Who We Are

The Beginning

A Real Thought (A.R.T.) In Action was founded in 2014 by artists Mailyne K. Briggs and Sarah Lickley. Mailyne and Sarah met while engaging youth and promoting employment and entrepreneurship. They noticed the lack of arts programming in various communities and wanted to make an effort to change that. Mailyne came to Sarah with a 12 week art program that she had developed many years prior. The two decided to take the program and run with it. With the support of local artists and generous donors, they were able to facilitate a free 6 week art and multimedia workshop for youth ages 14-29 at the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Center. Sarah has since moved out of Ottawa to live off the grid on a small homestead.

What originally started off as a 12 week art workshop for youth facing barriers has evolved into community partnerships, honorariums and programs for people of all ages and abilities. With a small but dedicated team, A.R.T in Action has become an integral part of building relationships and supporting the mental well-being of community members.

Our Board Members

Mailyne K. Briggs
CEO and Co-Founder

Mailyne Briggs is a mixed media and multimedia artist-entrepreneur. Born in the Philippines, Mailyne was adopted and immigrated to Canada at the age of four. Although a creative since birth, it wasn’t until her late teens that she picked up painting as a way to heal from childhood trauma.

Overcoming her mental health and depression through painting and yoga, Mailyne recognized the arts as a form of therapy and in 2014 she along with Sarah Lickley, decided to co-found A.R.T. In Action.

As a community builder Mailyne is focused on deepening her awareness of accessibility, and amplifying the calls to action of Black, Indigenous and LGBTQ2+ communities. As an artist, she strives to find ways to use art as part of her healing journey, while also incorporating her hopes, dreams and activism into her work.

Claudine Santos

Claudine studied in England and Kingston, ON at Queen’s University, earning degrees in politics and Spanish literature as well as a certificate of international studies. She also has a background in law.

She’s had a circuitous career path to becoming Director of Parliamentary Affairs to Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson, having worked as the general manager and corporate trainer for Prime Restaurant, social media manager for TheINNERface.com, and run her own company Family Industries, to name a few.

She lives in Barrhaven, ON with her husband and young son

Anona Kosmack
Program Director and Art Facilitator

Anona is a mixed-media, visionary artist based in Ottawa, Ontario and was our first Art Facilitator brought on the team! She has worked with a variety of youth living with disabilities and understands the need for art in mental health and therapy.

“I truly believe that everyone is an artist in their own way. Everyone has felt something so deeply that it has overwhelmed their senses and poured out of their soul’s containers. That raw overflow channeled through a particular structured talent is what fosters creations like my work. My creative process is cyclical much like the building of a thunderstorm or the movements of the sun. I notice, I feel, I create and then I rest. This process that I have actively committed myself to repeatedly has encouraged me to travel immersively.

In courting new, and at times uncomfortable, experiences I have pushed my limits as an individual coping with multiple psychological diagnoses, personal losses and spiritual evolution. My artistic process has been with me through all of my becoming. From crayons on ripped cardboard of my youth, to sophisticated mixed media renderings of my adulthood; I have, and will always, love creating.”

Our A.R.Tists

A.R.T. In Action employs professional artists living and working within the communities and groups that we work with. They offer a diverse range of art disciplines that our programs involve. They are selected based on their past experiences, their professional body of work and their ability to connect and efficiently communicate with our target demographic. Our A.R.T.ists harbour creative energy and understand the importance of meaningful connections.

Some of the artists we’ve had the honour of facilitating our workshops in the past are:
Natalie Mears
Elizabeth (Ilisapi) Gordon
Sara Bessin
Bradley Cayford
RJ Jones