COMMUNITY+Connects with Workman Arts

Thanks to a $1 million investment over four years from the Slaight Family Foundation, Workman Arts is expanding its art training programs throughout the GTA by partnering with Scarborough Arts, Urban Arts, North York Arts, East End Arts, Arts Etobicoke and Lakeshore Arts. The expanded program tackles the prevalence of social isolation in individuals with mental health issues and the lack of opportunities to build lasting social connections through meaningful engagement outside of the mainstream mental health system. Workman Arts’ art training programs are unique in the mental health sector because they do not treat the art class as secondary to the mental health benefits. High-quality art classes across all disciplines are facilitated by instructors with lived experience of mental health and/or addiction issues.

COMMUNITY+Connects with Workman Art is specifically looking to add programming in Scarborough but online.  Courses will begin in November 2021, January 2022 and Feb. 2022 running 5 weeks in length online*. 

About COMMUNITY+Connects: Online

COMMUNITY+Connects: Online is Scarborough Arts yearly creative and professional development workshop series that aims to provide audiences of all ages and skill levels with free access to arts-based instructions from renowned Scarborough and GTA-based creative professionals.

Each year, Scarborough Arts offers a range of creative workshops that are free to the public and offer comprehensive skill building for audiences of all ages. Our COMMUNITY+Connects programs are offered as Spring Sessions (March-May), Summer Sessions (June-August), Fall Sessions (September-November), and Winter Sessions (December-February).

Have questions?
Jules Vodarek Hunter
Art Training Program Manager
416-583-4339 Ext. 8


Register for Health & Fitness Bollywood Workshop

Online, Sunday  January 23, 3-5pm

2 hours combined with great discussions & lots of movement.
Participants will gain tips for mental, physical, emotional and social health and fitness and workout their Flexibility, Cardio and Coordination through Bollywood Movement.
Curated for Small Spaces. Cameras must be turned on. All-inclusive. No prior experience needed.

About the instructor:

Jillian learns, creates, performs and collaborates with artists in GTA’s dance Community. Growing up in Scarborough, Jillian choreographed and produced several Indo-Caribbean dance productions throughout her educational career including Soca, Chutney, and Bollywood dance styles, while training in Bollywood technique. As an Ontario Certified Teacher (2016), Jillian puts critical conversations at the forefront of her classroom and uses movement to aide in teaching academic concepts in English and Social Sciences courses. After forming a sustainable dance business, she has performed at local events such as DesiFest, Milan Bridal Show, Calgary Stampede, ChutneyFest and AfroCarib Fest and with artists including: Deep Jandu, Yvette Lorraine, and The Band Destiny.


Register for Art For Everyone!

Online 2PM-4PM

Mondays Feb 14, 21, 28, March 7, 14 

COMMUNITY+Connects with Workman Arts invites you to register for Art for Everyone! The audience is primarily beginner level learners, and no skill level is required. All that is needed from the participants is the eagerness to explore their inner artists and to challenge their inner critics. There is no age limit and everyone is welcome. Classes will be in English, however, if there is enough interest/demand I am also able to facilitate the same type of class for Spanish speakers.

Art For Everyone! is aimed at beginner-level learners. The course is rooted in my philosophy of decolonizing and democratizing art through simple prompts that incentivize conversation and creation.

About the instructor:

Susana Meza (she/they) is a Venezuelan multidisciplinary artist, poet, and art facilitator. Susana ran a weekly art-drop in for the Transition to Post-Secondary Education Program at George Brown College in 2020. And has taught visual art workshops for the Gifts of Light program at CAMH in collaboration with Workman Arts, where she is part of their Member Advisory Committee, and has served as an Active Listener and Peer Support for their classes, events, and virtual front desk. Susana is a Newcomer Artist Ambassador for MABELLEarts, where she’s co-facilitated workshops with the Community Arts Guild and North York Community Housing. As of this Summer, Susana was appointed as a member of the board of directors of the North York Women Centre. Currently, Susana is studying at Yale University and plans to keep working within the arts sector with a focus on lived experience, and advocacy for equity seeking and marginalized groups.

Register for Visual Storytelling Workshop

Online 5-7pm

Wednesdays Feb. 16,23,March 2,9 &16.

COMMUNITY+Connects with Workman Arts invites you to register for Visual Story Telling Workshop! Before people learned how to write, they would tell each other stories. We, ourselves, are a collection of stories through our experiences, cultures, and ancestry. This course teaches you how to story tell in your art through world building, character design, story boarding, and creative brainstorming. Students will learn how to incorporate inspirations from mythology and their ancestry, and learn the basic principles of art in order to create their own visual story.

About the instructor:

Serene is a Chinese-Canadian creative and an expert daydreamer, who utilizes her passion in storytelling to produce digital and traditional imagery that provokes child-like wonder and captures nostalgia. Her work draws on her interest in mental health, East Asian history and mythology, and all things fantasy. Serene has worked as a freelance traditional painter and digital illustrator for 6 years, supporting other independent musicians, writers, and artists. She strives to create awareness in the beauty of Asian cultures and otherwise marginalized communities. Alongside her art, Serene’s versatile background includes her highly-proficient academic education in business and years of entrepreneurial experience exemplified in three of her start-up businesses.


Register for Experiments in Epistolary Filmmaking

Online 3:00-4:30 PM

Sundays Jan 30, Feb 6, 13, 20,27 

COMMUNITY+Connects with Workman Arts invites you to register for Experiments in Epistolary Filmmaking! Epistolary filmmaking takes private, intimate forms of letter-writing and diary entries and places them in cinematic context. In this five-week course, participants will each create a short epistolary film. They will learn all the skills required to make this film. The letter can be written to anyone in their life; we are open to all kinds of potential addressees: family members, pets, friends, historical figures, fictional characters, places, pieces of media. We will introduce participants to epistolary filmmaking through the films Correspondencia (Sotomayor & Simon) and News from Home (Akerman) and to epistolary writing through the works of Li Bai & Du Fu and Martha & Christina Baillie. Participants will learn how to edit, using their voiceover recording and preliminary footage. In our last class we will host a short film festival and screen the in-process works of participants.

About the instructors:

Daphne Xu is an artist and filmmaker exploring the politics and poetics of place. She is working on a series of observational documentaries set in Xiongan New Area in Hebei, China, a rural area slated to become a megacity. Her work has shown at international film festivals such as Visions du Reel, and Art of the Real at the Lincoln Center.

Fan Wu is a practicing poet and workshop facilitator. His facilitation practice revolves around poetry and identity, inspiring participants through embodied exercises and writing prompts. His passions lie in relational aesthetics and the practice of SYMPEDAGOGY: the cultivation of spaces for co-learning and co-teaching.

Register for Researching Migration Through Art

Online 6:00pm-8:00pm

Tuesdays Feb 15, 22, March 1, 8, 15

COMMUNITY+Connects with Workman Arts invites you to register for Researching Migration Through Art.

This course will be exploring the concept of migration through an artistic and creative expression. Drawing on paintings, music, poetry, and sculptures from racialized and local artists, this course will examine how we can study migration through art. Drawing on themes of home, belonging, and identity, we will go over how artists like Warsan Shire, Jacob Lawrence, and Mona Hatoum have communicated critical concepts of migration through their art.

The intentions of this course is to also allow individuals to share their own perspective and understanding of migration through their own creative expressions. Participants will have the opportunity to create and work on their own artistic expression through either painting, poetry, drawing, dance, music, etc. Please note that you do not at all need to have an established art practice or art experience to take this course.

About the instructor:

Sarah (she/her) is a second-generation Canadian whose roots are from the Caribbean and North Africa. Born and raised in Agincourt and now living in Malvern, Sarah uses art and research to tell the stories of migration, and underrepresented voices in wider society. Graduated with a Master of Arts in Development Studies, Sarah is passionate about research and studying the settlement patterns and integration of racialized female migrants in Canada. She believes that research is a form of storytelling since it tells the stories of the voiceless. Research allows space for the storytellers and highlights the nuances and complexities in their stories, especially in migration. As an abstract artist, her art occupies a unique and special place when it comes to topics of indigeneity, identity, belonging, love, community, and re-connecting to one’s roots. It is through art where Sarah can transverse these notions on her canvas and further express and challenge the preconceived notions about Morocco, her identity, and political issues. Through art and research, she intends to raise awareness of the colonization of art and research which has been misused over the years, especially in marginalized and racialized communities.