Announcing our 2024 Kultura Grantees

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March 1, 2024

Summer Jam 2023, Ashkenaz Foundation, Earl Bales Park.

For many community members, arts and culture are central to our Jewish identity and connecting to community. Through arts-based projects we explore the many facets of Jewish identity across the past, present and into the future. UJA’s Kultura Collective proudly supports a network of Jewish arts, culture, and heritage organizations across our city. Our strategic grants give organizations the opportunity and means to develop creative projects that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. 

We are excited to announce the following programs that will be supported under the Kultura project grant program. This initiative supports programs led by Kultura Collective members that are collaborative and forward-thinking, while exploring Jewish identity through an artistic lens. And who will then share their vision with the community. Whether you’re a lover of art, music, film, or theatre, there is something for you to enjoy this summer and fall! 

Here are just a few of the incredible granted projects:  

  • In the spring, TJFF will present Visions of Israel, a modern Israeli cinema series designed to offer an engaging exploration of contemporary Israeli filmmaking. The films, and accompanying talkbacks and events, will be screened during the Toronto Jewish Film Festival (from May 30 – June 9, 2024) at the Prosserman JCC and other locations in North Toronto. 
  • This spring, the Ontario Jewish Archives and FENTSTER will show I will relate to you a multi-disciplinary exhibition that combines a new art installation, archival materials, and historical context to tell the story of Jewish communities that once existed in Northern Ontario from the 1930s to the 1960s.The project stems out of Toronto artist Meichen Waxer’s ongoing, extensive research into the history of the Jewish community of Krugerdorf, near Kirkland Lake, where her paternal family traces its roots.
  • Summer 2024, Ashkenaz Foundation will again bring high-quality live music experiences to Earl Bales Park, in the heart of Jewish Toronto, with the Summer Jam concert series. Each of these double bills will pair a Jewish roots musical act with a more pop- or rock-oriented cover band. The series will run biweekly on Monday evenings beginning July 15, culminating on August 26.
  • In the fall, Miles Nadal JCC and FENTSTER will present multi-disciplinary programming inspired by the play Heartlines, writtenby Canadian queer playwright Sarah Waisvisz, including a staged reading, workshops, and original art installation. Heartlines traces the intersection of love, art, and war as it reimagines the lives of French surrealist and avant-garde artists Lucy Schwob (a.k.a. Claude Cahun) and Suzanne Malherbe (a.k.a. Marcel Moore), who were secretly Jewish, lesbian life partners active in the French Resistance during the Second World War.
  • During the fall 2024 season, the Prosserman JCC will a host YidLife Crisis, with multiple events throughout the city, which celebrating Yiddishkeit, Jewish history, and language. YidLife Crisis is a Yiddish comedy web series and Jewish cultural brand created by two friends, Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman from Montreal. Their work humorously explores various aspects of Jewish life, often incorporating Yiddish language and traditions into its storytelling.
  • In November 2024, the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company will present the production Trayf. The play, which takes its title from the Jewish word unkosher, probes questions of community, belonging, and identity as it challenges the lines between secularism and Orthodox Judaism. Playwright Lindsay Joelle anchors the play in the Orthodox Jewish world; however, the play will appeal to audiences of all ethnicities and levels of Judaism who can relate to the characters and their struggles.

There’s much more to come! Keep up to date with all that will be happening in the Jewish arts, culture, and heritage scene in Toronto by following us on social or subscribing to our newsletter.

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