Internship Awards

The Concordia University Art Hives Headquarters and Creative Arts Therapies Department are proud to announce the Art Hives Internship Awards for the 2018-2019 academic year, graciously funded by the J.A. De Sève Foundation.

Creative Arts Therapies students are invited to propose an internship and/or research project idea that responds to the needs and interests of a community, using Art Hives methodologies. Projects can take place in a neighbourhood or institution anywhere in Quebec.

These learning opportunities will allow students to develop hands-on skills relevant to their career path and apply their academic learning through public practice arts therapies, while building connections and making a measurable impact at the grassroots level. Supervision by a Registered Art Therapist is available as needed for all Art Hives Internships.

For more information please contact us

  • Bio:

    Ingrid Wissink is an accredited music therapist and musician currently studying toward her Master’s in Music Therapy from Concordia University. Her thesis research focusses on the impact of group music therapy from an anti-oppressive approach for women living with the physical and psychosocial consequences of contested chronic pain conditions. She is currently working with children with autism as part of Montreal’s Music Hive collective as well as running memory care groups for seniors living with dementia.

    Project Description:

    The Art Hive award allowed Ingrid to run an 8 session pilot project for a drop-in music hive for children and youth at Native Montreal over the fall and winter of 2018. This project aimed to assess the potential for a music hive in this setting, focussing on objectives such as community building/reinforcement, self-expression, stress relief, emotional development and musical awareness. The hive, founded on an anti-oppressive framework, was broadly intended as a complement to existing community cultural programming at Native Montreal and to provide respite for employees and caregivers on Saturdays. The hive consisted of weekly Saturday sessions, with an early group for children aged 6-12 and a later group for youth aged 13-19, both lasting 1.5 hours. The total attendance number over the program was 37, with about 5 participants coming back regularly. The sessions ran between September and January 2018. Ingrid was also asked to facilitate 3 sessions in the summer in order to contribute to the centre’s Iorahkote Day Camp activities. These groups were attended by a total of approximately 45 children aged 6-12 over the 3 sessions.

    The main hive activities for the younger group were generally centred around building instruments with recycled materials, encouraging creativity and perseverance within an ecological framework. The instruments were subsequently decorated by participants with various art materials and used in “jam” sessions with Ingrid and the other participants. Other activities and games created space for safe and joyful play, the development of friendships and the free expression of cultural values. The older group focussed on helping participants build confidence through the development of their personal creative projects, acquiring the skills to record and distribute their music. These participants were supported in their use of empowering lyrics addressing systemic neglect and violence against indigenous peoples.

    The use of recycled materials creates a vision for creativity that bypasses the need for the expensive gear and training that can appear to make music inaccessible for many, clearing the way for greater access to music and creative activities. These opportunities can allow children to build confidence by using their natural creativity to complete creative projects, and the provision of a safe and open space allows for exploratory behaviours, encouraging self-expression and socialization. Finally, the open and free format aimed to afford crucial time to young parents to run errands or attend to personal matters on weekends.

    Challenges included reaching older children in order to increase attendance at the second group, as well as running the hive during a time of upheaval and frequent change at the parent organization and dealing with cancellations due to space constraints. Despite these setbacks, Ingrid is pleased with the successes of the hive, including the creation of new friendships, the development of musical interests in many passionate young participants, and the tangible outcome of a completed recording of a participant’s conscious hip hop track to keep and distribute.

    Ingrid has recently used her recycled instrument-making model in a session for the City of Montreal’s Mardis Créatifs sessions in Cabot Square and is now developing a version customized to adult participants. She is also exploring the use of accessible electronic instruments in open sessions as well as researching the dynamics of group music therapy for women with chronic pain conditions.

    For more information please contact Ingrid at ingwis@gmail.com.

  • Bio:

    Asako Miyahara Kando is an organist, pianist, qanoon-player, origami-artist, and an accredited music therapist working with diverse populations in Montreal, Canada. Asako was born in Japan and has resided in Italy, Egypt, and India. She is passionate about exploring diverse cultural expressions, cross-cultural experiences across music and arts, and multimodal individual/collaborative expressions which invite people to reconnect their resilience, cultural uniqueness, and inclusiveness.

    Project Description:

    Creative Music Hive (CMH) was a 13-week project implemented in a Montreal YMCA Residence, a short-term residence providing support to newly arrived asylum-seekers who are in the immigration process. The aim of the project was to address the migration related psychosocial challenges experienced by asylum-seeking families at the residence by providing a space for multi-modal creation, encouraging them to explore themselves, connect with others, and build solidarity. CMH was open twice a week for two hours each, over 13 weeks. 242 children and 60 adults participated in total.

    Making instruments with recycled materials is a metaphor for resilience. Money, ready-made musical instruments, and strict rules are not what makes our music come alive—it is our imagination and creativity. At CMH, people transformed the limitations around them into the free-minded and autonomous creative process which allowed those with few resources to be creators. This made music-making more accessible. The relationship-building through the subsequent jamming illuminated what can be achieved when individuals with differences collaborate and connect.

    One challenge was the facility’s inaccessibility which made the collaboration with community partners hard. However, the core structure of “creating your own musical instruments and jamming with them” was very successful, helping participants navigate their challenges by facilitating self-led and collaborative engagement in culturally creative processes across the creative arts modalities.

    Asako is striving for the sustainability of CMH through (1) exploring the paths to integrate ex-asylum seekers for their empowerment; (2) developing the “musical instruments-making & jamming” method to a shareable platform; and (3) enhancing sustainable art-making practices including collection methods of recyclable materials which would offer a sustainable model of creativity for residents starting their new lives with limited resources.

    For more information please contact Asako at albmibiegga@gmail.com

  • Bio:

    Ellen Smallwood is a Montreal-based art therapist whose master’s research consisted of a pilot study at Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal Art Hive, investigating how group art therapy could impact the self-esteem and quality of life for young-mid adults with epilepsy. Ellen currently works as an art therapist in child and youth psychiatry at the Jewish General Hospital.

    Project Description:

    The Art Hive internship award supported Ellen in conducting her Master’s research at the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal Art Hive. Ellen conducted an 8-week group art therapy pilot study for 6 young adults with epilepsy (ages 18-45 years old), exploring whether art therapy is an effective method to address the psychosocial component (e.g., self-esteem, quality of life, depression/anxiety, social connection) of epilepsy treatment model.

    The findings showed that group art therapy may address and improve the psychosocial dimension of epilepsy consolidated multiple ways of knowing-- Ellen’s own instinctual hypothesis, quantitative testing, and participant interviews. After art therapy, the questionnaire data indicated reduced scores on stress and depression and increased scores on questionnaires assessing self-esteem and quality of life. Interviews revealed that art therapy increased the attend group’s ability to talk about the impact of epilepsy, to express grief, and to make social connections. The interviews also showed that art therapy helped with daily emotional regulation, and for some, reduced the frequency of seizures and psychosomatic symptoms.

    This was Ellen’s first foray into mixed methods research (collecting and combining both quantitative and qualitative data), so learning to employ these methods required many hours of learning and preparation—a welcomed challenge! By completing this research, Ellen developed a cyclical treatment model for chronic conditions which she aims to validate through future large-scale studies. She hold the ultimate goal of using this data to propose and establish an integrative paradigm of clinical and community art therapy (Art Hives) as a part of a multidisciplinary approach for wellness for people with epilepsy.

    For more information please contact Ellen at ellenarttherapy@gmail.com

  • Bio:

    Marbella Carlos is an artist and MA student in Art Therapy in Concordia University’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies. She holds a BFA in Studio Art (With Distinction) from the University of Calgary and a BEd in Visual Arts Education from the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Prior to Concordia, she worked for four years with the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) where she began as a volunteer and completed her tenure as the head of their outreach and education program. She is an unapologetic intersectional feminist who works within an anti-oppressive, social justice-focused framework.

    Project Description:

    Despite the growing racial diversity in Canada and the presence of multiculturalism in cities like Montreal, there is a lack of representation of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of colour) community in the arts and in mental health at all levels. Marbella held 5 group sessions at the Concordia University Art Hive (CUAH) for 8 self-identifying BIPOC participants to connect and create artwork while exploring themes of identity, family, belonging, discrimination, and racism in a safe, supportive, non-judgmental space. In this BIPOC specific space, previously silenced narratives spoke volumes.

    As a facilitator, Marbella gained invaluable insight about how to be an effective, social-justice focused art therapist. She engaged in this process by holding space for the participants to explore their experiences and self-expression through experimenting with the CUAH’s different donated materials in an open-studio format. Within the creativity of the space, participants felt free to dive right into artmaking even if they did not identify as artistic!

    One challenge was holding a closed group within the open format of the CUAH in the EV building. Sometimes people would walk into the space during the group to sit at the tables to study or were confused and thought we were open for regular hive hours. Another challenge was having to explain to a few people why a BIPOC-only space is not meant to alienate others, but rather to gather people with common experiences and create a safe space for their healing. Marbella plans to continue to grow this project and provide more spaces for members of the BIPOC community of Montreal to have meaningful access the Creative Arts Therapies. This project demonstrated the need for mental health services for BIPOC individuals, as evidenced by a waitlist of 20 people.

    For more information please contact Marbella at marbellaannecarlos@gmail.com

  • Bio:

    Paula Duffy is a graduating MA student in Drama Therapy at Concordia University, and a graduate of the National Centre for Dance Therapy’s Alternate Route program. She holds a BFA in Contemporary Dance with a minor in Psychology from Concordia University. Her interest in making dance and movement more accessible to the general public stems from a fascination with the power of the body and movement to connect – with oneself, and with others – on intrapersonal, interpersonal, and community levels.

    Project Description:

    Movement, art materials and tea. Movement prompts, props and exhibited art. Recorded music, sound-making objects and musical instruments. A handful of people, a good amount of curiosity and openness, and some time. These were the elements that comprised the Movement Hive exploration at Native Immigrant Art Hive. Paula pursued her curiosity about bringing movement to the Art Hive model by exploring the community-creating potential of people moving together within the beautiful space of Métèque Atelier d’Art. The Movement Hive held 5 sessions with 7 participants.

    As facilitator, Paula learned ways to facilitate movement in an Art Hive context which involved a bit of a balancing act between embodiment, safety, and the Art Hive guiding principles. Experimenting with various levels and elements of structure, the format generally consisted of a loosely guided warmup, time for individual and group movement exploration, and trying out various sources of inspiration. This included art materials, sound-making objects, written movement prompts, anatomy books, and the displayed gallery art. Collaboration with music therapist Asa Kondo provided another fruitful area of exploration.

    Setting up the Movement Hive in a sustainable model provided a challenge. As participation had dropped in the regular Art Hive since the end of summer, there wasn’t an existing participant pool to draw from for the Movement Hive. The location, available time slot, and cold weather were deterrents for new participants, and the project didn’t last for the time it would take to attract new community members. Paula hopes to continue the collaborations formed with Métèque Atelier d’Art, the Art Hives network, music therapist Asa Kondo, and neighbourhood organizations, as this project presented the great potential for movement in the Art Hive space, as a main focus or partner to music and visual art.

    For more information please contact Paula at pauladuffy@gmail.com

  • Bio:

    Valérie Saulnier always knew that she wanted to use music as a tool to help others. She started playing the piano and guitar at a very young age and studied vocal jazz at Cegep de Saint-Laurent and Université de Montréal. Valérie is an active musician in the Montreal musical scene and has
    also been a voice teacher since 2010. Valérie became a music therapist in 2018 after completing her Graduate Diploma in Music Therapy at Concordia. She is now doing her MA in Music Therapy to learn more about advance practices.

    Project Description:

    This internship project reopened Studio St-Sulpice for Fall 2018. Goals for this Art Hive included reconnecting the studio to the community in which it is located, building a sense of community and cohesion between those who attend, and increasing the self-esteem, self-awareness, and self expresison of studio participants. Activities included painting, musical composition and improvisation, singing songs together, drawing and moving to music, making instruments, and sharing stories. Highlights of this project included the strong relationships that developed through the open studio hours, the inclusion of music therapy in the Art Hive model, and the reinstatement of a community space that has since remained open. 

  • Bio:

    Cassandra Brennan is a second-year student in the Drama Therapy program at Concordia University. She enjoys exploring the cross-pollination that takes place among the creative arts therapies in the Montreal community. She is a maker, a mover, a thinker and an overall busy bee in the Montreal Art Hive community. Following her degree, she hopes to take this experience with her to Ontario. 

    Project Description:

    The Art Hive network has solidified a longstanding strength of the arts and its healing power by creating spaces that bring people together to create, innovate, and explore. Cassandra’s research is challenging the assumptions about what drama therapy as a practice looks like and how drama therapists can create more accessible community spaces. The Drama Hive was held over 4 sessions with 64 participants in total.

    The Drama Hive posed a challenged through the act of creating a space in which any passerby can be embraced and welcomed into a dramatic play scenario; this is a very delicate art in itself. Its format emphasized that dramatic play can be intimidating to some, due to its engagement of the body in the process. However, the use of play allowed Cassandra to welcome anyone into the space and feel a sense of permission to explore an alternate reality for whatever amount of time they were able to stay. Play seems to lighten people’s defenses and welcome silliness into a space.

    Above all the incredible lessons learned with this project, Cassandra was reminded that she is not alone. She formed many connections with strangers through welcoming them into the Drama Hive space and interacting together with their imaginations ignited through creative play. This project has greatly influenced the direction of Cassandra’s academic research within the Drama Therapy MA program at Concordia, fuelling her final research paper and her career vision through the knowledge gained. She hopes to eventually open an Art Hive, with a weekly Drama Hive in the near future. 

    For more information please contact Cassandra at cassjmbrennan@gmail.com

  • Bio:

    Ana García is a Colombian psychologist, artist and an MA student in Art Therapy at Concordia University. She is passionate about the use of art for people’s wellbeing and has embarked on a large journey to follow that passion. Ana has a background in individual clinical practice and is now interested in taking mental health practice out of its traditional office spaces in order to offer tools for communities to heal through art making.

    Project Description:

    This project was developed in response to the 2018 Art Hives Open Forum priority of diversifying and increasing the reach of the Art Hives Network, the Art Hive Network’s value of radical inclusivity, and the growing integration needs of the immigrant population. It placed focus on the Latin American immigrant-population which represents a large percentage of Montreal's newcomers.

    Putting her English/Spanish bilingualism at the service of her community, Ana proposed this project with the aim of helping the integration of the Latin American immigrant population in Montreal by increasing their involvement in the Montreal Art Hives network. In total, Ana held 36 sessions with 70 participants, making connections with different Latin American communities and leaders in Montreal and exploring what it takes to develop a community project.

    The majority of organizations supporting recent immigrants do not have many resources. When Ana first ‘pitched’ bringing community art studios and art therapy practices to organizations the reaction was often “that sounds great, but I do not have any way to pay you for your work.” Offering a wellness practice that did not require economical retribution, supported by an important institution like Concordia University, was significant to the communities Ana contacted. 

    One challenge with this project was the amount of time required in order to reach the goals Ana envisioned. Working at a grassroot level implies a lot of time and commitment which is not easy to balance with the academic requirements. Ana developed a database of Latin American community organizations in the city that she plans to contact with the purpose of coordinating how to better serve them with the Art Hives methodologies. Furthermore, she plans to continue developing guidelines she created during this project that help people interact with and utilize art materials, based on the Expressive Therapies Continuum.

    For more information please contact Ana at anamaria.garciah@gmail.com

  • Bio:

    Meaghen Buckley is an artist and teacher, currently training to be a drama therapist in Concordia University’s department of Creative Arts Therapies. She is trained as a dancer and teaches yoga as well as holding a BA(Hons) in Linguistics from McGill University and a BFA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University. Her research interests include the relationship of body and language in therapy as well as the integration of multiple media in creative process. She loves to play and believes that we all have many stories to tell.

    Project Description:

    How can drama enter an Art Hive? The Story Hive project aims to develop materials and methods by which character, narrative, and performance can become accessible for creation in an existing Art Hive space. This research has involved bilingual outreach to patrons of the Parc-Extension Public Library and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Art Hive, exploratory engagement in actions within these spaces, and the launch of a discussion series about perspectives on art in community. In Winter 2019 Meaghen implemented a weekly 2-hour Story Hive in the Parc-Extension Library with 14 sessions and 323 participants total. She is grateful to all who have participated in her research and has gained invaluable insight on the process of becoming part of a community and building relationships between people and organizations, as well as sharing many joyful experiences of creation and play!

    The project was carefully scheduled to occur at a time when the library was highly used, in order to meet an unmet need for a different kind of programming. Consequently, attendance was consistently high. Consistent attendance allowed the participants to make the space their own and to take from it what they needed. While unstructured and sometimes hovering on the edge of chaotic, a community truly formed over the short period of the project. The most meaningful lesson for Meaghen was the power of witnessing. Some participants would come week after week, and as she got to know them they showed her how much it meant to have someone present to see them and to be interested in their process and their creations. They didn’t need any intervention from Meaghen other than simply being there.

    One challenge of starting a new project in an existing space was that of managing conflicting expectations. Participants and staff sometimes had different ideas of what was appropriate or desired behaviour; I had to wrestle with subduing my own desires for a particular kind of space, and instead learn to mediate between what was already there and what shifts were possible based on needs and resources. Meaghen’s next step for this project is continuing the relationship with the Parc-Extension Library—(1) there will be a summer 2019 workshop; recruiting Art Hive facilitators to collaborate on this project; (2) Develop a toolkit to be shared with other art hives; (3) Write a research paper about the process; present the research at the North American Drama Therapy Association’s annual conference in order to raise awareness of Art Hives in the drama therapy community (with Cassandra Brennan of the Drama Hive).

    For more information please contact Meaghen at larucheduconte@gmail.com

  • Bio:

    Andrea Cook is student pursuing her MA in Art Therapy from Concordia University. She holds a BA in Psychology and worked as a professional photographer before pursuing a career in Art Therapy. Her professional, personal and academic history have resulted in a genuine love of research and social justice that inspires a deep desire to strengthen Art therapy as a profession through collaborative projects.

    Project Description:

    The project involved a group of mothers that explored their journey immigrating to Canada through photographs of daily life. The images stimulated discussion and the group identified issues relevant to their process of arriving in Canada and to share with future generations of immigrants and their children. A series of meetings were held over six months followed by a photography exposition. Photos were organized into four collective themes that represented challenges and accomplishments unique to their journey. The group provided positive feedback and said that the project illuminated a deep understanding of their multiple identities and how they have influenced an open-mindedness and freedom that they would not have otherwise.

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