Happy Holidays!

2014 has been filled with vibrant artistic programming in our four partner neighbourhoods. Our work is an alchemy of the artistic interests and inspiration of our collaborators and community issues and needs. As a result, it is always evolving and growing in new and responsive ways as we deepen our relationships with our partner communities. Below you’ll find images highlighting some of this year’s 44 Art Starts programs, along with some nice press coverage.

In order to make all of these effective and inspiring programs happen we rely on the support of donors and supporters such as yourself. We couldn’t have the kind of impact we do without you! This holiday season, our friends at Artemano want to sweeten the deal; gifts over $40 and supporters who sign on to donate $5 or more per month will receive a $100 gift card to spend at the stunning Artemano store. So you can feel good about your donation building healthier communities AND receive a charitable tax receipt AND get something for yourself at their beautiful furniture and housewares store. You may even want to make donation in honour of a friend or colleague this holiday season.

2014 Program Highlights!

  • We worked with Neptune residents and artist Christina Delgado to create a beautiful new water-themed mosaic street sign for the neighbourhood to replace the old sign that identified their buildings as belonging to Toronto Community Housing.
  • We gave out our first ever microgrants to emerging and newcomer artists to test out their own community-engaged arts projects.
  • We built bicycles and skateboards with youth in all of our partner neighbourhoods
  • We worked with young Villaways residents to create a 3D model of their community in response to the ongoing neighbourhood revitalization initiatives with artists Virginia Tran and Douglas Hurst.
  • Another talented group of youth graduated from the Sew What?! youth fashion arts program AND one of the participants was featured in a CBC News segment on the program! To watch the clip CLICK HERE!
  • Our program for caregivers and young children worked with musicians Amai Kuda and Y Josephine to create a musical showcase at Maria A Shchuka Library and were just featured in the York Guardian CLICK HERE to read the article
  • We helped young residents of Glendower create a series of hand-painted pavement games throughout their neighbourhood with the help of artist Virginia Tran and were featured in the Scaroborough Mirror CLICK HERE to read the article
  • We hosted the Lawrence Heights & Neptune Collective Memory Bank event for community members to share their stories and memories of the neighbourhood as it undergoes a massive revitalization process and were featured in the North York Mirror CLICK HERE to read the article
  • We are also very proud to have been selected as Social Venture Partners’ new investee organization for 2014. For the next 3 years we will be working with them to increase our ability to create positive change in Toronto through a series of projects that will strengthen our organizational capacity.

The Art Starter Party

On November 20th, Art Starters unite at the Art Starter Party!  See some of our amazing artists coming out to support Art Starts by exhibiting some live art making. Artists Kim Dayman (aka our Interim Director of Operations), Fly Lady Di and Bruno Smoky will each get 20 minutes to fill a 30×40 inch canvas with the art materials of their choosing. Each piece will be auctioned off after the event. We can’t wait to see what these artists produce! We are grateful to our friends at DeSerres who will be supplying all art materials for the event.

Sew What?! Featured on CBC’s Our Toronto

We’re please to show you the CBC Toronto segment done on our Sew What?! program. Hear from participant Daniel Thompson and program manager Carleen Robinson about the successes they’ve had then head over to https://greedygiver.com/campaigns/Save-Our-Program and make a $5 donation to keep the program going – a $5 donation gets you a $5 Starbucks gift card – give today! Only 5 days left!! and please share so we can spread the word