mojanjMojan is a recent graduate of the York University MES Planning Program. Currently she is working on various community engagement and facilitation projects. She is the Director of Projects and Partnerships with The STEPS Initiative, an environmental arts non-profit organization that builds the capacity of citizens to take action in creating more vibrant and connected communities. She is also a member of the Professional Advisory Committee piloting a Community Planning Board in Kingston Galloway/Orton Park, which is connected to her Masters Paper on participatory planning practices, chosen as part of the FES Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Series.

Mojan’s recent project is with the City of Toronto Planning Division’s Youth Engagement Strategy Team, as part of team of 10 youth that will be working with the Planning Division to research and propose a strategy to better engage youth in planning related issues. She has recently received a fellowship with the Laidlaw Foundation to further this research and examine how to effectively engage and plan for youth participation in city building processes.

Mojan is a creative city planner, with an interest in systems design and innovative practices for public participation in city affairs. She is working to move into projects that are more planning based, drawing on her background to design and implement more creative, innovative and cohesive participatory planning practices as well as increase public participation.

STEPS Info and more of what Mojan does:

For the last 3 years Mojan have been working with the STEPS Initiative, an environmental arts non-profit organization, as the Director of Projects and Partnerships, building the capacity of citizens to take action in creating more vibrant and connected communities. The Steps Initiative uses art to connect people to public spaces. To date, they have led 30+ public art projects, several of which have been large-scale works (including the World’s Tallest Mural, where Mojan was the project and program manager) that have engaged thousands of community members of all ages, for which they have received numerous awards. Their work has largely focused on working with newcomer youth across Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods to create safe and welcoming community gathering spaces. Their initiative, The PATCH Project, works with councillors, BIAs, developers, community organizations and community members to better design and (re)imagine public spaces and how we can engage with them through public art. Mojan’s role at PATCH is to build partnerships with community organizations, councillors, developers and artists, as well as manage and support our public art installations and consultancy work. She seeks to create opportunities and platforms where art can be used as a vehicle to address, talk about, and bring to light ways in which we can change our communities and how they are built.

In summary, PATCH:

● Finds potential sites for public art (namely, on construction hoarding), with an emphasis on

locations that otherwise are devoid of public art;

● Recruits Toronto area artists (particularly, emerging artists) who want their work in the public

realm;

● Liaises between artists, property developers and construction companies to create and install

high quality public artwork;

● Manages logistics for all aspects of this project;

● Compensates artists using CARFAC fee schedules;

● Increases the impact of each individual piece by curating them into a larger ongoing city-wide

exhibition;

● Uses its proceeds to support free community arts programming across the City of Toronto.