ArtBridges is a hub and forum for connection for anyone interested in or active in community-engaged arts and arts for social change in Canada. More than ever, because of the pandemic, connection and community-engagement matters!
Through the year, we have learned about the many ways that community-engaged arts initiatives have been working with their communities and pivoting through lockdowns, government health and safety mandates, and pandemic relief measures. It has taken great imagination, capacity, and resiliency. We have also heard and read stories about how initiatives are growing in response to the social and environmental justice issues of our time.
Your Membership support will help ArtBridges continue to gather and share about innovative community-engaged arts activities and about how initiatives are adapting their programs through the pandemic and transitioning into a “new normal.”
Membership fees help support the work of ArtBridges all year! As a Member you will be a vital partner in ArtBridges’ important work by helping us to raise awareness, connect people to community-engaged arts initiatives, gather and share resources, and highlight what’s going on in the practice and field.
ArtBridges’ Highlights of 2021:
- UNLOCKED Project: https://unlockedproject.ca UNLOCKED became an official project of ArtBridges in June! “UNLOCKED is an online exhibit of art created by young Canadians – their personal and creative response to the pandemic.”
- The Art Boxes Project: ArtBridges matches people with art supplies to community-engaged arts initiatives that reach out. This year, we received a donation to purchase art supplies and deliver them directly to community-engaged arts initiatives. These included: Thrive Like a Girl, The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit at Humber River Hospital and Ernestine!s Women’s Shelter.
- ArtBridges became a Regional Hub and Steering Committee Member with the recently launched Art for Social Change Network (ASCN): https://icasc.ca/ascnetwork/. This project is hosted by: Judith Marcuse Projects (JMP) and the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC).“ASCN is designed to connect and support hundreds of arts for social change (ASC) organizations and independent artists across Canada”. As a Regional Hub, ArtBridges is leading a project called: “STORIES OF NOW” about gathering and sharing stories emanating from the field and about what issues and areas of focus matter.
- ArtBridges’ Executive Director, participated for the second time as a mentor in FUTURES/forward – a National Mentorship Program …”designed to connect seasoned ASC practitioners with early-to-mid career community-engaged artists, foster peer to peer exchange with others doing change work with diverse communities, and bridge the urban/rural divide. (FUTURES/forward is hosted by the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC), an initiative of Judith Marcuse Projects”.)
- For almost three years, ArtBridges has been operating as a charitable organization, not-for-profit, and registered National Arts Service Organization (NASO). (ArtBridges was previously a project of Tides Canada for 10 years.) Like numerous arts organizations across Canada, ArtBridges is navigating through the challenges of working through the pandemic and adapting to new ways of working to continue to be relevant, viable and sustainable.
- We have worked hard to keep the information flowing about what’s going on in the field via artbridges.ca, with blog posts, Facebook & Twitter, Learning and Resources. We’ve responded to people with special requests—assisting with finding mentorship, connections, art supplies, and writing letters of support. Over the year, we have worked hard to preserve our website/hub.
- We concluded the 6th Annual Remarkable Community-Engaged Arts Awards and announced the finalists: Remarkable Innovation: Silver Scenes Film Festival (Toronto); Remarkable Creativity: Indigenous Women’s Augmented Mural Series (Calgary); Remarkable Resiliency: This Way Up Collective (Toronto). Awards were sponsored by the Ruth Mandel – WHO GIVES Fund. We are currently kicking off our 7th Annual Remarkable Community-Engaged Arts Awards. Our hope is that these stories inspire.
As an ArtBridges Member, you or your arts initiative can:
- Have your website reviewed for accessibility, mobile responsiveness, and clarity in a one hour professional consultation.
- Call for mentorship, brainstorming ideas, networking, or project / organizational development support with the ArtBridges team.
- Member Spotlight: Have your community-engaged arts initiative featured on ArtBridges’ Canada-wide Community Blog
- Receive consideration for a letter of support for your initiative from us.
- Be listed under Membership Recognition on the ArtBridges website.
- Receive a Membership card: become a card-carrying member!
Thank you for believing in this work!
Wishing you joy, health, and lots of creativity during this holiday season and into the new year!
& Seanna Connell