The guided workshops are just one example of how Legari’s work has shifted during COVID-19. Prior to worldwide shutdowns, he facilitated the museum’s group activities through community collaborations and partnerships with clinics, associations and foundations.
He additionally supervised student interns from Concordia’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies and worked with the MMFA’s art hive community.
“The thing that I’m missing right now, and what inspires me the most, is the connection I develop with the hive community or the work that we do with our art therapy groups,” says Legari. “That human connection is everything.”
One initiative Legari helped implement during the pandemic was to provide an art viewing for health-care workers. “We wanted to collaborate with health-care partners and frontline workers who might like a visual holiday to come see something that isn’t the hospital or the clinic where they work.”
As a result of Legari’s efforts, free access to the museum’s Paris and the Days of Post-Impressionism: Paul Signac and the Indépendents exhibition was granted, with future opportunities for therapeutic programming in the works.
‘One of the best fine arts programs in the country’
With Concordia’s downtown Sir George Williams Campus within walking distance of his place of work, Legari often reflects on his student days with pride. “When I left my hometown of Ottawa, I got to move to this beautiful, exciting city and go to one of best fine arts programs in the country,” he recalls. “Those four years totally shaped my sense of self and I look at that time with a lot of fondness.”
When he decided he wanted to continue on with his master’s, Legari returned to Concordia newly energized. “I was hungry for greater human service. Being immersed in this collective environment of people working for mental health and human wellness through the arts — the barn doors just blew wide open,” he says.
In the years that followed, Legari has remained connected to his alma mater and to new cohorts of Concordia students. He’s since presented about art therapy and art education in classrooms and at symposiums.
“I’ve always seen Concordia as having this very strong social mission, which is more and more evident through its community engagement.”
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And if you’re participating in COVID-19 community projects, don’t forget to tell us: firstname.lastname@example.org.