(Above) Group shot of the adult workshop participants and instructors.
Alethia Caraccioli, a program facilitator at Visual Arts Mississauga used her 2022 ArtsCare Program Development MicroGrant to create two 6-week ArtsCare programs, one for adults and one for youth.
“This project has given us many insights into providing arts-based care and the importance of offering this type of program within our communities,” notes program facilitator Alethia Caraccioli. “Firstly, there is a dire need for more free art-based mental health resources, and by eliminating the financial barrier we were able to serve a more diverse range of people. The program served participants beyond Mississauga, demonstrating the lack of accessible wellness-based supports in the GTA. This process has also taught me the importance of creating and belonging to a community, and how the arts and wellness-based groups can help facilitate community building.”
(Above) Photos of the artwork created during the 6-week ArtsCare programs
We were able to create connections within the group and a safe place for people to share and create freely, without judgment. Approaching art-making from the lens of care and wellness allowed the process to be more accessible to all individuals regardless of prior experience in art-making. 100 % of Adult Participants found the wellness workshops beneficial to their mental health and well-being and would participate again.
In their own words – what the participants had to say:
- “The community we built was very wonderful! I loved the classes and everything we learnt has helped me learn new skills to support my mental health.”
- “I enjoyed the support and guidance, the encouragement to explore my feelings and express them in so many ways.”
- “I love that the instructors made art accessible & created a safe space for everyone to be authentic and vulnerable.”
Learn more about programs at VAM: https://www.visualartsmississauga.com/programs-2/
Learn more about ArtsCare: https://www.artscare.ca/programs/