Artists serve an important role in Regent Park Focus programming. Regent Park Focus engages professional artists and arts organizations on a regular basis as staff, workshop instructors, presenters and volunteer mentors to youth participants. There have been countless of artists and arts organizations involved in FOCUS programming in the past.
Adonis Huggins – Artistic Director
Adonis has long had an interest in theatre and after graduating from the Community Worker Diploma Program at Toronto’s George Brown College in 1988, Adonis moved to Nova Scotia to pursue a BA in Theatre at Dallhousie University. During the summer of 1998 and 1999, Adonis performed in lead roles with a Black theatre company assoicated with the Nova Scotia Black Cultural Centre. The theatre company was founded to highlight Canada's racist past and present contemorary issues faced by Black communities in Eastern Canada. The experience would serve as a major influence in Adonis's later work. Adonis returned in Toronto in 1991 to work with a newly formed resident group in Regent Park anxious to develop arts-based interventions for hard-to-reach youth and deal with stigmatation of Regent Park. When engagement through theatre proved challenging, Adonis turned to the popularity of media, taking extensive production and post-production courses at Trinity Square Video (1993 to 2000) and imparting what he learned to Regent Park youth through the establishment of community video production programs. In time these programs would lead to a 24-hour, closed circuit television station (Regent Park TV).
Adonis continues to manage and coordinate video production programs at Regent Park Focus and serves both as the Artistic Director for Regent Park Focus hub, as well as the Executive Director for the FOCUS Media Arts Centre.
Dimitrije Martinovic – Video Coordinator
Dimitrije Martinovic was born in Yugoslavia, and immigrated to Canada with his family in 1968. He is an artist/photographer/film maker living and working in Toronto. Between 1976 – 80 he attended the Ontario College of Art, and since that time has worked in a wide range of media which have included film, video, performance, drawing, painting, sculpture and photography. His work has been exhibited in galleries and art festivals in Canada, USA and Europe. Several of his video works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) and the National Gallery (Ottawa). And more recently some of his photographs have been exhibited at the Manif dart 4, Quebec City Biennale (2008) and published in German art magazine Artlout. While completing his Master’s degree at York University in Toronto (2012-2014), which centred on Visual Culture and Every Day Life, he resumed his interest in film making producing an entirely new and extensive body of filmic work.
Since 2010 Dimitrije has worked extensively in the community arts field, blending his lifelong practice as an artist, photographer, and filmmaker with his commitment for a more socially just society. He has worked with diverse individuals and groups in wide range of settings. Dimitrije’s work is rooted in the notion that the arts are a powerful method of engaging participation, discussion and analysis of vital social, and cultural processes.
Dimitrije Martinovic is the video instructor and RPTV News Coordinator at Regent Park Focus.
John Mavors – Music Instructor
John is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist and has years of experience in music studio recording. John grew up in Toronto. He graduated from Earl Haig Secondary School's Claude Watson Arts Program in 2004, where he started playing guitar, putting together bands and began writing and performing music. In 2006, after branching out to play the drums and bass, he began working as a student instructor for Discovery Through the Arts, a local music school in Toronto’s east end that provides training and education for children who are looking to pursue music through secondary school, into post-secondary education and beyond. In 2010 John transitioned into the roll of full time instructor and began giving private lessons as well as leading ensemble classes. Over the years John has worked and performed with local talents such as River Tiber, East of Avenue and Justin Nozuka. In recent years he has also begun working as a writer, co-writing with a wide array of artists from labels like Cardinal Point Music and Universal Music. In addition to teaching and writing John has been a regularly gigging musician for more than a decade, including in the past five years leading his own band: Pudding.
As a gifted musician with an incredible ear for melody and knack for songwriting, John brings all his expertise to our studio mentoring sessions.
John Mavro is the music instructor for the Regent Park Focus Music Studio.
David Wall – Audio Instructor (Radio Regent)
David Wall is a composer, lyricist, singer and vocal coach.
As lead vocalist of the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir he toured Canada extensively, appearing regularly on television and radio. He has performed and recorded with an impressive cross-section of artists. Since 2001 David has developed a busy career as a composer. He has worked with directors such as Simcha Jacobovici, Avi Lewis, Michael Maclear and John Greyson and has written many scores for film and television. He has written a large repertoire of songs in an assortment of genres from pop and rock to gospel, blues and jazz. Recently he has contributed original Yiddish songs and settings of modern Yiddish poetry to his Jewish music projects, including collaborative work with acclaimed jazz pianist Marilyn Lerner. David has also worked on many experimental and multi-media musical projects in collaboration with designer Bruce Mau and with filmmaker John Greyson.
David Wall is an audio editing instructor and Coordinator of Radio Regent News & Views.
Tyrone MacLean-Wilson – New Media Coordinator
As well as the technical operations manager of the CCTV channel (RPTV) and the Radio Regent internet radio station,
Tyrone has a long history of using multi-media technology as a tool to engage youth in social justice themes. Along with a George Brown Advanced Graphic Design Diploma - Tyrone comes with extensive skills in: Web Development and Maintenance, Graphi Design (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator), Audio/Video Editor (Premiere, Audition, Sound Forge, Audacity), Social Media Planner Statistical Analsis and SEO, Game Design, Multi-Media Educator.
Tyrone MacLean-Wilson is the IT & New Media Coordinator at Regent Park Focus.
Rob Esworthy – Game Design Instructor
After more than a decade in the video game industry, Rob Elsworthy has amassed an impressive list of blockbuster games to his credit – from Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne, to Red Dead Redemption, Manhunt and The Warriors. A graduate of Toronto’s OCAD University, Rob worked as a game designer, cinematic animator, visual FX artist and system designer for Rockstar Games and Silicon Knights, before deciding to tick off a bucket list item and become a teacher. Rob is also a four-time, MMVA-winning music video director. Rob is now the director of Toronto Film School’s Video Game Design and Animation Diploma program.
Rob Elsworthy is the lead instructor for the Codex Game Design workshops at Regent Park Focus.
Elson Hsieh – New Media Instructor
Elson Hsieh is a seasonal Unity Software Programming Instructor at Regent Park FOCUS.
Jude Ifesieh – New Media 3D Design
Jude Ifesieh was born in Nigeria. He first came across a pencil at the age of three and has never quite let go.. In 2011 Jude moved to Canada to study Digital Animation at Sheridan College. No stranger to exhibiting his work in galleries across Canada in 2019, he led an award winning project "Beauty in Lines" Solo. Jude has taught modelling and animation targeted at racially diverse youths at the Regent Park focus and Artheart in the past and continues his involvement as the 3-D animation instructor.
Jude Ifesieh is a seasonal 3-D Modeling Instructor at Regent Park Focus.
Aditi Mehta, PhD - Multi-Media Instructor
Aditi Mehta is currently the Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, Teaching Stream University of Toronto.
Aditi received her Ph.D. from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT in November 2017. As a doctoral student, she was the SAGE/Marilyn Jacobs Gittell Activist Ph.D. Scholar with the Community Innovators Lab. Aditi's work and research fuse the rigorous methods of social science with community organizing and on-the-ground activism in order to contribute to the democratic production of knowledge and social change. Aditi is committed to elevating the role, position, and influence of underrepresented and marginalized communities within academic and public policy discourses.
Throughout her academic and professional career, Aditi has been inspired by synergies between the visual arts and social science research. Thus, Aditi has developed projects to promote and share the arts within communities that artistic enterprises tend to overlook. For example, as a media instructor with UNICEF, Aditi taught middle-school students in East Harlem, New York City how to create videos, podcasts, and blogs about gentrification in their neighborhood. Aditi also led photography training workshops and curated exhibitions with underserved youth in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C., as well as with small-business owners recovering from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photography exhibits, noodles, street musicians, autumn, absurd coincidences, and abandoned street chairs are a few of Aditi's favorite things. She once accidentally exploded eggs on my kitchen ceiling and was featured on NPR's "How to Do Everything" podcast about it.
Aditi Mehta is a seasonal multi-media instructor with the Regent Park Focus Divas Media Group.
Dawit Tibebu – Photography
Dawit Tibebu is an Ethiopian Journalist and Photographer. Passionate for literature and visual media, Dawit studied Foreign Language and Literature in Hawassa University. He was introduced to camera in a photography studio that serves walking customers for lifestyle photographs during campus in Hawassa town. Later after graduation, working in journalism, he started merging his journalism and photography together. With self-exploration, support and mentorship from well-established photographers in the industry, Dawit started using photography to reflect about himself, his vision and understanding of a certain subject. Ever since, Dawit has been commissioned photojournalism documentary photography for numerous agencies of the United Nations in Ethiopia, USAID, UKAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Save The Children and 16 other international organizations.
Dawit Tibebu is currently living in Toronto, Canada working on photojournalism and documentary photography in freelance basis and managing the publishing of the second book of The GUZO Project partnering with international publishers.
Dawit Tibebu is the seasonal Photography Instructor at Regent Park Focus.