For the last eight years, the Toronto-based organization DANI (Developing and Nurturing Independence) has hosted a yearly Art Week to display the vibrant and exuberant works of DANI participants.
The parent driven charity was founded in 2006 with a clear mission to create employment, training and educational opportunities for post-high school adults, who have cognitive, emotional and/or physical challenges. The program is individually designed to empower each member so they can “participate fully as members of society and enjoy a dignified independent life.”
As of 2021, DANI is servicing over 400 families across the GTA.
Art Week is a way for DANI participants to showcase their work to the broader community. The week offers a chance for participants to exhibit the diverse range of knowledge and practice they have with the arts. Their pieces are sold and profits go back to DANI.
Spearheaded by program coordinator Albina Magomedova, this year’s Art Week took place from August 23-26, with work inspired by The Beatles. Office manager, Dionne Liebenthal and program coordinator, Joen Lee, were also instrumental in helping put on the art show. The week-long events included a 60’s themed dinner party, a virtual paint night, and a patio concert with all the artwork on display for guests to see and auction on. Around 100 pieces of art were selected.
“People are often surprised by the amazing multi-layered-type art and that to me is a big deal in terms of showing the community what they [DANI participants] can produce,” Magomedova said.
Get to know some of the participants
Header image design by Clarrie Feinstein and Orly Zebak. All photographs in the piece are courtesy of DANI.
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