In 2007 Art Starts received a four year Trillium grant to implement creative programs at ‘Dower, an underserved neighbourhood at Finch and Birchmount. Art Starts programming responds to community needs and interests while training local residents to take ownership of and responsibility for the programming. We have created a myriad of arts, music and dance programs at Glendower including,
Sunday Drop-In Arts
Multigenerational drop in arts workshops featuring everything from basketmaking, t-shirt design and graffiti to dance, jewelry making, silkscreening, cake decorating and more!
Gettin’ Down with ‘Dower
Glendower is now proud to present its very own hip hop dance crew led by renowned dancer/choreographer Paul Thurton,(aka Kaze), of Simply Swagg Dance Studio. Due to the immense success of our Glendower Dance crew program, (designed by Art Starts’ resident led Glendower Arts Council), we have decided to continue to nurture the talents of 15 local youth throughout the summer and fall. They are currently developing a crew name and recruiting more dedicated young dancers from neighbouring communities.
Glendower Mosaic Project
The summer of 2007 saw the launch of a groundbreaking and truly distinctive 4-phase project. Art Starts, working in partnership with facilitating artists Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, worked with Glendower residents to conceptualize, draw and handcraft mosaic designs for the walls surrounding their basketball court. The final piece, which covers ¼ of the court wall, is a permanent testament to the community’s cohesiveness, creativity, ideas and collective effort. This project galvanized the Glendower community in an unprecedented way, fostering a spirit of generousity and collaboration, building bridges and engendering a strong sense of individual and collective pride.
Our 3rd phase of the Glendower basketball mosaic began in summer 2009 and is the most exciting yet! Art Starts has recruited five youth from the community to be trained in the art of mosaic making by facilitating artist Gabi Caruso of Red Pepper Spectacle Arts. The youth came up with a large-scale design based on the theme of empowerment, solidarity and unity in our communities past and present. The youth are also in charge of recruiting the larger community to participate in tiling the design onto the wall. Making progress piece by piece!
The Glendower Arts Council
Through the creation of the Glendower Arts Council, Art Starts is sharing its expertise in developing and managing responsive community arts projects with a remarkable group of twelve residents between the ages of 13 and 60.. Through regular meetings council members are learning how to design a community arts program for their community from the early stages of brainstorming and conducting community surveys to creating budgets and hiring collaborating artists. The Council will continue to meet quarterly to guide and discuss the direction of arts programs at Glendower. The Council will proudly present its first program in early spring of 2009; a multidisciplinary performance program including dance, music and spoken word… and this is only the beginning.
One World is a music/recording program conceptualized and designed in its entirety by neighbourhood youth. The program provides youth with the opportunity to work with high profile artists and to experiment with writing, performing, recording and producing their own music. One World houses a recording studio and program space overseen entirely by youth. The goal of One World is to build a healthier community and help to create an environment that facilitates the development of character, empathy and social responsibility and to empower young people to use their creativity to better the community.
Jr.’s Arts Club
These themed drop-in sessions allowed children in the Glendower community to be engaged in hands-on visual arts and crafts activities connected to character development concetps like sharing, friendship, respect and equality. All sessions lead by artist Fatima Kazmi.
B-Boyz 2 Men
Using media and hip-hop culture boys age 12+ will embark on a reflection journey discussing issues of manhood for urban youth. Through a dual process of discussions, hands-on construction of musical and visual arts pieces, the youth will learn and reflect on issues relevant to the process of growing from a boy to a man, in a safe, positive, creative and conscious space.
Program description and more information coming soon!