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Art Not Shame wraps up Art Gives Awareness Campaign

By: Art Not Shame
3. Screen shot
Screen shot collection of artists, arts workers, and arts enthusiasts expressing, from their perspective, the various ways in which art has enriched both

Art Not Shame is a Guelph-based, community-engaged, arts organization and we have just wrapped up our first ever awareness campaign, Art Gives.

Earlier this month, we reached out to our network of artists, arts workers, and arts enthusiasts to submit a short video clip expressing, from their perspective, the various ways in which art has enriched both their own lives and the community at-large. These elements have been used by Toronto videographer Shanele Soares to create a heartfelt homage to what art gives us all.

“The arts, especially community-engaged art, are hurting right now,” says Michelle Peek, Executive Director of Art Not Shame. “Art gives us so much and we see how artists and other art organizations are suffering right now so we started the Art Gives campaign as a way to uplift the voices of others and hear what art gives them.”

We released a series of videos, images, and live interviews in support of Art Gives on our Instagram account, @artnotshame. The public was invited to engage with these posts and contribute to the conversation with their own stories and insights, and to reach out to its contributors and send them some love and support.

“We received over 35 submissions from people in our community on a super quick turnaround time,” says Michelle. “Art Gives needs to be an ongoing discussion. There is incredible work happening in this sector. We encourage others to keep sharing and talking about what art gives them and how art impacts their lives.”

We choose to title our campaign Art Gives because Art Not Shame believes imagination gives us access to what is not yet born in this world and, at the same time, it is an expression of what already exists within us. It’s that creative spark, spirit, and wisdom that we all have. Imagination is a bridge between what we are all born with and are worthy of possessing and the kind of world that we want to create. To be able to imagine during this time is so necessary and, maybe even, essential if we do not want to replicate the same systems of oppression that we currently inhabit.

At the same time that art gives us access to imagination it cannot do so honestly, without also giving us permission to feel, to hurt, to rage, and to struggle. We believe art agitates and allows us to “f*ck it up” without requiring that we buy into the script that if we feel or struggle we are broken. When this is done in community, it also allows us to do that all together, because, we believe, some wounds shouldn’t have to be carried alone.

The Art Gives video will be available to view on December 15 and the content from the entire campaign can be viewed anytime on Instagram @artnotshame and/or via

With deep appreciation for these individuals and organizations for their submissions to the #ArtGives campaign:

  • Ryan Antoa
  • Jamie Ashforth
  • Patti Broughton
  • Emily Beattie
  • Meredith Blackmore
  • Jessie Buchanan
  • Justin Chan
  • Joan Chandler
  • Nadia Chaney
  • Carmen Chui
  • Jillian Cockburn
  • Aimee Copping
  • Kiran Denis
  • Natalie Fasheh
  • Lori Guest
  • Maeve Hind
  • Liz Jackson
  • Alex Jacobs-Blum
  • Kween
  • Rob Little
  • Nik MacMillan
  • Alisa McRonald
  • Michelle Miranda
  • Joni NehRita
  • Abby Nowakowski
  • Tori Poe
  • Mike Prosserman
  • Chantelle Quesnelle
  • Jace Robinson
  • Melanie Schambach
  • Dustin Seabrook
  • Kimber Sider
  • Georgia Simms
  • Kevin Sutton
  • Francis Tomkins
  • Ahmri Vandeborne
  • Kavya Yoganathan

Arts Organizations:

  • Agitate Productions
  • Centre 3 Hamilton
  • Community Company
  • Guelph Arts Council
  • Guelph Film Festival
  • Mosaic Music Collective
  • Otherwise Studio
  • Sheatre
  • Tangled Art + Disability
  • Walls To Bridges


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