Both Beach artists take much of their inspiration from the neighbourhood. Smithwell is a plein air painter, creating her landscapes on site. Cinnamon prefers to work in her studio, painting summer scenes throughout the year.
Summer in September runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13 and 14.
East End Arts, Toronto’s sixth Local Arts Service Organization, celebrated its first anniversary last month, and will mark its first year by co-presenting the second annual East End Poetry Festival (see Entertainment Beat).
The organization serves Wards 29, 30, 31 and 32 (roughly from the Don River to Victoria Park, and south to the lake). Managing Director Cindy Rozeboom said the efforts of everyone involved have exceeded most expectations.
“It’s been great. A lot of work, a little bit tiring, but great,” she said. “We have obliterated most of our outreach goals.”
In its first year, East End Arts hosted a number of artist networking events, led the Family Art Attack painting challenge, took part in local 100 In 1 Day events and the Luminato festival, and presented the Art of the Danforth festival, featuring 33 art projects over a week and a half in the East Danforth neighbourhood.
“I was really happy with the way the community responded,” said Rozeboom, particularly with the networking events.
The goal of East End Arts is community building and helping artists, community groups, businesses, and politicians make connections.
“It seemed to me that the best way to do that was to actually do stuff,” she said.
The success of those events is remarkable, given the young age of East End Arts and the range of individuals and groups serviced.
“Even though East End Arts has a smaller geographic footprint than some of the other places, it’s still wildly diverse, so absolutely, that’s a challenge,” she said.
One of the keys, according to Rozeboom, is to choose some specific areas to focus East End Arts’ efforts
“You could take your mandate and try to be all things to all people, and end up being nothing,” she said.
In the second year, Rozeboom said she’s hoping to expand programming. Another networking workshop series is in the works, as well as a project to work on a zone of the PanAm Path project. She’s hoping to turn East End Arts into an independent non-profit, preferably with its own permanent space. And as outreach continues, youth and underserved populations are on the radar.
Despite sometimes long hours and hard work, Rozeboom is looking forward to year two.
“It’s good to have someone looking after this little area.”