OTF grant allows Tett Centre to grow and thrive post-pandemic

Kingstonist file photo.

Last week, the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning (TCCL) team celebrated a $57,400 Resilient Communities Fund grant they received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).

The grant supported work the organization has done (the “project”), which focused on recovering and rebuilding from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brianne Franklin, Director of the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, told Kingstonist.

“The ‘project’ was overarching, in that it included improving the ability to develop new and alternative sources of revenue (e.g. developing fundraising plans), adapting/re-imagining program delivery to meet community needs (e.g. increasing access to technology supports and developing new program frameworks), and procuring equipment to adapt and meet changing technology and service delivery requirements (e.g. we were able to purchase devices and develop resources that will assist program participants with limited access to technology onsite, as well as create better access offsite). These outcomes focus on future growth and have provided investment in our organization’s ability to serve the community,” she shared.

According to a release from the TCCL, the project was completed on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, and will have a “lasting impact” on the TCCL and the broader community.

“The Tett Centre has served as a beacon of inspiration and creativity, fostering a vibrant arts community in Kingston and beyond,” said Ted Hsu, MPP for Kingston and the Islands. “I look forward to seeing how this Ontario Trillium Fund grant will support the Centre in continuing to enrich our community and support artists in their creative endeavours.”

Since the project started on August 8, 2022, the TCCL has launched the Tett Artist Residency Program, which supports emerging artists by providing awarded studio space for creative incubation and artistic development. The work completed through the OTF project will support the residency program, as well as enable the organization to thrive with renewed strength, as a multi-faceted community arts centre, according to the release. The four residency recipients were announced on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, and include Sheldon Traviss, Meenakashi Ghadial, Sophia Fabiilli, and Baiqing (Audrey) Chen, who will each be the artist in residency at the Tett Centre for one quarter of 2024.

“Through the grant, we were able to hire an Outreach and Development Coordinator to assist in the project goals/outcomes listed above,” Frankin continued. “The Outreach and Development Coordinator worked with our existing Tett staff to build fundraising capacity for revenue diversification (for present and future resilience); research technology to support flexible space use and revenue generation through our rentals program (to support our service model); and work to develop and improve our programming and engagement models to identify and address service barriers, which is ongoing.”

“The long-term impact of this grant will significantly strengthen our organization, ultimately allowing us to better serve our community. We also want to congratulate the Ontario Trillium Foundation on 40 years of granting and building healthy and vibrant communities across the province,” the Tett Centre director concluded.

Learn more about the TCCL on its website.

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