We are asking for the public’s support in our crowdfunding campaign https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/save-inspirations-studio/ and for leads on potential partner agencies and funding opportunities. Our campaign will raise funds for rent and studio supplies so the members can continue to access a creative space, generate income and maintain a sense of meaning and purpose.
As one member told us, “Inspirations saved my life.”
Inspirations Studio helps low-income women learn to craft ceramic goods and develop business skills, so they can earn supplemental income. Through the process, the Studio works to facilitate the recovery of self-esteem, respect, and dignity, and create a community of entrepreneurs. Inspirations was first established in 1994 as a craft collective for under-housed women in a converted church at 761 Queen West. When the 761 Community Development Corporation closed in 2001, Inspirations was taken on by Sistering, which secured funding through the Toronto Enterprise Fund. In 2016, the program lost its status as a social enterprise. In short, the enterprise model demanded a more production-oriented approach and ultimately conflicted with the women’s individual creative expression, the program’s focus on entrepreneurial skill building, and the challenges of securing full-time employment as a craftsperson. Bridge funding provided by the United Way will run out at the end of 2017.
Friends of Inspirations Studio is an informal group dedicated to promoting the work and goals of Inspirations Studio. We are members of the Toronto arts, financial, and business communities, who believe in social enterprise as a means of lifting women out of poverty, and artistic expression as a means of nourishing well-being.
Inspirations Studio is a one-of-a-kind program and has provided scores of women with a lifeline for 23 years. It would be a tragedy to let it come to an end in such a short time. Thank you for your support and for spreading the word.
For more information, please contact:
Friends of Inspirations, firstname.lastname@example.org