ArtHouse is an aspirational model of city sanctioned, Community-led accessible and appropriate spaces in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) dedicated to creative convergence for community health. ArtHouse exemplifies the interdependence of health, well-being and the arts while legitimizing artists and their requirements by providing live work studio apartments mixed with affordable housing, community health orgs, community garden & community kitchen, multi-media arts production & programming space under one roof.
We imagine an ideal with accessible opportunities for marginalized, emerging and established artists, for people in need of emergency housing, transitional housing, geared-to-income and affordable housing to live and work in a mixed-use environment conducive to creative convergence with an emphasis on community health and wellbeing.
With municipal and provincial funding, partnerships with First Nations communities, Black communities, racialized communities, LGBTQ+ communities, creative communities, homeless encampments and their support networks, healthcare professionals, harm reduction initiatives, local organizations focused on social equity, poverty, accessibility, urban growing initiatives, renewable & sustainable energy & technologies, from inception through to fruition and operations, will be instrumental in the authentic realization and ultimate success of this project. Together with strategic partnerships, we imagine an emergent model, following the guidelines of universal design, for new builds in the GTA. We envision each hub tailored to and led by the communities they are in, each with an emphasis on affordable housing, healthcare, arts & culture and sustainable food production and distribution.
We understand that given the current health and economic crisis, energies, dollars and resources will need to be invested accordingly to address COVID 19 for some time to come. And in this pause afforded to many, but not all - because this is definitely not a pause for many people who continue to put their lives at risk on the front lines in order to provide essential services - we can also imagine, conceptualize, illustrate and articulate ideas for a world that is better suited to cultivating a just, equitable, healthy world for all living beings to thrive towards their optimal potential.
fourth - fifteenth floors
This is a time where people are particularly receptive to understanding the real value of healthcare, the real value of the arts, and the interdependence and intersections therein regarding healing, recovery, processing and fostering a better world for all. A Creative Convergence Centre For Community Arts & Health is the perfect place to cultivate that world.
To inform the model, we first need to identify the specific needs of Toronto's Creative Community in order to address them authentically. We will be gathering data throughout this project with the help of your participation! Yes we need YOU to help us. Follow us on Instagram and stay tuned on how you can get involved!
Are there models out there already? Absolutely! And here we will explore who is doing what in Toronto to address the needs of creative professionals. No need to reinvent the wheel! We can learn a lot from places like Akin Collective and Artscape. They provide invaluable services and programming for artists.
However, with so many live/work spaces in the city vanishing due to unchecked reno-victions and condo developments that don't accommodate artists, we need to invest in more proactive measures to address what is becoming a cultural crisis in Toronto with so many creative people being displaced with few accessible alternatives.
Follow @arthouseto on Instagram and join the conversation !
Contact us if you are interested in joining us on this project!