial level productions and promote emerging and established Canadian artists. The annual festival showcases over three hundred artists in music, visual arts, and dance to a wide audience – and to youth aged 14-29 specifically.
Manifesto Community Projects is a youth-led, non-profit organization working to unite, energize, cultivate and celebrate Toronto’s vibrant, diverse youth arts community. We provide a platform and resources to advance the growth of the arts as a tool for positive change across the GTA, Canada and abroad.