A Place For The Displaced
Creative Convergence Hubs Cultivating Community Health in the GTA
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.
Sketching possible futures
During the time of global shutdown due to COVID 19, we found the need to process this new situation through our art practice, as artists do! We also found that during the pandemic, people have been turning to the arts to help process, to relax, to escape, as a balm, as therapy. Art is medicine.
Yet, there is a disconnect.
The arts are usually the first thing to be cut from a budget. When Ford came into office as Premier of Ontario, he cut $8 million from the Ontario Music Fund, $5 million from Ontario Arts Council base fundng and essentially eliminated the Indigenous Culture Fund, not to mention cuts to new safe injection sites, healthcare, legal aid, libraries, 50 Million Tree Program.... And that's just this government.
Quantifying the value of the arts is necessary, and thanks to the Toronto Arts Foundation's Toronto Art's Stats 2019, the proof is there. We know how impactful art is in our lives, yet, as a society, there is still a lot of work to be done to authentically and effectually support the artists themselves, to facilitate the space that's needed for artists to thrive in an urban environment.
After experiencing two renovictions from live/artist studios (to be replaced by condos which no former tenant could afford or would want to live in anyway!) We found solace in visioning the most positive, equitable, just, accessible places where all citizens can find safety and healthcare delivered through an arts lens. Physically surrounded by creative dwellings, shops and studios, urban farming, health and wellness spaces and creative endeavours. A community allowed to flourish around arts-base