The Pandemic Auction
(Video: Ayse Barut)
“Spread Arts: The Pandemic Auction!” by UTSC Arts Management Students Raises Nearly $2000 for the Local Scarborough Community
“Spread Arts: The Pandemic Auction!” is a community project created by a group of emerging (fourth year) arts managers from the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). Their aim is to help Toronto families in need and raise funds for a COVID-19 relief cause with East Scarborough Storefront, which does community work for the Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park Community. The project has been created with the generous support of UTSC Arts, Culture and Media Department; the Arts, Culture and Media Students’ Association; and in-kind support from other various University of Toronto groups.
Through a silent online auction which included 30+ artworks ranging from digital art and comic to photography and poetry, Spread Arts have been able to break down the barriers of art experience to families while also supporting local Toronto artists with 30 percent of the winning bid going to the participating artists. Our team had the pleasure of interviewing two Spread Arts team members, Bonnie Chan and Ebo Sackey, and they have shared their insights about their project with us.
“We are happy to translate arts into our donations into helping our community, especially in these COVID times,” Bonnie expressed.
“We are really happy to have provided an accessible arts experience because that is a big part of our mission,” Ebo noted.
The auction ran from March 24 to March 31, and has raised $1213 along with their GoFundMe which has generated more than $850 in donations thus far. All the artworks for the auction were digital, and the auction was hosted on a digital platform called 32auctions: https://www.32auctions.com/Spreadarts2021. Proceeds from the auction will go to making 50 care packages with health products and art and music supplies and services, and the remaining proceeds (at least $2,000) will be donated to East Scarborough Storefront. Winning bidders should expect an email with information about how to receive their digital artworks and what documents they need to provide.
Even though planning and implementing a project during COVID-19 comes with challenges, the digital auction platform made the process more convenient for the Spread Arts team. Bonnie and Ebo stated that COVID-19 hit the minority groups and the artists quite hard, which was a contributing factor to the project. However, they reminded us to stay hopeful and see the silver lining in the state we are in such as the vast amount of arts/community project opportunities that come with the use of digital space.
You can still participate and support Spread Arts, as they are currently accepting donations through their GoFundMe until Sunday, April 11, 2021, to reach their goal of raising $3000: https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid-relief-art-auction-initial-fund.
Make sure to follow their Facebook and Instagram for more:
Check out other recent arts projects by other fourth year Arts Management students at UTSC:
Arts On Magazine: https://artsonmagazine.wixsite.com/home
Distance: A Retrospective on the Space Between People by Liminal Art Gallery https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/distance-a-retrospective-on-the-space-between-people-tickets-145379336509
Thanks to Bonnie Chan and Ebo Sackey for their time.