Willow Arts Community is a non-profit arts and mental health organization that proudly serves adults with lived experience of mental health/addictions in Niagara. We support the creative goals of aspiring, emerging, and established artists. The Willow provides a safe and nurturing environment where artistic projects, professional opportunities, and personal and professional networks are developed and fostered. The arts are a powerful agent of social change. Our organization aims to reduce the stigma and social isolation associated with mental illness and addictions by engaging the public with exhibitions, publications, and presence. All programs and opportunities are provided free to our registered member artists thanks to community partnerships, grants, and donations from the community.

Join the Willow

Join the Willow

Member artists are 18+, have lived experience of mental health/addictions, and are interested in exploring their creative potential. Member artists are aspiring, emerging and established artists. Membership is free, and all services and opportunities are free.

Open Studio

Open Studio

Explore your creativity, collaborate with your peers, and have some fun! Self-directed studio time is available to all members, and is a great place to discover your talents and meet new people. Bring your projects from home or try something new with the materials on hand.

Arts Training

Arts Training

Develop and grow your arts practice. We employ local, professional artists to teach, multi-disciplinary art classes to our membership during the Fall, Winter, and Spring training seasons. Classes vary from season to season and support visual, performance, literary, fiber, and media artists.

Seasonal Arts Exhibition

Seasonal Arts Exhibition

Free and open to the public, seasonal exhibitions help to facilitate dialogue, reduce stigma, and celebrate social integration. Each training season ends with member artists showcasing the artworks, publications, and performances that were developed.

Artist in Residence

Artist in Residence

Members artists can apply for a studio residency to develop a body of work. Professional development through mentorship, teaching, and exhibition opportunities help to grow our peer instructors.

Community Integration

Community Integration

Catch our members performing at upcoming festivals, open mic nights, or leading interactive art workshops at community events. Our member artists are incredibly talented and many become active in the local arts community.

Stigma Reduction

Stigma Reduction

The Willow serves an important function in the wider community through education and stigma reduction efforts. Invite our member artists and staff to give presentations or speak at an event. Fees may apply.

Peer Support

Peer Support

Peer support occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social, or practical help to each other. All programs are led by peers, and we place a high value on hiring instructors with lived experience of mental health/addictions.