Join STEPS Public Art and local entrepreneur D’Andra Montaque for a series of free community hair and art workshops in Little Jamaica!
The Mane Event is a community arts series that speaks to the importance of hair in Black culture, recognizing hair as art and an expression of identity. D’Andra Montaque, founder of Empress Mane and long-time resident of Little Jamaica, has partnered with STEPS Public Art for six (6) pop-up and in-person intergenerational hairstyling and art workshops for members of the Little Jamaica community and the African diaspora.
Gather with community members through hands-on workshops deep-rooted in community care, resiliency, self-expression and identity, culminating in a permanent public art mural led by Curtia Wright, sharing local stories, creativity, and highlighting the importance of local barber shops and salons in the historic, current, and future character of Little Jamaica.
Register for the Workshop Series below!
August 7, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 PM
Art-making & mural ideation with curtia Wright & Franceta Johnson
August 27, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Art-making & Play Session with curtia Wright & Franceta Johnson
September 10, 1:00 – 5:00 PM
July 10, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 PM
July 24, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 PM
July 17, 3-6 PM
Photo Credit: TK
About the Workshop Series
The first set of four (4) workshops, led by stylists Aisha and Anesia Loobie of Crown n Glory, TK of Textured Hair Edu, will focus on the important role hair plays in black identity, self-care and community connection. Each session will include a hairstyle lesson, stylist-assisted hands-on practice with your own hair, and an opportunity to share insights to shape the final mural project.
Choose a 1-hour time slot for the hairstyle lesson and hands-on demonstration. Feel free to join us before and after your time slot for creative activities, conversations, and light refreshments!
This is a free, family-friendly event! Materials will be provided.
The final set of two (2) workshops will build upon learnings from the hair workshops, culminating in a community art exhibit and a permanent public mural to share The Mane Event story. Stay tuned for details!
The Mane Event team is committed to full participation in this event. Please email email@example.com with any questions or to share access needs.
Parking and public transit
Parking is available for a fee at the Green P parking lot at 1609 Eglinton Ave. West. Street parking is limited.
We are only a short walk west from Eglinton West TTC station.
Let’s work together to keep everyone safe! Contact information will be recorded for tracing purposes.
Meet the MANE Event Team
D’Andra (Dee) Montaque works across multiple industries building community, trust and inclusivity. A creative, entrepreneur and advocate for black economic development and other issues essential to her communities growth, she refuses to be boxed into one category. Empress Mane, in particular, gives her the opportunity to create a brand new space in the beauty industry. The online prestige beauty retailer focuses on producing positive inclusive changes where people of colour are centred and not an afterthought. In an industry where black people own less than 1% of the market share, Dee takes her position seriously and is determined to create a safe space for education, confidence and inevitably, a new industry.
Aisha is a natural hair enthusiast, visionary, and owner of Crown N Glory Natural Hair Studio in Toronto. She is passionate about bringing creativity and hair care to the forefront and while she loves educating others, building community and creating human connections are what motivates her most. She is the founder of Crown N Glory Natural Hair Studio and is excited for any opportunity to share her knowledge with others.
TK is highly passionate about her craft and finds inspiration through shaping curls and afros, as well as creating lived-in blonde transformations. TK first taught herself about textured hair 13 years ago and has been a beauty professional for 6 years.
She made the decision to create Textured Hair EDU, based on her own frustrations around the lack of adequate textured hair education. After connecting with different stylists that she knew and met online, it was clear that many didn’t even know the basics, and something needed to be done.
TK has dreams of a future where everyone (yes everyone) can walk into a salon and get serviced, no matter the hair type.
Anesia is a kindhearted stylist with years of experience in the hair industry. She is passionate, skilled and dedicated to providing genuine care in the enhancement of your natural hair. Anesia is extremely talented and can be trusted to execute various styles on various hair types. Her expertise includes crochet braids, twist-outs, box braids and expressive feed in cornrow styles. She enjoys working with natural textures to achieve beautiful results, something you can enjoy in the comfort of her chair.
Curtia Wright is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist who received her BFA at OCAD University in Drawing and Painting. Her work focuses on the body and its relationship to its environment, incorporating elements of mythical and sci-fi imagery and subject matter.
Curtia works prominently in oil, marker and pencil crayon; these materials contrast in their uses and perceptions in art, especially in their relation to fine art. Curtia’s goal is to challenge these perceptions; she believes pieces made with ‘cheap’ materials should not determine their value and that value should be placed rather on the creative use of these materials. Her art practice revolves around the idea that the human body is in constant collaboration with its surroundings, often in ways that exceed the boundaries of physical reality. The images she creates exist on both analog and digital planes through their production and execution; Curtia believes these alternating layers of production reference the discourse between the human body and the environment.
Artist, Designer and Creative, born & raised in the city of Toronto. Graduate of George Brown College with diplomas in both Fashion Tech & Design and Graphic Design. Her primary focus is showcasing black and fat bodies through art, design & illustration.
” I offer a unique & unfiltered viewpoint when it comes to diversity; As a tall, plus size, black woman, I’m dedicated to applying my background in art, design & content creation to push narratives forward in terms of inclusion and representation for all. “
Project Partners and Funders
The Mane Event is A City of Toronto Cultural Hotspot Signature Project.