The Creative Works Studio is an occupational therapy arts based community program at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, that helps individuals living with mental health challenges heal and cope through the power of artistic expression. It is part of the Inner City Health Program and operates in partnership with the Good Shepherd.
Their Mission is to provide a community based creative arts studio that offers a safe and accepting place of healing for people marginalized by the challenges of living with severe and persistent mental illness or addictions.
The healing process is based on the integration of the principles of occupational therapy, mental health, primary care, visual arts and vocational counseling. The studio supports members on a self-guided journey to self- expression through art, greater self esteem, improved confidence and eventually increased participation with the larger community.
What’s Art Got to Do With It?, Isabel Fryszberg and Parsons’ documentary film about the Creative Works program at St. Michael's Hospital takes viewers inside the world of mental illness, homelessness, addiction and recovery. The film features five people who, despite their unique challenges, find fulfilment and celebration in art.
“Our participants agreed to let us film their experiences and were surprised to find that the filming was a healing experience in itself,” said Isabel Fryszberg, the film’s director. “Hiding yourself from the world takes a tremendous amount of energy. So putting yourself out there like that can be very freeing.”
Fifty minutes in length, the film has been a labour of love for Fryszberg, Parsons, Marlena Zuber (studio assistant) and the project participants for the past several years. It’s also the product of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research dissemination grant to share research knowledge and innovative practice.
“We’re excited about promoting the studio through this film, but we’re also excited about this idea of documentary filmmaking as a knowledge translation tool,” said Isabel Fryszberg creative lead at the Creative Works Programme.
What’s Art Got To Do With It?
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 at 6pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox
There will be an address from Chair of the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative, Mary Deacon,
a Q & A session, and a reception to follow.
To see film trailer click here!