Power of the Arts National Forum

Highlights from 2018 Power of The Arts: The Arts as Tools for Peace

This year we had the pleasure of presenting at the Power of the Arts National Forum hosted by Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In this edition, you will read about some of the cool workshops and lectures, around the topic of the arts and mental health, as we shed light on other arts organizations around the country. 

ArtHive workshop
Image courtesy of ArtHive
Art Hives: Student Led Community Engagement
Presenters:Janis Timm-Bottos, Director, Art Hives, Concordia University
Stephen Legari, Art Therapist, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Rachel Chainey, Art Hives Network National Coordinator

An art hive is a community space which allows anyone and everyone to be welcomed as an artist. Interestingly, Art Hive has a location at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts  focus of the workshop was on the mindset of an art hive and what this mindset brings to the space. How can the diverse skills, education, and backgrounds of people be used as a tool for incubating ideas and art? How can this hivemind spread across the country to create a number of art hives? How can these experiences not only reflect our mental health but shape our mental health? 

Intested in learning more or starting an Arthive in your neighbourhood? Click here for a toolkit on how to start one.

Make Music Matter – Healing in Harmony: Artists Not Patients
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Presentor: Darcy Ataman, Make Music Matter

Make Music Matter. Youth holding headphones
Courtesy of Make Music Matter
Music is a tool for healing shared by all cultures globally. Make Music Matter is a Canadian initiative designed to heal those who are deeply scarred by violence against women, HIV/AIDS, and conflict in Rwanda. According to Make Music Matter, “Music changes lives. Music works. Music is a powerful educational tool. Music is inclusive. Music is far-reaching. Music is our expertise.” Music addresses emotional needs and fosters a greater sense of community, it makes people feel as though they are less alone in the pain that they are feeling. Music is a versatile teaching method, an effective way to inform and raise awareness about particular issues. Survivors voices are projected on the radio through their music which they use to teach and to create a call to action.

This year Make Music Matter partnered with Warner Canada to create a global platform for artists and to connect community through the transformative power of music. Interested in learning more? Please visit: http://www.makemusicmatter.org

SMART Youth: The Synergy of Art and Medicine in Youth
St. John’s, Newfoundland
Steven J. Darcy and Lisa Bishop - Synergy of Medicine and the Arts in Youth Well-Being Project & Memorial University of Newfoundland

A couple of years ago, Dr Steven J. Darcy  began to notice a rise in mental illness among youth. Interestingly, he observed this rise being met with less and less youth visiting his clinic. Instead of placing the onus on youth to receive medical help, he created an incubator to allow the transformative powers of art to heal people. He observed the curriculum in the arts community and catered it to his medical practice and he found a way to use art as a tool for discussion and as a result was able to provide accurate medical care to his patients with mental illnesses. Not only did he find a way to use art as a form of medicine but he also found a way to encourage youth to seek medical help for mental illness and reduce the stigma. Dr. Darcy is the 2015 recipient of the Power of the Arts Family Medicine Fellowship.

We wish there was a guide for his practice so that his work could be implemented in doctor’s offices around the nation.