Elizabeth Fry Society of Sudbury

The Elizabeth Fry Society, Sudbury is dedicated to addressing the needs of persons in conflict with the law, or at risk of becoming in conflict with the law, and in particular the circumstances of women and young women in the criminal justice system.

Open Arts Studio

The Open Arts Studio Program was piloted with the support of community grant from United Way Sudbury and Nipissing Districts in 2014. The Open Arts Studio is a safe space for women who access services at the Society, fostering creativity while encouraging experimentation, personal growth, discussion, and self-expression. During the pilot period, participants considered Open Arts as self care and promoted positive social experiences; women expressed a desire for further programming.

Feedback from Open Studio Artists (both in the community & in custody)

  • “I needed a group like this one, it’s fun and relaxing.”
  • “I enjoy being able to be creative, a feeling of releasing feelings through art.”
  • “I learned by watching what others do, how they talk about their work.”
  • “Sometimes I forget I am in jail.”
  • I’m not afraid to try new things.”
  • I learned I need to listen to understand.”
  • “ I am happy there’s no pressure to finish our projects and that we can work on whatever we feel like doing.”
  • “I learn by trying different things.”
  • “I’m more relaxed and focused on positive things.”

We are delighted to share that with the continued support of United Way Sudbury and Nipissing Districts through their Community Fund, this successful program will continue.

The Open Arts Program decreases social isolation through the provision of an engaging, positive and beneficial open group experience with art and art making while addressing needs, literacy levels and learning styles of all participants. The program focuses on emphasizing strengths, personal choice and creative expression and increases access to creative, expressive and educational resources that promote skill development and capacity building. Autonomy and choice within the program improves engagement with services, increases personal growth, self-control, resilience and development of positive self-identity.

Studio Time

  • Open arts programming meets women where they are at and provides a supportive environment that facilitates interaction with peers and service providers.
  • Participants will have the opportunity to explore various art materials, learn different art techniques and work on their own self-directed and collaborative art projects
  • Facilitated in weekly two-hour sessions for women in-house at 204 Elm Street, Sudbury and for women in-custody at the Sudbury District Jail.
  • Participation is voluntary for both groups. While advance registration is preferred, participants can ‘drop-in’.
  • Each session introduces a directive or technique; participants also have the time to work on art projects, either incorporating the directive/technique or something entirely different of their own choosing.
  • Journaling and general discussion is encouraged; music is played and snacks are provided when possible.
  • A sharing circle about the process as well as the witnessing of each other’s work is facilitated.
  • Extended studio time and additional experiential activities such as collective cooking, community gardening, special events and exhibits may be explored.
  • Aftercare counselling support is available for women requesting this service.

Join other women in the studio to create, experiment with different materials, learn new art techniques, express yourself, meet new people, and have fun!
Ask Efry staff how to get involved!

With support from