For the past five years, I’ve been part of an organization called This is My City Art Society (TMC). TMC was a non-profit organization in Calgary that matched professional artists with artists who were homeless, had addictions or were vulnerable in our society. Not only did people create wonderful art together, they created a community. This is part of TMC’s legacy as it turns the page and starts a new chapter.
TMC began as a one-year City of Calgary project over ten years ago. It evolved into an independent, volunteer-run, non-profit society in 2010. Since then, artist-mentors, a brave and talented group of socially active artists, encouraged Calgarians, no matter who they were, to create art. People sang together, wrote together, painted together and built a sense of friendship, pride and personal achievement despite the varied life experiences. TMC dissolved as a society in 2019 and is no longer creating programming. Nevertheless, it isn’t fading away. TMC has created an endowment fund for future artistic projects.
Approximately $400 a year is available through the This is My City Art Fund to be used by qualified organizations to address the issue of homelessness through the arts. Calgary Foundation is distributing the funds. Through the This is My City Art Fund, the spirit of TMC lives on.
Last week, TMC launched a book detailing its diverse creative work with marginalized Calgarians. This is My City, This is Our Legacy reveals the determination and accomplishments of its artist-mentors and artists. The authors of the book are the people who painted, wrote, danced and sung many songs while a part of TMC. From artist-mentors, to artists, partners and sponsors, these are the creators of a community and their voices are collected on the page through workshops, exhibits, plays, concerts and so much more. For a copy of the book, see Shelf Life Books.
We recognize the creative voice of every citizen and believe that we are all richer for having listened. This is My City Art Society website