Making a Difference Through the Arts

Willow Arts Community is a celebrated peer-led arts organization located in the heart of downtown St. Catharines. We foster safe spaces for creative exploration and connections for people living with mental illness/substance (MI/SU) use in Niagara. 

We offer seasonal, multidisciplinary artistic programming and creative opportunities at no cost to members. All materials are provided, and no previous experience is necessary for participation. We hire local professional and working artists to design and facilitate programming. This bolsters the livelihoods of artists within our community and builds peer networks. 

We celebrate new and original work through visual arts exhibitions, live music events, festival appearances, and publications. We regularly facilitate special projects in partnership with local agencies and social justice groups. Public events and special projects allow us to engage with and reach the wider community, build connections and networks for our members, and reduce stigma. 

Willow Arts is run by and for people living with MI/SU. Individuals with MI/SU experience inequalities due to symptoms of their illness, stigma, and poverty. Through participation, members learn new art skills, socialize with like-minded people, and communicate their ideas in an enriching environment. Our members have indicated that active participation increases a sense of belonging to a community, expands professional networks, and increases artistic output.

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