“Art Starts is an ongoing, unfinished work of public art, the result of a collaborative process involving many people. It is a collage of collages, in space and in time.” - Robin Pacific, Art Starts Co-Founder

For 26 years, Art Starts’ mandate has been to bring diverse communities together through collaborative arts projects. For this work, communities are our focus.  We determine community needs and work with professional artists to develop creative projects that tell people’s stories. We produce large scale artworks that are community centred and community led.

Today, our model is growing and shifting. We have a new department that aims to prioritize supporting the professional artists we work with by giving them opportunities to produce new and innovative work that is self-driven as opposed to community driven. Our intent is to give them the supports they need to further their own practices, by helping them connect and collaborate with other artists, produce works that are meaningful to them and advance their artistic development.

For more information please contact: Julian Carvajal, Special Projects Manager at julian@artstartsto.com

A Path of Possibilities Symposium

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, Art Starts invites emerging, youth, and/or newcomer artists/arts workers from different ethno-cultural communities to come together and learn about the 7 Grandfather Teachings, 4 Sacred Medicines, residential schools, the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and much more!

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The Art Starts Street Festival

The Art Starts Street Festival (ASSAF) will creatively animate Glenholme Street from Eglinton Ave. to Lanark Ave. this summer through a full day of FREE performances, art exhibits, and hands-on collaborative art making. You can expect mural making, puppet making, belly dancing, interactive stand-up comedy, and much more!

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Satellite Workshops 2019

Art Starts, in collaboration with Art Ignite, MalPensando, North York Arts & Stolen from Africa, present ASW19 - a series of satellite workshops dedicated to helping artists across the city!

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Arowana Training 2019

Arowana provides immersive, customized training, and mentorship to emerging, youth and/or newcomer artists. A unique platform for leadership, learning and artistic development, Arowana aims to increase equity in the arts sector and support future leaders from all backgrounds.

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Art Starts Workshops 2018

A series of workshops dedicated to helping artists and community-art facilitators in the Toronto area.

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Symposium 2018

This one-day Symposium produced by Art Starts in consultation with Airsa, Arts & Thought, offered workshops and networking opportunities to newcomer artists living in Toronto and artists from the ethno-cultural communities Art Starts serves.

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Zion Schoolhouse 2018

To celebrate Zion Schoolhouse’s 150th anniversary, the Zion Schoolhouse Project presented three maps imagining the schoolhouse and surrounding area in the present (2018), the year it was built (1869) and 150 years in the future (2169). 

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The Placemaking Project 2018

The Placemaking Project brought together six youth artists and a lot of creativity to animate Ellesmere Skatepark in Scarborough. Under the guidance of 2 lead artists, the team conceptualized, designed, and painted the park.

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Cartography 17

Cartography 17 is a restorative and collaborative new map of Toronto with the input of its diverse residents on the foundation of the culture and tradition of the First Nations people of the region. 

The map used a multifaceted approach to map-making by collaborating with Indigenous consultants, a Traditional Knowledge Keeper, a cartographer, artists and residents of local communities.

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Platform A Micro-Grants

From 2015 - 2018, Platform A supported community arts practices through accessible grants. Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, youth, emerging & newcomer artists/collectives were awarded $1,000 to assist in the development and the creation of new art projects.

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Cartography17_NCCT_Participants_HiRes (1 of 19) Cartography 17, NCCT Workshop 2017
IMG_7382 Sentir Venezuela, Los Diablos Danzantes de Yare, A Show 2016
Nelly_Sept5_web-16 Cartography 17, Seniors Workshop 2017
1H2A4216 Daniel Rotsztain, Cartography 17, The Power Plant 2018
Art Starts Studio Mural painting Jacquie C The Colour Wheel Project, Studio Mural 2017
IMG_9635 Evolution | Exhibition | Platform A, 4th Anniversary, 2017
Naturescapes Earl Bales tree painting Naturescapes, Earl Bales Park | Cultural Hotspot 2015
Photo by Carlos Bolivar - www.carlosbolivar.com Map Unveiling | The Zion Schoolhouse Project 2018
Photo by Carlos Bolivar - www.carlosbolivar.com Map Unveiling | The Zion Schoolhouse Project 2018
The_Placemaking_Project_2018 (135 of 137) The Placemaking Project, Cultural Hotspot 2018
20180719_192753 Self-portraits for Self-care, Yara El Safi Workshop, 2018
PathofP_guesspkrs24 Path of Possibilities Symposium, 2018
30 Youth and Mentors, The Zion Schoolhouse, 2018
20180501_183222 Drew Hemler, MS, RD (US), CDN (NY) | Creative Healthy Food for Programs, ASW18
20180515_182543 Jason Maghanoy, Social Media and Marketing, ASW18
IMG_9504 Jothi Saldanha, Time for Me, Art Starts Satellite Workshops, ASW19
IMG_9386 Akshata Naik, Art Through Colour Reverie, Art Starts Satellite Workshops | ASW19