Creative Coping Kits Initiative

Creative Coping Kits
A new initiative from Chill N Do Art for Black and Indigenous Families

Hello,

My name is Alia Ettienne and I am the creator and head facilitator of a mental health initiative called Chill N Do Art a program specifically tailored for Black and Indigenous women and single parent families. The Chill N Do Art workshops consist of practical DIY projects through creative coping within the frame of mental health resources. In 2018, the pilot workshop ran at SKETCH Working Arts and was created originally as a place for Black women to share, heal, and be inspired to take time for themselves and create.

As observed through mainstream media and social media coverage, the mental wellbeing of Black and Indigenous peoples are openly disregarded through police brutality and other manifestations of systemic racism. Racialized peoples often face discrimination even in spaces that are allegedly inclusive, which often results in no mental health support for these individuals. This, combined with the current economic and social conditions caused by the quarantine, can be extremely difficult and increase stress levels for individuals with limited or no mental health resources and/or no methods for coping.

Creative Coping Kits
As a response to the needs of the community (and a reaction to COVID-19 quarantine), Chill N Do Art has decided to pull together the resources to create Creative Coping Kits for Black and Indigenous single-parent families. Each kit will contain a Creative Coping Binder, art supplies, and crafting materials. The Creative Coping Binder in particular will have multiple activities aimed at nurturing positivity and wellness. Some of the Creative Coping Binder contents include colouring pages for both parents and children, writing prompts, and guided activities which activates contents within the kits for families to do together. Each Creative Coping Kit will cost $25 to produce.

I am fundraising to be able to produce 20 of these kits and would love to invite you to support this initiative!

SKETCH Arts, in addition to supporting the initial workshop series, has been quite supportive of the Creative Coping Kit initiative. With the support of SKETCH Arts I was able to support the production of the first 10 kits. This initial sum of funding allowed me to consider expanding to reach as many families as possible. I have since then received art donations from Vibe Arts to further support the creation of the kits and provide as many creative coping tools as possible.

The entirety of any funds raised will be used towards the production of the kits. The hope is that this project will extend beyond a single-term initiative and will develop into a long term program adopted through a larger network of organizations and community centers. This is the pilot program for the Creative Coping Kits, with the ultimate goal of having customized versions of the kits for folks from other marginalized communities.

I am encouraging allies of the community (non-Black and non-Indigenous peoples) to donate in solidarity with the Black and Indigenous communities to support the mental well-being of single, low-income parents as well as increase awareness of mental health needs of Black and Indigenous peoples.

How can you help:
This is a list of the many ways, including some non-monetary methods, to support the Creative Coping Kits program:

Direct Support
Support one (1) family by funding the production of one (1) Creative Coping Kit for $25
Support three (3) families by funding the production of three (3) Creative Coping Kits for $75
Support five (5) families by funding the production of five (5) Creative Coping Kits for $125
Support ten (10) families by funding the production of ten (10) Creative Coping Kit for $250
Support forty (40) families by funding the production of forty (40) Creative Coping Kit for $1000
Support one hundred (100) families by funding the production of one hundred (100) Creative Coping Kit for $2500
Donate items for the kits:
Lightly used/unopened art supplies
Stationary items (ie. stickers, cue cards, pencil cases)
Reusable masks
Family friendly colouring pages (original images only)
Art prints that encourage positivity
Volunteer your time:
Assist with building the Creative Coping Kits
Deliver the Creative Coping Kits to families
Social Media Outreach:
Like/Follow on social media - Instagram: @chillndoart / Facebook: Chill N Do Art
Share the donation link with family and friends

Fundraiser Donation Link:
paypal.me/creativecopingkits

*All donations are welcome and appreciated.

About the founder:

Alia Ettienne is a theatre writer, actor, performer and facilitator who was born and raised in Toronto, ON. Ettienne is of Afro Caribbean descent which often influences her performances and writing. She attended Sheridan College and University of Toronto studying both performance and creative writing. Ettienne aims to create art for social change and has worked with companies such as Buddies in Bad Times, Canadian Stage and The Paprika Festival. Her first solo piece YellowZoned dealt with times such as mental health, racism and ageism in society. The show premiered in The 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival and was then remounted as a part of Hamilton premiere Mental Health Theatre Festival MindPlay. Currently, Ettienne is focused on her workshop series Chill N Do Art and writing her second full length piece Xiety Complex.

Organizations:

SKETCH Arts
SKETCH is a community arts enterprise engaging diverse young people, ages 16-29, from across Canada, who live homeless or on the margins and navigate poverty to:
experience the transformative power of the arts
build leadership and self-sufficiency in the arts
cultivate social and environmental change through the arts
Vibe Arts
Established in 1995, VIBE Arts is an award-winning charitable organization committed to providing children and youth in under-resourced communities with high quality community and school based arts education. With a 20 year trajectory, VIBE Arts has become one of the most celebrated community arts organizations in Toronto.

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Organizer

ChillN DoArt 
Organizer
Toronto, ON
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