The Toronto Raptors are creating a promising future for emerging BIPOC artists under their Welcome Toronto Creators program.
In partnership with Drake’s OVO, the program supports three emerging artists between the ages of 16 and 29 who exemplify “the multicultural DNA of the city of Toronto,” according to the Raptors’ website. Finalists will have an opportunity to receive mentorship and networking opportunities with the Raptors’ resources. In addition to these perks, the chosen artists will be designated to one “Welcome Toronto” game and their art and journey will be featured during the NBA broadcast and across the Raptors’ social media platforms.
The Program Reaffirms Emerging Artists
Former alumni from the program’s introductory cohort are Hannah Flores, Trae Nguyen and Julius Campbell.
“Having been a Raptors fan since I was very young, it was that much more meaningful to work with the organization to showcase, and in my case speak to, the best of Toronto Raptors spirit,” Flores told Complex in an interview.
The outlet also spoke to Nguyen, who revealed her participation in the program created more exposure and expanded her potential as a creative. When artists complete the creators’ program, they can venture into the industry, knowing they can thrive as a professional.
“Having a program like this can encourage more youth and BIPOC communities to redefine and create their own career paths. Creativity should be celebrated and I believe this program is the epitome of walking the talk,” Nguyen told Complex.
The creators’ program is an extension of Welcome Toronto, created in 2018 to celebrate the culture of the city and team while paying homage to the community and its future generation.
To apply for the program, visit: https://www.nba.com/raptors/welcometoronto