Here at BSAM Canada, we recently received some amazing news about our very own Queen Kukoyi!
Queen has been shortlisted for Toronto Arts Foundation’s (TAF) Neighbourhood Art Network’s Community Award. This award celebrates folx who have worked to broaden access to the arts by working with and contributing to diverse communities in Toronto. TAF has selected three (3) finalists, including Queen, our enigmatic & community-arts driven BSAM Co-lead, JUNO nominated artist Ruben Esguerra and amazing artist Naty Tremblay.
We are so excited to see Queen celebrated by TAF and beyond, as Queen has been serving the community for 15+ years, combating structural violence against Black and Indigenous youth through youth service resources, arts education programs in schools, community centres and justice advocacy. Queen believes it is integral that BIPOC youth are exposed to creative practices and free skill-based opportunities to let them vocalize their stories. The incredibly beautiful thing about Queen is her willingness to push through her own struggles to help other people.
In 2017, Queen joined the Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) Canada, as an artistic member to help host their conventions. In 2020, she became one of the executive directors of BSAM Canada, lending her expertise to get it incorporated as a Federal non-profit cultural arts organization. Since then, BSAM Canada has launched an addition of the #ItsAllRightNow campaign with The Bentway, procured an artist residency with the Waterfront Toronto and Waterfront BIA, and received an art partnership with ArtworxTO. Queen’s knowledge and experience in serving at-risk youth and community initiatives has been instrumental in helping to push BSAM Canada to the next level and creating opportunities and partnerships that propel our work and impact.
Queen’s art reflects her devotion to creating greater and more equitable opportunities for members of Black, Indigenous, and queer populations. We invite you all to celebrate her with us. Despite the award results, we know how lucky we are to have Queen on our team and in our lives!
To learn more about Queen and the work that she does visit her website.
To learn more about the award visit Toronto Arts Foundation website.