North Toronto Forum on Income Inequality
On Thursday Mar 20th Art Starts participated in a forum on income inequality organized by MPP Mike Colle. The panel of speakers featured Art Starts‘ own Managing Director Liz Forsberg, Shelly Zuckerman Executive Director of the North York Community House, Anette Chawla of North York Harvest Food Bank and Virgina Mills of Voices for a Just Society with the Keynote by Trish Hennessy, the Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Trish kicked off the event by speaking passionately about income inequality and challenged the audience with reducing that gap through social citizenship instead of individualistic ideals.
In her address to the crowd our very own Liz Forsberg expanded upon the ways in which Art Starts helps to mitigate income inequality through the arts. The first step, according to Liz was to be able to “imagine our ideal world,” which is made easier with expression through the arts. Tangible impacts like employment and other income generating opportunities for youth and professional artists provided through our programs have been the catalyst for change amongst the neighbourhoods we work in and beyond, Liz explained. As a recent example Liz highlighted the transformational nature of our bike building program which, upon completion, saw youth gain a sustainable form of transportation and employable skills that could be used to increase opportunity and income.
We were very happy to get the chance to participate in this great town hall event as it is so encouraging for us to gather together with other community organizations in this city and see the real changes and valued conversations around ending income inequality.