Art Starts is an award-winning charitable, not-for-profit organization that uses the arts as a vehicle to encourage social change in Toronto’s underserved neighbourhoods. We bring professional artists and communities together to work in and across all artistic disciplines. We understand that the arts are a medium for engaging residents, creating a shared sense of identity, identifying challenges and collectively working to overcome them.
Founded in 1992, the organization has pioneered community-engaged arts practices in Ontario.
Art Starts combines the best practices of hands-on community consultation with a collaborative art-making approach and sound organizational and administrative support.
• Bring together professional artists with people from various Toronto neighbourhoods
• Create projects in all artistic media, with all ages, with artists and participants from various ethnic backgrounds
• Reflect the cultures of the neighbourhood and build bridges among them
• Celebrate communities, foster collaboration, foster job-readiness and learning skills & respond to local needs
• Build capacity, knowledge, skills and understanding
• Produce art of high quality and integrity while identifying and nurturing artistic talent
• Partner with local agencies, schools, police, libraries and social workers
• Operate 5 neighbourhood sites whose programs are as distinct as the communities they serve