Liz Forsberg – Managing Director
Liz had spent a decade working in community-engaged arts before joining Art Starts in 2009.
Trained as an Expressive Arts Therapist she began developing and facilitating programming
in group homes, treatment centres and women’s shelters. After receiving a Master’s degree
in Environmental Studies she began working as a community artist with such groups as the
Art Gallery of York University, Jane and Finch Boys and Girls Club, and the Toronto Public
Space Committee. As a musician Liz has recorded and performed with acclaimed bands
The Hidden Cameras, Royal City and The Phonemes. Her writing has appeared in the
publications “The State of the Arts: Living with Culture in Toronto” and “GreenTOpia: Towards
a Sustainable Toronto”.
Director of Development and Finance
Tamara is a textile artist with more than seventeen years of experience in the art community.
Her extensive work in arts administration has given her an in-depth knowledge of
community art and organizations. Tamara has worked as artist, project manager, general
manager and grants officer at both the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Councils.
In her independent artistic practice Tamara creates unconventional fibre-based work,
sculptural basketry, wands and wall pieces.
Katherine Earl – Program Director
(currently on leave)
Katherine is passionate about art and community development. She is a multi-media artist, community animator and certified teacher. Her experience in management and teaching combined with 8 years of front line work in the non profit arts sector contribute to her broad understanding of how the arts can evolve our city socially, intellectually and economically. Katherine’s artwork explores themes of place, identity and notions of “home”. Her personal art practice is greatly inspired by her work with communities. Katherine has a BFA from the Ontario College of Art & Design and a B.Ed from York University.
Myra Leibu – Interim Program Director
Myra completed a BFA in Visual Arts and continues exploring themes around identity
and resilience in her practice. She has been working in marginalized communities
and with at-risk-youth for many years. She is dedicated to a grassroots approach
where positive and sustainable programming stems from a collaborative approach,
committed to the specificity of place and representative integrity. After completing
an MEd she moved to New York City and taught art in public school. She knows how
definitively the arts function as a means of engagement and as a mode of empowerment.
The Art Starts family has welcomed her warmly and she looks forward to a year of
helping build healthy communities through the arts.
Administrations & Communications Manager
Kim has been working and thriving at in the arts for over a decade. Starting
her career working in art galleries as a visual arts instructor she has worked all over the
GTA with various non-profit art organizations as an instructor, programmer and arts
administrator. Having graduated with a BFA from the Ontario College of Art & Design
Kim continues her art practice working and exhibiting with the Inprint Collective. She is
happy to be a part of the Art Starts family and will continue working towards increased
community arts development in the city of Toronto.
Events & Marketing Coordinator
Born and raised in Tirana, Albania, Elvana moved to Canada in late 2009. She brings an
extensive experience working as Project Assistant with British Council, Albania for more
than 7 years. Her main engagements were with Art and Culture projects on an international
scale. Elvana earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Tirana in
2000. In her early career she worked with children and youth refugees facilitating
therapeutic art programs. While exploring various types of engaging children and youth
Elvana has recently developed an interest on how art mediums can reach and improve
the life quality especially to under-resourced communities.
Sarah Cordner – Administrative Assistant
Sarah has been working for a few years with her own community as well as others
as a mentor in developing Digital Stories with youth about safety and violence.
Although not an artist herself, she thoroughly enjoys being a part of any type of art
and watching as young and old alike, flourish through their work and passions. Sarah
enjoys being an encouraging part of creating change. Not only within ourselves, but a
greater change to our friends, families, neighbourhoods, and Toronto!