ArtHeart Community Art Center

 

Vision To empower our participants to improve their quality of life. Mission Build self-esteem and self-reliance for children, youth, adults and families in the Regent Park Community by providing free community visual arts education, programs, materials and nourishment in an open, safe, warm, supportive environment. About ArtHeart ArtHeart expands people’s horizons through exposure to arts and cultural opportunities, education and activities. We foster an environment that challenges participants to rise above the constraints of poverty and realize their potential. ArtHeart provides free-of-charge, a year-round supportive art studio environment, ample creative materials, education, caring volunteers and a wide variety of art activities, innovative programs and projects and marketing opportunities. Additional benefits include an atmosphere wherein mentorship and positive role-modeling happens. High quality creative programming, consistent and sensitive feedback and support, collaborative and insightful program monitoring and evaluation are also provided. Here, participants can express their own creativity, develop educational and life-skills, find mental stimulation and put their hands and imaginations to work. Through this process, people are empowered to make some improvement to their quality of life and achieve greater participation in their community. By working with the personal assets and resources that our participants bring to ArtHeart, we have created an integrated, diverse and dynamic forum for community development and growth. In a creative and artistic environment, ArtHeart works with issues of poverty, violence, substance abuse, social isolation, unemployment, school drop-out, poor health and self-esteem. ArtHeart also provides meals and refreshments, a warm space, supportive programs and resources including access to telephone, computers, washrooms, books and arts supplies.

 

Participants Our participants range in age from children through to seniors. Many of ArtHeart participants live below the poverty line. Our adult participants often face issues concerning unemployment, intellectual or physical disability, mental health, homelessness, substance abuse, social isolation, discrimination, and newcomer challenges. Participants come from a variety of cultures, religions and backgrounds from around the world. The Regent Park community consists of many immigrants, the origins of which are continually changing, thus requiring ArtHeart to continuously evolve to meet the needs of this community.
Participant & Volunteer Testimonials Testimonials "We are starting up our afterschool programs for another school year, and we are interested in working back with you guys for the art heart program. Our members enjoyed the program so much last year that it was one of the most recommended programs that they wanted to see again this year." - David Metilelu – Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club “I like art because I can make art. I like to draw.” - Austin (age 8) “I like to draw picture. I like to make bracelats. I like to paint. I like to paint my pictures.” - Karen (age 8) “I like art heart because they are always possitive. I enjoy painting hear too.” – Gabriella (age 10) “Artheart is a wonderful experience to enrich your artistic skills. You are given the opportunity to experience many diverse art forms in an non-discriminating atmosphere.” - K.Bowan “Because of ArtHeart I now have the confidence to attend art school. I am graduating this year and looking for work.” - Claire M. “I love artheart summer camp because we learn water colors, how to use paper machae, do sketching and comics, virtual graffiti, learning about artists, doing still-life drawings, painting on canvas’s, food arts, collages, learning about inspiration, going on field trips and I also enjoy digital art.” – Ifaz (age 10.5) “I like ArtHeart because they have art and it’s really fun and also it’s fun to do art. ArtHeart’s a good place to make art for kids because when they grow up they could teach art to their kids!” – Fazra (age 9) “I love Artheart summer camp because beacase get to do sketching with my friends and make comics too. But the thing I like to do most is to have fun doing Art at Artheart.” – Saajid (age 9) “My daughter raved about Artheart through K-club & she told us about Sunday drop in & we came & had so much fun! I really bonded with my daughter & son & painted a painting for the very first time! I will definitely be coming back every week!” – Laurie “We like to come to the family program at ArtHeart because it gives us a chance to be creative together as a family. The staff is so friendly & encouraging, the children can’t wait to come back the next week.” - James “I like coming to Sunday family programming because I get to be creative and spend time with my daughter. We love here.” - Sophie "Walking into ArtHeart's wonderful space you are instantly met by the amazing sound of creativity.
People are chatting, discussing ideas, techniques, but also what they want to say through their art - what they want to say about themselves, their world and their lives.
Art gives all of us a way to say things we can’t always express in conversation over a coffee – joy, pain, beauty.
Artistic impression is just one way people have to express their inner lives, but the tools for making that expression are often taken for granted.
ArtHeart helps bridge that gap by giving access to people who can’t easily get it on their own.
It’s not just access to materials, which aren't cheap, it’s also access to the skills needed to do things like lino-cuts, wood blocks, watercolours.
The people of Regent Park all have things they want to say. ArtHeart helps them say it." -Artist, Children's Author and CBC broadcaster "Rick looked like the men we pass on the street — the men we often shun. But Rick wasn’t homeless and he wasn’t a panhandler. I learned this as we bonded over art." - Donna Tranquada. Donna's article about Rick As an Art Heart volunteer, I am writing to express how impressed I am with the organization and how amazing it would be for them to receive funding to extent all the good they do for the Regent Park Community. While helping out with the adult art drop in program this summer, these are a few of the wonderful things that I have observed; The feeling of acceptance.
Like Toronto, the people in the program are diverse- Old and younger- and I love a place that focuses on older people that need help, as well as young people. Different ethnicities, from different backgrounds and with different abilities. They all come together in a calm and friendly and supportive environment. Everyone supports each other-- participants and staff. There is a real sense of belonging. The hive of artistic activity.
I am very impressed by the burst of creativity from the moment everyone arrives, to they time we must clean up. Not a moment (other than a break for a friendly, healthy dinner) is spared. Everyone is painting, sewing, printing, asking questions and helping other artists with their work. The quality and variety of the art and crafts created is remarkable. And so is the self esteem that this fosters. The quality of the staff
Art Heart is so well run. The staff are respectful, knowledgeable, full of energy and fun. And they know how to stretch a dollar-- I was so surprised how they come up with clever ways to keep the costs of the art supplies and equipment down, without interfering with the quality of the experience or resulting creations of the members. After my shift has ended I find myself happy and reenergized. Art Heart is a wonderful environment. My only worry is that the Adult program is only open Wednesday evenings and during the day on Thursdays. With more funding we could expand this experience and all it achieves to more members and more often.
In my mind, this is just the organization that deserves whatever donations towards its work that it can get. Thank you,
Kingi Carpenter
Owner/Designer Peach Berserk
Board Member of the Ontario Arts Education Association.

 

Kindly, I Color My World   A Tribute To ArtHeart

 

By Pete Townsend, 2nd  revision

 

From highest ambition to humblest end I have withered.  Though I accept a few feet of cool earth as my earnest comfort, my spirit remains unbound - as kindly I color my world.  At the pace of watercolors I reflect gratefully. Through palette and brush comforts blossom.  With stately strokes I soar majestically over mountains. Looser than the tail of a kite dancing on wisp and whim I kick up my feet over cushy clouds.  A swallow slips through willows and I do not weep.   Canoe gliding, sun beaming or wave lapping – it is me, I am free and soundly I sleep in the night.

ArtHeart is my only refuge.  I close my eyes, wash out the shadows with light and color and joy.  When a leaky ceiling drip slaps the floor I paint the snap of whipping hair tearing down the black ribbon full throttle on a Harley.  Wind washes the tightness from my brow and jaw.  My heart pounds and a grin stretches fully around my face.  When I feel down I paint a hot air balloon.  I become a bubble in Champagne or a sparkle off a mirrored ball.  Lightness of heart, like a musical note, I float in the air.  Clutching pain drags me back into my wheelchair.  I must deal with what I must as best I can.  Eyes closed, kindly I color my world and soundly I sleep in the night.

Tender is my garden of thoughtful flowers – blessing bright days by virtue of showers.  I never knew how lost I would be as I grow old.  No purpose or use, unneeded and in the way - I never felt so grateful for a place to belong. ArtHeart is a chosen family.   Each participant, volunteer and staff is a dab of sweet color – red petals like kissing lips warming the darkest of my shadows.  Softly I paint cool streams in the passing, birds singing or children laughing and soundly I sleep in the night.

Now my seasons have passed, my palette dry and bristles brittle the shadows close in with their black anger.  Pain ever increasing, despair bites deep and clamps on.  Sunrise no longer burns holes through my darkest dreams, I search for light through my mind’s windows.  I think of ArtHeart and dance with the moon.  Inebriated with stars I drink in the night.  I cozy in, preparing for eternal slumber, close my eyes and paint a blanket of purring kittens.  Harmony reaping, I am in their good keeping and soundly I sleep in the night.

 

Charitable Registration Number: 85611 4640 RR0001