A Pathway to Success

Spotlight on Anthony Gebrehiwot and our Neighbourhood Arts Network

Anthony Gebrehiwot

Anthony Gebrehiwot, award-winning visual artist, photographer and community leader, first became involved with our Neighbourhood Arts Network (NAN) in 2014
when he participated in our ArtWorksTO: Skills for a Creative Future program, landing him a paid contract with the City of Toronto. In its current iteration, the program is presented in partnership with the City of Toronto, The Remix Project and OCAD U, providing opportunities for youth media artists to gain professional experience, skills and network in the media arts industry.

“That was my first professional contract and it taught me a lot about the business of photography – consultations with a client, preparing contracts, and delivering work in a professional setting. It set the foundation for how I proceeded as a professional,” said Anthony.

Anthony continued his involvement with ArtWorksTO as an alumnus and later served on the program’s board; his own experience as a participant helped him to meaningfully contribute to the growth and the development of the program.

In 2016, Anthony was invited to participate in NAN’s Creative Potluck series, a free neighbourhood event where artists and community residents gather around food to share ideas, best practices, and network. “These artist talks are a great way to give people perspective about how the industry operates and how people have gotten to where they are,” he said.

Reflecting on his own artistic journey, Anthony is particularly mindful of the important role mentorship plays in an artist’s development. In 2021, he joined NAN’s Mentor in Residence program and provided one-on-one mentorship to artists. Through his role as a mentor, he wants to help other artists learn from his own experiences.

Most recently, Anthony participated in our mentorship matching program, in which NAN connects applicants to Toronto Arts Council’s Newcomer & Refugee Artist Mentorship program with mentees. Having been matched with a newcomer artist, Anthony and his mentee have applied for the grant and are looking forward to the results.

“Shout out to NAN and Toronto Arts Foundation for all the work they do to support artists ... I see and I appreciate the effort,” he said.

This story appears in the 2021 Toronto Arts Foundation Annual Report