Alexis Kane Speer
Alexis is the Founding Director of the Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space (STEPS) Initiative, a non-profit organization that uses art to connect people to public spaces. STEPS' largest capacity building endeavour to date has been the Emerging ARTivist Program - a workshop and leadership program for young people that provides a platform to propose public art projects. Recently, this program resulted in transforming a 32 story modernist social housing building into a vertical canvas at the heart of Toronto's St. James Town community - confirmed to be the world's tallest mural.
Alexis received an MA from the University of Toronto's Department of Geography and Planning and has a particular interest in using art to challenge and change the ways in which public spaces are currently being used; how citizens communicate on environmental issues; and the role of the artist in community planning. Speer also holds certificates in Community-Based Research, Capacity Building and is Director of the PATCH Project; which collaborates with land owners, developers and local artists to transform construction sites into an ongoing curated exhibition.
In 2011, Alexis was awarded a DiverseCity Fellowship by the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance for her work leading city-building initiatives. She is currently on the Adult Committee for the Delisle Youth Services Art Gallery and has also sat on the Advisory Board of the Toronto Arts Council's Neighbourhood Arts Network.