OAF News

Jamaal Rogers Receives the Ontario Arts Foundation Artist Educator Award

Toronto, September 13, 2016 - Jamaal Rogers is the 2016 recipient of the $7,500 Ontario Arts Foundation Artist Educator Award. The award is given annually to an Ontario resident who exemplifies excellence in arts education, demonstrates a unique approach to their arts education practice, creates meaningful learning experiences for young people, inspires connections to the arts beyond the classroom and continues to maintain an active arts practice.

Jamaal Rogers is a poet, arts educator, creative entrepreneur, and performance artist. He has brought his work to audiences locally and internationally and his defining moments are when he makes intimate connections with his listeners during his workshops and performance sets.

He is a father of four and resides in Ottawa, Canada, using the capital as his launch pad to teach, mentor and be an advocate for urban arts within various communities.   As well as performing and curating events, he dedicates his time to coaching students and young artists; helping them find their voice and harness their passion through poetry and hip hop.

“I would like to give credit to the local community organizations such as MASC, Awesome Arts, and Blue Print 4 Life,”  says Jamaal Rogers. “They provided me with my first opportunities to discover my passion for education and mentorship."

Jamaal was selected as the winner from an outstanding group of nominees.   This year’s jury consisted of Anne Gutknecht, actor and artist educator (Kingston), Lindsey Lickers, arts education programmer and traditional crafts artist (Hagersville), and Bright Osei-Agyeman, media artist and artist educator (Toronto).  The jury was unanimous in their choice and stated, “We are inspired by Jamaal Rogers’ vision and practice. Empowering the voice of youth through hip hop is creating great results. His strong sense of social equity, holistic approach and awareness of local, national and international issues supports the youth he serves. He is an artist, mentor and coach in one. And he is making poetry cool, again.”

The Ontario Arts Foundation established and manages the endowment that funds the Artist Educator Award. The Ontario Arts Council administers the nomination and the selection process for the award. OAC juries nominate artists from the list of applicants to the current year’s OAC Artist in Education and Aboriginal Artist in Schools programs or other artists who are known to the jurors.


For more information, please contact:

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413


Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2015-2016, the OAF paid over $3.0 million in endowment income and $300,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2015-2016 the  OAC funded 1,676 individual artists and 1,125 organizations in 209 communities across Ontario for a total of $50.5 million.

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