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Art in the Time of COVID-19: Part 2

Published August 18, 2020.

A rt in the Time of COVID-19: Part 2 is a panel discussion that explores how we value art and artists during a time of crisis. Even though many artists are increasingly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re finding new and innovative ways to share their work for our collective well-being.

Join us and our stellar panel of arts innovators as we reflect on the intersectional vulnerabilities presented by COVID-19, and what our engagement with the arts during this time can tell us about the value of arts and culture in our society.


Randell Adjei
Randell Adjei is an entrepreneur, speaker and spoken word practitioner who uses his gifts to empower through Edutainment. He is the founder of one of Toronto’s largest youth led initiatives; Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere (R.I.S.E Edutainment). In 2018, R.I.S.E received the Toronto Arts Foundation’s, Mayor’s Youth Arts Award. Randell is the author of “I am Not my struggles,” a powerful Anthology released in 2018. He is a cohort 2 Studio Y MaRS DD Fellow and 1 of 4 coaches involved in the Toronto Public Library (Poetry Saved Our Lives) project. Randell was the Black Canadian Awards – Best Spoken Word award winner in 2015. Randell was also named CBC’s Metro Morning’s Torontonian of the Year in 2015 and NOW Magazines Local Hero in May 2017.

Tinesha Richards Morris
Tinesha started with her own event production company Say The Word Events in 2016 out of a passion for event design. Her name quickly grew, and she has worked with some of the city’s most recognized non-profits and events such as Afrochic Toronto, Urban Arts, Piece of Mine Festival and Shade Comedy Festival to name a few. In the summer of 2019 Tinesha was brought onto the Manifesto Team as a Project Manager assistant for the Annual Manifesto Festival. Through strategic partnerships formed over the years, she was able to successfully deliver Manifesto’s 2019 Festival. Tinesha is now Manifesto’s Operations and Partnerships Manager and shows great promise for the growth and development of Manifesto’s new direction.

Mark Marczyk
Mark is an activist, musician, writer, producer, curator, father, husband… He’s the ring leader of Lemon Bucket, the co-creator of Counting Sheep: Staging a Revolution, one half of Balaklava Blues, the artistic director of BLOK: Slavic Music Meet, and the visionary behind URGNT.

Andrés Sierra
Born to Colombian parents in Toronto, Andrés Sierra (they/she) is a recording artist and one of the co-founders of Club Q, a new virtual queer dance party the runs every night of the quarantine. As an artist, Sierra’s catalogue has amassed millions of streams and has had support from some of the world’s top DJ/Producers such as Martin Garrix, Tiesto, & Laidback Luke. However, most of Sierra’s career was one where they pretended to be someone they’re not, pressured by the standards of a music industry that relies more on money and conformity, rather than artistic integrity and authenticity. After being dropped by their label, Sierra began immersing themself in the queer community which gave them the power to be their authentic self. Their latest singles Hearts on Fire and Resilience mark the reclamation of Sierra as a trans person, a queer person, and their upcoming album (TBA) will elaborate on themes of freedom, community, unity and love.
Club Q


Adil Dhalla
Adil is an artist, community organizer and social entrepreneur. He is the Managing Director of Artscape Daniels Launchpad, a co-working and community space for creatives in downtown Toronto. Previous to this role, Adil spent 6 years at the Centre for Social Innovation as the Director of Culture and then Executive Director. In a volunteer capacity, Adil is currently the Executive Director for Reset and Chairs the board for the StopGap Foundation. Adil is a DiverseCity Fellow and a BALLE Fellow, awarded to local economy leaders who are creating the new economy.

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