New York

Theo Gibson
Emily Kaufman
Jaye Thompson
John Polanco
Amber Jessup
Anjela Freyja
Peter Dommermuth
Samantha Kim
Nic Faouen
Chris Turney
Kristin Van Note
Charley Cobbin
Jimon Boadi
Cheri Anderson
Chris Cort
Kash Blagrove
Alston Bowman

Grace Gandolfo
Kara Driscoll Plock
Seyi Akinlade
Imad Elsheikh
Nancy Eld
Meika Wagner
Ali Khurshid
Christina Kim
Summer Ruddock-Ellis
Imad Elsheikh
Nancy Eld
Shakes Oyinsan
Shami LaCourt
Grace Wiehl
Marvin Lau
Teddy Fantum
Michael Marinelli
MK Valentino
Clinton Homuth
Sajae Elder

Showing the World Where Art Makes Culture by Defining Canada’s First Multidisciplinary Black Arts Facility.

This landmark achievement, located in the heart of the historic community of Toronto’s Little Jamaica, has been 15 years in the making for The Nia Centre For The Arts. Solidifying the importance of showcasing the rich tapestry of Canada’s African diaspora in a dedicated space where stories are told, art is created, and community is brought together.

When JOAN developed the NIA Centre For The Arts brand platform, the launch campaign titled “Nia Centre: Where Art Makes Culture” focused on a rebrand, inclusive of a new strategic and creative platform which established Nia Centre as a top-tier Canadian art institution.

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This is the first space where Black artists are celebrated, their stories validated, and their dreams empowered. The brand system focuses on building visuals which frame and celebrate the art as having a place to finally call home, and a tagline that evokes a calling for all artists in the African diaspora.

You only get so many opportunities to give back to the place where you grew up, I am honored to have this opportunity at JOAN to lead the campaign and brand platform for the Nia Centre and raise awareness about an institution where Black artists can see themselves reflected, where their stories are validated and where their existence is celebrated.”

— Theo Gibson, Group Creative Director at JOAN.

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As part of the campaign, JOAN designed the opening of ‘Here to Stay’ alongside TIFF Bell Lightbox as a co-branded exhibition, presented by Nia Centre for the Arts. Here to Stay is an experiential exploration of the Black spaces (past, present and future) that have shaped Toronto culture. This moment was shared with the Toronto community before a special screening of Ava Duvernay’s latest film, Origin, which also launched the Viola Desmond Cinema on Viola Desmond Day. The exhibition proved a hit across Toronto, using Nia Centre’s newly renovated arts facility as a reference point for Black space ― exploring what was, what is, and what will be.

This uplifting pro bono campaign combines JOAN’s mission to make modern brands legendary with its commitment to giving a voice to underrepresented communities and creating a long-lasting partnership with The Nia Centre For The Arts and the Black Community.

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