Art project in Parkdale showcases link between housing, health

Community Apr 24, 2017 by Hilary Caton Parkdale Villager

What makes a house a home?

That’s the question members of the Making Room Community Arts program in partnership with Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre (PARC) have been working on answering in their latest art project: It’s Home.

“To have a home is more than just a shelter. The participants (in the art project) spent the last few months deciding what home is,” explained Michael Burtt, the artistic director of the PARC program.

“What does that look like? Smell like? Feel like? Sound like? That’s what we’re trying to get at with our art installation.”

The art project is in collaboration with Toronto Public Health and its recent report, which connects a person’s health to their housing conditions, called Housing and Health: Unlocking Opportunity. The report discusses five aspects that make a house a home which are social, psychological, structural, design and neighbourhood aspects. Although participants were able to focus on their own individual art pieces, the group also collaborated on a group installation and chose to focus on those five aspects.  

The goal of the collaboration, said Monica Campbell, the director of healthy public policy in an email to The Villager, is to increase public awareness of the housing issues in Toronto and showcase individual experiences of housing and health.

“By sharing anecdotal personal experiences and knowledge through a visual storytelling approach, the hope is to reach the general population through song and creative art installation,” wrote Campbell.

“Affordable, good quality, and stable housing is a key prerequisite for promoting health and preventing illness. It is also a key way to build healthy and inclusive communities. The project engaged a diverse group of stakeholders in this important conversation.”

But for some Parkdale residents, the idea of home doesn’t always bring up happy memories or connections. This aspect  of housing is also touched on in the artwork.

“So we’re really trying to skirt and edge between recognizing that sense of connection and what happens when those connections aren’t there,” Burtt said.

“We’d be really remiss if we missed the hard realities of home. Like if it’s so infested with bedbugs that you don’t feel comfortable inviting your kids over, it’s not a home; or getting up early and spending as much time out as possible and dreading going back home, that isn’t a home either.”

The art work will be on display during the Spring into Parkdale Sidewalk Festival and Night Market May 13. The artwork will then later be on display at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St W. 

Art project in Parkdale showcases link between housing, health

The "It's Home" art project is in collaboration with Toronto Public Health's report, Housing and Health: Unlocking Opportunity

Community Apr 24, 2017 by Hilary Caton Parkdale Villager

What makes a house a home?

That’s the question members of the Making Room Community Arts program in partnership with Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre (PARC) have been working on answering in their latest art project: It’s Home.

“To have a home is more than just a shelter. The participants (in the art project) spent the last few months deciding what home is,” explained Michael Burtt, the artistic director of the PARC program.

“What does that look like? Smell like? Feel like? Sound like? That’s what we’re trying to get at with our art installation.”

The art project is in collaboration with Toronto Public Health and its recent report, which connects a person’s health to their housing conditions, called Housing and Health: Unlocking Opportunity. The report discusses five aspects that make a house a home which are social, psychological, structural, design and neighbourhood aspects. Although participants were able to focus on their own individual art pieces, the group also collaborated on a group installation and chose to focus on those five aspects.  

The goal of the collaboration, said Monica Campbell, the director of healthy public policy in an email to The Villager, is to increase public awareness of the housing issues in Toronto and showcase individual experiences of housing and health.

“By sharing anecdotal personal experiences and knowledge through a visual storytelling approach, the hope is to reach the general population through song and creative art installation,” wrote Campbell.

“Affordable, good quality, and stable housing is a key prerequisite for promoting health and preventing illness. It is also a key way to build healthy and inclusive communities. The project engaged a diverse group of stakeholders in this important conversation.”

But for some Parkdale residents, the idea of home doesn’t always bring up happy memories or connections. This aspect  of housing is also touched on in the artwork.

“So we’re really trying to skirt and edge between recognizing that sense of connection and what happens when those connections aren’t there,” Burtt said.

“We’d be really remiss if we missed the hard realities of home. Like if it’s so infested with bedbugs that you don’t feel comfortable inviting your kids over, it’s not a home; or getting up early and spending as much time out as possible and dreading going back home, that isn’t a home either.”

The art work will be on display during the Spring into Parkdale Sidewalk Festival and Night Market May 13. The artwork will then later be on display at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St W. 

Art project in Parkdale showcases link between housing, health

The "It's Home" art project is in collaboration with Toronto Public Health's report, Housing and Health: Unlocking Opportunity

Community Apr 24, 2017 by Hilary Caton Parkdale Villager

What makes a house a home?

That’s the question members of the Making Room Community Arts program in partnership with Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre (PARC) have been working on answering in their latest art project: It’s Home.

“To have a home is more than just a shelter. The participants (in the art project) spent the last few months deciding what home is,” explained Michael Burtt, the artistic director of the PARC program.

“What does that look like? Smell like? Feel like? Sound like? That’s what we’re trying to get at with our art installation.”

The art project is in collaboration with Toronto Public Health and its recent report, which connects a person’s health to their housing conditions, called Housing and Health: Unlocking Opportunity. The report discusses five aspects that make a house a home which are social, psychological, structural, design and neighbourhood aspects. Although participants were able to focus on their own individual art pieces, the group also collaborated on a group installation and chose to focus on those five aspects.  

The goal of the collaboration, said Monica Campbell, the director of healthy public policy in an email to The Villager, is to increase public awareness of the housing issues in Toronto and showcase individual experiences of housing and health.

“By sharing anecdotal personal experiences and knowledge through a visual storytelling approach, the hope is to reach the general population through song and creative art installation,” wrote Campbell.

“Affordable, good quality, and stable housing is a key prerequisite for promoting health and preventing illness. It is also a key way to build healthy and inclusive communities. The project engaged a diverse group of stakeholders in this important conversation.”

But for some Parkdale residents, the idea of home doesn’t always bring up happy memories or connections. This aspect  of housing is also touched on in the artwork.

“So we’re really trying to skirt and edge between recognizing that sense of connection and what happens when those connections aren’t there,” Burtt said.

“We’d be really remiss if we missed the hard realities of home. Like if it’s so infested with bedbugs that you don’t feel comfortable inviting your kids over, it’s not a home; or getting up early and spending as much time out as possible and dreading going back home, that isn’t a home either.”

The art work will be on display during the Spring into Parkdale Sidewalk Festival and Night Market May 13. The artwork will then later be on display at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St W.