About Creative Works Studio

Watch the trailer for Creative Works Studio’s documentary What’s Art Got To Do With It.

Founded in 1998, the Studio is an occupational therapy and community based initiative of the Inner City Health Program of St. Michael’s Hospital and operates in partnership with Good Shepherd Non-Profit Homes Inc. The Studio offers healing and recovery through the arts for those living with severe and persistent mental illnesses. The Studio is non-denominational, was pioneered, and is led by Isabel Fryszberg, an occupational therapist and practicing artist.

Open throughout the week, the Studio receives clients from mental health agencies across the city and helps them make a comfortable return to an active and meaningful life in the larger community. The Studio provides a non-judgmental environment where each person is treated as an artist first, rather than a patient, and is encouraged to reach their highest skill level and potential through purposeful and inspiring creative art initiatives. As a result, their general life skills and ability to cope in the larger community also improve.

The Studio is actively involved in mental health research and in community and educational outreach as a means of disseminating information and reducing the stigma of mental illness.

Studio Members

  • Men and women between the ages of 18 – 80, who come from diverse educational and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Members make almost 2,500 client visits a year.
  • 25% of the members who joined the Studio in 2009 have since returned to full or part-time work, returned to school, or have decreased their hospital time.
  • 95% of the Studio members have improved their life skills and sense of well-being, through increased productivity, participation, and socialization, while sharing in the studio environment.
  • Many members have entered art shows and have sold their work.

Watch Michael Kirby visit the Creative Works Studio