Community Mentorship

Collaborative artmaking

North Hastings Community Integration Association — December 2017 to July 2019


About the project

North Hastings Community Integration Association (NHCIA) will be creating the Community Corridor of Inclusion & Resilience — a collaborative public artwork that celebrates North Hastings’ cultural riches. This project is happening because NHCIA is dedicated to creating inclusive and creative opportunities in the community, and presently there is no existing public art in the region.

About our mentee: Marlena Zuber

Illustration of Marlena ZuberMarlena Zuber has been illustrating maps, books, and magazines for over 18 years and has received several awards in Canada and the USA.

She is the community connections, planning, and independent living facilitator at North Hastings Community Integration Association and is the Community Corridor project lead.

Marlena has 15 years’ experience in Toronto and North Hastings county as a program coordinator, facilitator, educator, and creative community builder. She works with youth and adults from diverse backgrounds and abilities.

The Community Corridor of Inclusion & Resilience will bring together participants from Indigenous, mental health, disabled, and youth-focused social service agencies to build connections between NHCIA and local residents.

Of her hopes for the project, she states,

“It feels like a significant time in this age of political polarization — as well as this more hopeful age of reconciliation — that there is such a project to bring a diverse group of folks that cover vast areas in terms of geography, needs, talents, culture, and identity to work together and create something relevant, hopeful, meaningful and lasting.

“Whatever art project we co-design will invite and be accessible to people of all ages, abilities and identities to participate in the creation process.

“All partners will be reaching out to their communities and beyond with invitations. Bancroft and the surrounding area are known for its art community. We will be drawing on local talent for lead artists as well as mentors and opportunities for youth as mentees.”

What we are doing

We have been brought on to support the project’s planning stage, by assisting with the development of ideas for the kind of artwork the agency wants to create.

This mentorship with Marlena includes:

  • Project development
  • Grant writing
  • Consultancy on how to create collaborative work
  • Facilitation and workshop design

Illustration by Marlena Zuber