by Lucille and Ernie Bart, Associates (MB)
Artbeat Studio is a ministry located in Winnipeg, Manitoba that promotes healing and empowerment through creative endeavor. Programming seeks to support the full development of the human person through education, social justice, contemplation and creative expression by providing a place that encourages hope for healing and recovery and opportunity to express creativity.
The diverse inner city poor who make up the population that we work with experience isolation due to mental illness, trauma, addictions, lack of housing and adversity. They often come lonely, disheartened and seeking meaning and purpose in their lives. In a society that often closes their ears to the stories of those they perceive as different we can give witness to fears and hopes of people’s story through creativity: expressions of the human soul.
Through our personal family experience with mental illness and recovery and through our association with the SNJM we have established a place in the heart of the city, where individuals are free to create and grow, free to explore the ways in which they can share their story with the world. Above all, community and connection take hold, casting away isolation.
As an Associate of SNJM I believe that if the Blessed Mother Marie-Rose were alive today she would support us in this work together. My hope is that she would be encouraged by the passion and efforts of those actively engaged to make a positive difference in our world today; those committed to decreasing stigma and discrimination that coincides with mental illness and poverty through positive action, education and advocacy. We know she is with us in spirit as we try to do our part to “cast fire on the earth,” the fire of creativity – the light that shines in each of us.