About the Project

The impetus behind the creation of Workman Arts was and remains the belief that:

a) There is a positive link between mental wellness and involvement in the arts
b) That artists with mental health and addiction issues have a major contribution to make to our society
c) That existing services are not adequate for this population, in part due to barriers to access and lack of awareness

The benefits of the Workman Arts approach and the results achieved have broad significance for the Mental Health & Addiction field. Workman Arts aims to extend its reach by helping community groups replicate Workman Arts programs and by influencing change in policy, program development and implementation through dissemination of knowledge and results.

In early 2015, Workman Arts started a two-year project (Phase 1) funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to consolidate its body of knowledge and develop a scaling framework that will allow the organization to evolve from a practice-based service provider to an evidence-based leader and change agent.

In support of this endeavor, we developed a Theory of Change and an evaluative SROI analysis to capture the total value created by our Arts and Mental Health & Addiction programs. We have long been aware of the need for strong metrics that provide evidence of the benefits of arts and mental health programs. Developing a program evaluation framework as part of the project helps us demonstrate the impact of our programs and services on our members and community.

The initiative established many ambitious goals, including the implementation of Arts and Mental Health programs in three communities in Ontario. To achieve this, Workman Arts set out to identify communities in need of new or additional arts and mental health programs and to work with organizations interested in collaboration. A community assessment study sent out to organizations across Ontario received feedback from 150 organizations, the majority of whom expressed interest in collaborating with Workman Arts to introduce or strengthen arts and mental health programming in their communities.

Phase 1 deliverables:
• Create Open Knowledge – a fully accessible institutional repository of all WA materials: programming materials, surveys, evaluation results, reports, communication materials and templates, articles, research materials
• Social Return on Investment analysis (SROI)
• Research paper literary review of scaling and replication in social service organizations
• Program Implementation guides (manual, templates, logic models, practice profiles)
• Identify and select three Ontario pilot sites

Phase 2 is focused on:
• Replicating WA programs in three Ontario locations
• Evaluating the effectiveness of the replication tools
• Disseminating the results

Community Presentations

As part of the process of piloting segments of our programming in other geographic areas, we are seeking interested organizations to lend their expertize, experience and leadership to advance the arts and mental health field by participating in the upcoming pilot project.

To date we have conducted extensive surveys across the province to identify interest. We are now planning a number of upcoming community presentations in those communities that expressed a high level of interest. A webinar is available to organizations from other communities who are unable to attend a community presentation.

Purpose of the community presentations:
a) To provide sufficient information for community organizations to understand what is involved in becoming a Pilot Site for new collaborative arts and mental health programming and answer questions regarding the Expression of Interest.
b) To provide an opportunity for participants to share information about arts and mental health programming needs and challenges in their community.

Dates and locations of the community presentations:
May 10th, 10 –12 am in London at the London Public Library -Stevenson And Hunt A 1st floor (251 Dundas St.)
May 25th, 2 – 4 pm in Sault Ste Marie at the Centennial Library, Computer Commons Room (50 East St.)
June 1st,  2 – 4 pm in Sudbury at the Main Public Library, Meeting Room 2 (74 Mackenzie Street)
June 2nd, 10 – 12 am in North Bay at the North Bay Public Library, Board Room (271 Worthington St. E)
June 8th, 10 – 12 am in Niagara Falls at the Victoria Avenue Library, LaMarsh Room (4848 Victoria Avenue)
June 14th, 2 – 4 pm in Ottawa at the Sunnyside Library, Program Room 1B (1049 Bank St)

Webinar: May 20th 10 -12 am (You will receive the login details once you’ve registered.)

To attend our community presentation or webinar please RSVP below or by sending an email to Nena Pendevska, Scaling Project Manager at

Expressions of Interest

Workman Arts is currently seeking likeminded organizations interested in lending their experience and expertise to advance the arts and mental health field in their community. The purpose of the Pilot Site identification and selection process is to identify organizations interested in adopting one of WA signature arts and mental health programs.

Working collaboratively with the Pilot Sites, Workman Arts hopes to achieve the following objectives:
• Introduce, or strengthen, arts and mental health programming in three Ontario communities
• Develop and refine a scaling framework (scaling strategies and replication methodologies) specific to Arts and Mental Health programs
• Identify best practices in program adoption / implementation / replication
• Produce a Case Study with lessons learned in adoption and replication of arts and mental health programs
• Share findings and contribute to the development of a case for support of arts and mental health programing

Please submit your Expression of Interest by clicking below.
The deadline for submitting an Expression of interest for Pilot Sites is July 30th, 2016.

You can find more information on the Scaling Project, the Pilot Sites, Workman Arts programs and Frequently Asked Questions below.
Community Presentations Invitation
Frequently Asked Questions
Invitation to Submit Expressions Of Interest Scaling Project
Workman Arts Programs 2016