Sewing Hope with Art at Mustard Seed
With food bank use at record highs and 10-year waiting lists for affordable housing, many Ontarians are falling through the cracks of Ontario’s social safety net — social programs that exist to prevent poverty and help those in precarious situations. When a group of knitters discussed these problems, someone joked that they should knit a social safety net themselves, and a beautiful idea was borne. A group of organizations that serve those living on the edge got together and decided to do just that.
The Stitching Our Own Social Safety Net is asking Ontarians to contribute to a creative, collective, and collaborative art piece to demonstrate the importance of the province’s social safety net.
On April 19, 2013, two of the coalition’s facilitators came to Fontbonne Ministries’ Mustard Seed to present an Art ‘n Action workshop to about 20 participants that included Mustard Seed members, Sisters, young adults, and other members of the community. Participants talked about Ontario’s social safety net, identifying which part was most important to them. With canvas, markers, and craft materials they created visual art pieces that reflected their hopes and dreams for the province’s social programs.
Sr. Gwen, far left, works diligently alongside other participants.
A Mustard Seed participant holds up his contribution depicting his
struggle to move from his current situation to the future he wants.
A Mustard Seed participant holds up his artwork telling
Ontario’s Legislature that they have the power to create a better future.
Vanessa holds up her work reminding us that the social safety net is
important to all beside a Faith Connections volunteer who highlights
the need for community housing, food, and gardens.
Other contributions from participants...
The pieces have been added to a growing pile for the coalition who will sew them together to make a giant net that will be used to launch an advocacy campaign at Queen’s Park calling for investment in our provincial safety net.
Article and pictures by Leah Watkiss