GIRLS MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
OWN IT offers a safe, free and accessible space for girls to grow into their talent and express their ideas. Working with professional artists and mentors, the young women in this program explore art forms that interest them, and contribute to their communities through exhibits and participation in community events.
This program has served the Lawrence Heights community for two years, offering a space where girls ages 14-18 can come to connect, share, and explore their potential through artistic expression and community involvement.
"One of the greatest take-aways from this program has been the tremendous growth I have witnessed amongst many of the participants, in terms of their self esteem/self-value, interpersonal communication skills, and maturity."
- Wendy De Souza, Youth Mentor
"It has been an honour and blessing to share space with such resilient and brave young women. Own It is more than a youth program, we are aiming to empower girls through creative entrepreneurship, and by helping them to build a portfolio of real life skills."
- Mia-Skye Sagara, Program Manager
OWN IT PROJECTS
- Hair We Are
- Art Starts' Street Festival
Hair We Are
In 2019 Art Starts and VIBE Arts joined forces to present an exhibition titled 'Hair We Are' at the Gardiner Museum. The art show displayed works by participants of our Girls Mentorship Program: OWN IT. Shattering misconceptions around black hair, the exhibit took form as a contemporary beauty salon where visitors were able to view different hairstyles and textures and ask questions.
Art Starts' Street Festival
Participants created designs for clothing and visited a garment printing studio where they printed their own shirts and designed customized sneakers. Discourse topics included individuality and intersectionality, self esteem and projecting confidence, eurocentric beauty standards, social pressures, inspiring other young women, entrepreneurship, relationships, and the importance of education. Their work was showcased and sold at the 2019 Art Starts Street Festival.