Staff Bios

Seanna Connell
Project Director
Founder of A Home for Creative Opportunity/ArtHeart Communtiy Art Centre and Executive Director of 17 years. Co-Founder of ArtBridges/ToileDesArts: A Project of Tides Canada Initiaitives, Community Artist and International Community Arts Facilitator. Active community, arts and not-for-profit volunteer. Boards: Childrens Own Museum, ArtHeart and certificate from Altruvest’s Boardworx
(updated November 2011)

Patty Porretta
Director of Development
Patty Porretta, has worked in the fundraising profession for the past 18 years for numerous community-based organizations at the grass-roots level. Since 1997, she has worked on a free-lance basis. Patty has had the opportunity to raise funds for many worthy causes including homelessness, international development, refugees and immigrants, poverty relief, children’s mental health, health issues such as HIV/AIDS and prenatal care, women’s violence prevention, human rights, programs for seniors, crime prevention, social justice, children and youth social and recreational programs, and the arts. Over the course of her career, she has helped to raise over $20,000,000 and assisted numerous organizations to enhance their fundraising capabilities. Email: p1porretta@rogers.com.
(January 2011)

Alexa de Repentigny-MacAulay
Assistante de recherche francophone/ Francophone Research Assistant
Alexa de Repentigny-MacAulay est née à Ottawa, où elle a passée une enfance bilingue ainsi que ses années à l’école primaire et secondaire uniquement en français. Alexa est courrament étudiante en sa troisième année à l’Université York avec une concentration en Études de l’environnement. Elle est d’ailleurs inscrite dans le certificat CAP (Community Arts Practice) en arts communautaires. Ces deux disciplines la permet d’explorer des thèmes de philosophie autochtone, agriculture écologique, et de changement social à travers les arts.

Alexa a été employé et bénévole depuis 2006 pour l’association communautaire de Bells Corners à Ottawa, où elle a résidé et continue de fréquenter. Lorsqu’elle a déménagé à Toronto, elle a tenu le poste de coordinatrice d’évènements pour l’organisme à but non-lucratif Regenesis, un groupe de justice environnmental et social. Elle continue de travailler comme bénévole en développement social, artistique et environnmental pour de nombreux groupes variés, dont son travail le plus récent a été comme photographe pour un festival de musique folklore. Alexa tient ses intérêts en danse, musique, photographie, et arts visuels, ainsi que la récréation en plein air.

En janvier 2010, Alexa a commencé à travailler pour ToileDesArts, où elle a entrepris les recherches initiales en les arts communautaires francophones à travers le Canada. Elle a completé les recherches en cinq provinces, puis a passé l’été en route à travers le Canada de son propre accord pour assoifer son intérêt piqué sur la géographie physique et artistique du pays. En septembre 2010, elle a recommencé ses recherches pour ToileDesArts avec une nouvelle vigeur, et tient maintenant le titre d’assistante de recherche francophone.
(Novembre 2010)

Cora-Rae Silk
Indigenous Community Arts Coordinator & Communications Assistant
Cora-Rae Silk is a graduate of the Graphic Design program at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario. Her previous work experience spans from commercial artist representation to the development and launch of a not-for-profit arts magazine showcasing the work of new and emerging Canadian artists. Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Cora joined the ArtBridges team in February 2011 after relocating to Toronto from Vancouver. She has identified and profiled many inspiring community arts initiatives working in First Nations communities across Canada and has played a key role in establishing ArtBridges’ recently launched newsletter.
(November 2011)

Lisa Tran
Social Media & Content Coordinator
Lisa Tran is a fourth-year student attending York University (Glendon) for English Literature and French Studies (with an emphasis on drama studies). In 2008, Lisa audited the York University course, “Community Art for Social Change,” where she and Seanna worked on a community art project together. During this project, they bonded over the importance of arts in under-resourced communities and research methods. Lisa has worked with ArtBridges since April 2009, where she began as a Research Assistant for ArtBridges, working on ArtBridges’ initial research phase. After returning from a school year abroad, she returned to ArtBridges in June 2010 and is currently working as ArtBridges’ Social Networking and Communications Assistant.

In her year abroad, she lived in Norway studying “Norwegian Language and Culture” after being awarded a full scholarship to attend a Norwegian Folk High School (post-secondary studies). Recently, she has been one of the 450 students (out of 4300 applicants) invited to attend the International Student Festival in Trondheim, Norway (ISFiT), a youth leadership conference in February 2011. ISFiT focuses on building connections with youth leaders coming from many different countries and disciplines. She has also been invited to participate in the literature, creative writing & health workshops during the Festival. She is excited to be attending this major festival and to be bringing her knowledge of community arts, arts for social change and arts & social health to the workshops and to the Festival.

Her interests are in photography (analogue, medium format, experimental, digital). She is an avid concertgoer and community theatre patron. She is also a frequent volunteer for cultural organizations and festivals in Toronto.
(November 2010)

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