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Art Needs Shelter: by Mandy, Art Activation Coordinator

Hello folxs! My name is Mandy E. MacLean, and I am the newest addition to the Frog in Hand team. I'm the Art Shelter's Art Activation Coordinator. The Art Shelter is the future home of Frog in Hand, and a new cultural space in the Mississauga community.

Mandy and Mulder

A bit about me: I am a multi-hyphenate artist & facilitator, identify as a member of the Mad Community, have had multiple experiences with Traumatic Brain Injury, and I am a proud Maritimer. I am highly influenced by my training with the SITI Company (NYC) and by members of SCOT (Japan), my experiences with youth, and my lived experience in the disability arts sector. My focus is to create sustainable and accessible processes for art-making while meeting and maintaining responsiveness to the community. I also have a cocker spaniel puppy named Mulder. He has his very own stuffed puppy that he likes to take to patios.

So, what's The Art Shelter?

Located in Lakeview Mississauga in a sunflower field, it is a 42-foot geodesic dome from Arctic Acres (made from recyclable materials) supported by two shipping containers. It will be a creative placemaking hub and will generate solutions 'outside the dome' (hah, get it?) for community participation. Our motto is "less is more" in finding ways that are socially inclusive, environmentally proactive, and better aligned with an unpredictable future. The Art Shelter will aim to strengthen connections between people and the arts, enhancing cultural life. As a versatile space, it will provide collaborative ways to incubate accessible arts activations and affordable programming. Hopefully, it will also spark lively public dialogue to promote positive social change. Stay tuned for a series of artistic residencies and offerings in 2024!

As the Arts Activation Coordinator, it is exciting to meet with a huge number of diverse artists and engage in community conversations - gathering information, and making connections.

Top left to right: Mandy and Moises Frank (muralist), Colleen and Moises.

Bottom left to right: Moises spray-painting the shipping containers, collaborators Elise and Phillip starting our new mural at the Art Shelter.


What's happened so far?

  • This summer, we released a public call to connect with community members and help envision our future and its programming - with conversations still ongoing!

  • Frog in Hand has received a building permit from the City of Mississauga to begin construction at the end of this month and The Art Shelter is slated to open in mid-November. We’ve got an incredible build team! Stay up-to-date with us on Frog in Hand's social media.

Big thanks to our amazing funders, collaborators, and supporters: the Ontario Trillium Foundation, City of Mississauga, Heritage Canada's Cultural Spaces Fund, Canadian Healthy Communities Initiative, Arctic Acres, Lakeview Partners, Frog in Hand Board, Frog in Hand Design + Construction Advisory Committee, Rotary Club of Mississauga, STEPS Public Art, Moises Luv, Elise Conlin, Philip Saunders, and our Frog friends and fans.

Conversations about the future of The Art Shelter are ongoing and I would love to hear from you! Bring your ideas, thoughts, curiosities! Let's connect:

See you at The Art Shelter!

- Mandy and Mulder


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