The Stepping Up Promising Practices Tool Kit is a guide to help community organizations provide arts-based programming to address issues of violence and community safety for trans, lesbian and bisexual newcomer, immigrant and refugee women. The tool kit is based on Access Alliance’s original model of expressive arts therapy:
expressive art therapy is a client-centred, art-based, community-oriented approach to therapy
Access Alliance started holding expressive arts therapy groups in 2004 and quickly realized the benefits of this model: expressive art therapy helps reduce stress, build social support systems and promote well-being. It offers a safe space where people can explore emotions, conflict, transitions and life choices. It’s also a modality where trauma can be communicated in alternative ways that can transcend language barriers and increase understanding and empathy.
The Stepping Up Promising Practices Tool Kit was developed through activities that spanned a couple of years and included research and consultation with community members and service providers. The project developed, implemented and evaluated two pilot expressive arts groups – one group for trans-identified newcomer women of any sexual identity, and another group for cis-gender-identified newcomer women who also identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, or questioning (LGBQ).
The tool kit covers everything from staffing and training to outreach, logistics, language and facilitation. It has practical forms, facilitation notes and many other other tools and resources