Ryan Leslie headlines Manifesto youth summit

Manifesto Festival hopes to create and promote youth engagement, through artistic and creative expression

Ryan Leslie is speaking at the Manifesto Festival summit at George Brown College's Waterfront campus on Sunday, Sept. 21. Photo provided.

Ryan Leslie is speaking at the Manifesto Festival summit at George Brown College’s Waterfront campus on Sunday, Sept. 21. Photo provided.

An all-ages event, The Summit, part of the Manifesto Festival of Community and Culture, will be taking place at George Brown College’s (GBC) Waterfront campus from noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday Sept. 21.

Sponsored by GBC’s Student Association, from noon until 7 p.m. the event will feature many speakers, a multidimensional artist and dance workshops.

As a non-profit, youth-powered platform, the festival will bring together local artists to bring-together and inspire youth from different communities, through art and culture, according to the festival’s website; and with its positive social and economic impact, the provided programs were designed to support youth artistic and professional development, while aiming to build careers and establish community connections.

The event will feature one of the industries most “savvy businessmen” Ryan Leslie, who’s most recent venture is Disruptive Media, which is described as an application that allows artists to keep in direct contact with their fans via email and text; along with album sales made directly through the application to the artist, with no middle-man or label taking a cut from the gross album sales,” according to his personal website.

Leslie was born in Washington D.C. and raised in eight cities on two continents. By 19 he was a senior at Harvard, and has spent the last seven years producing records for a variety of artists, along with his own albums, two of which were award-winning.

Having been been an invited speaker at many schools across the United States Leslie has made it here to Canada for this weekend’s Manifesto Festival Summit.

As written on their website, “Manifesto’s innovative model seeks to address a host of challenges faced by the so-called ‘urban’ arts sector in Canada,” which include:

  • Insufficient income-generating and employment opportunities for young people and artists
  • Unrealized benefits of greater collaboration between artists, organizations, institutions & genres
  • Lack of mainstream support infrastructure for homegrown artists (venues, media, industry, etc.)
  • Systemic disinclusion and under-resourcing of marginalized and racialized communities

Recognizing the challenges faced by youth in different communities, the Manifesto Festival hopes to create and promote youth engagement, through artistic and creative expression.

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Ryan Leslie headlines Manifesto youth summit