Andrew Kushnir – Recipient of Inaugural REACH Mentorship/Residency for the Arts Funding

Andrew Kushnir

Emerging Canadian theatre artist Andrew Kushnir, of Toronto, has received $21,000 from the inaugural $25,000 REACH Mentorship/Residency for the Arts grant program, a project of the Shevchenko Foundation in partnership with the Ihnatowycz Family Foundation.

The 2018-19 REACH program called on emerging Canadian artists to reach for their career dreams by seeking opportunities for mentorship, residency, internship, training, workshop and research.

The competition attracted 26 applicants who met the requirements of being 40 years of age or younger; having a connection to Ukrainian heritage through background, art, culture and/or language (with no requirement to be Ukrainian Canadian); and working actively within the Ukrainian arts community in Canada and/or worldwide.

Applicants were also required to have practised at a peer-recognized advanced career level for a minimum of two years in visual, literary or performing arts, new media, or arts management.

The REACH adjudication panel included opera and theatre director Brian Deedrick; stage director, producer and librettist/writer Gordon Gordey; and artist, curator and instructor Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn.

Mr. Deedrick noted the “extraordinary commitment to exploration, examination and discovery of Ukrainian culture” reflected in the applications, adding he was “really excited by the calibre of applicants and their chosen mentors.”

Applications came from six provinces and from two other countries where applicants are currently working. “The talent in the Canadian arts community is amazing,” said Ms. Sembaliuk Cheladyn. “There are so many unique stories and so many more unique ways to tell them.”

Mr. Kushnir, a director, playwright and performer, received the REACH funding for a self-created development residency with Tarragon Theatre in support of his proposed new play, The Time Piece.

Andrew Hladyshevsky, Q.C., president of the Shevchenko Foundation, noted that “the Ukrainian arts community is flourishing as never before. With the implementation of the REACH Mentorship/Residency for the Arts, opportunity meets creative need. This grant plays an essential role by encouraging and accelerating the career of the recipient artist. We hope this leadership gift will prompt others to donate and help meet the need. Congratulations to the recipient, our wonderful donors and all the volunteers who made this possible.”