When I moved to Toronto six years ago, I landed in one of Toronto’s most culturally diverse neighbourhoods and what in fact is also Canada’s most densely populated community. St. James Town – the ‘World Within a Block’ – has been the place I’ve called home ever since. Living within this vibrant environment has had a profound influence on my professional development, in the emphasis my understanding of art and art therapy has come to place on cross-cultural dimensions of practice, and indeed, much of my current activity is directed right here, in the virtual sandbox contained by Wellesley-Sherbourne-Bloor-Parliament. I have run art-based programming at Community Matters Toronto, and am currently stationed at Central Neighbourhood House where I serve as Artistic Coordinator. My ties to the area are visible in the public art I have created here (Welcome Home mural and ‘St. James Town Banner projects, Wellesley Community Centre BellBox) and I continue to be committed to the development of arts in the area. I am Artist Coordinator for St. James Town Arts -a newly emerging co-op seeking to represent the arts & cultural needs/interests of both area artists and local residents. Our Facebook page can be seen here:
My notion of community, of course, is not restricted to St. James Town. My passion for language and linguistics has led me to study Mandarin, and I have specifically sought work in the Chinese community, at CNH, Community Corner, and the Toronto Cross Cultural Association. I am now situated at Hong Fook Mental Health Association where I run a weekly art class and am responsible for developing new arts programming.