Menon Dwarka has held executive director, artistic director, and community arts leadership positions in Canada and the United States over the last 25 years. Whether implementing project management programs and digital town halls at Soundstreams, winning Digital Strategies Fund grants from the Canada Council for the Arts for Arts Etobicoke, or introducing electronic music programs with Morton Subotnick at the 92nd Street Y, Harlem School of the Arts, and Greenwich House Music School, Mr. Dwarka’s innovative approach to the arts has always resulted in increased audience engagement and community development with focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access. His expertise resides in leveraging technology in service of creating more diverse programming and administrative spaces.
A disruptor of stratified ecosystems, Mr. Dwarka prides himself in being able to work with both large and small arts and culture organizations. He has also led grassroots organizations like Toronto’s 918 Bathurst Centre and also served as a board member of Canadian Opera Company, guiding its equity, diversity, and inclusion taskforce. His cross-sector work to achieve public/private sector partnerships, such as his community arts work for QuadReal developers, demonstrate his unique ability to work with a variety of stakeholders to ensure the viability of arts spaces and venues across urban and suburban settings.
Mr. Dwarka has worked as a peer reviewer of grants for the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, City of Ottawa, and Toronto Arts Council, where he currently sits on the Music Committee. Organizations that he has led have received support from all three levels of government, as well as the Metcalf and Jackman Foundations among others.
A sought-after public speaker, Mr. Dwarka has been featured on CBC Television, WBAI Radio, TVOntario’s The Agenda, and The Walrus Talks. He also appears on a regularly occurring segment on Sesame Street. He was part of the inaugural cohort of the Banff/Toronto Arts Council Cultural Leaders Lab as well as the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture’s Strategic Planning Committee, which oversaw the creation of Toronto’s 2018-2022 Culture Plan. In addition, Mr. Dwarka served as Support Lead for the Metcalf Foundation’s Creative Strategies Incubator and is Chair of Humber College’s Program Advisory Committee and Canadian Opera Company’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. He holds a bachelor of music and master of music in music composition from the University of Toronto.