By Justine Kraemer, GAC Volunteer Writer

The ArtsEverywhere Festival is set to kick off its annual programming for 2022. The Festival is a collection of artistic exhibitions, literary readings, performances and lectures designed to spark conversations in the community. The Festival is hosted by Musagetes, and co-presented with the University of Guelph and the Eramosa Institute. The 2022 Festival promises a fantastic lineup sure to inspire and ignite conversations that continue long after the Festival has concluded. 

Friday, January 28, 2022 

The first event in the 2022 Festival is “Three Conversations: Land in Practice/Practice in Land”. This event is curated into three separate conversations based on region, taking place online via Zoom. It features conversations with three pairs of artists representing the geographic locations circumpolar, local, and the Global South. 

The circumpolar conversation will feature Taqralik Partridge, a textile artist originally from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, an artist who uses uaajeerneq (Greenlandic mask dancing), and other performance art. The Global South conversation will feature reflections from Alexandra Gelis, a Colombian-Venezuelan media artist and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, an interdisciplinary artist born in Manila. Finally, the local conversation will feature Lisa Hirmer, an interdisciplinary artist, and Peter Schuler, an Elder of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation of the Anishnaabek Peoples. 

Saturday, January 29, 2022 

The Big Ideas in Art & Culture lecture will feature a talk by Alex Pentek. His lecture is entitled “Challenging Collective Remembrance”. According to the Festival’s description, Pentek will speak to his experiences creating art in highly politicized contexts, including Northern Ireland. He has had international experiences creating art in many contexts that he will draw from. Pentek will focus on modern challenges and various approaches when it comes to memorialization in the form of sculptural arts. In our current context, this conversation about the role sculptures in particular play in collective memory is highly topical. 

Saturday, January 29, 2022 

The event “Thinking Together in the Present” will feature a conversation between Dutch-American philosopher Simon(e) van Saarloos and editor of  ArtsEverywhere’s Polity of Literature Matthew Stadler. This event will also be the launch of Simon(e) van Saarloos’s newest book, Take ‘Em Down, which is a critical examination of the concept of memory, what deserves to be remembered and what role we all have in ensuring we carry memory on even in the face of brutal truths. This event will also feature the launch of Stadler’s newest version of the Polity of Literature series, which is a publishing platform to be called “The GOAT PoL”. The focus of this platform will be to connect disenfranchised writers including those who are incarcerated or stateless with venues to have their work published and featured.  

The capstone event of the ArtsEverywhere Festival is the Guelph Lecture-On Being in May 2022. In the 19 years that this Festival has been held, various performances and presentations have brought the local community together. The lineup for this year’s event has not yet been released, however the Arts Everywhere Festival website points everyone to the Festival’s social media accounts to stay updated. The event is scheduled for Friday, May 6 at the River Run Centre. 

The Arts Everywhere Festival  is all about centering the arts as an integral component of the human experience.. This year’s festival promises to bring together both local and global perspectives on art. The focus on memory is an inspired choice. The Festival TheFestival is sure to broaden horizons for everyone who attends. The fact that Festival organizers have made a focused effort to increase accessibility is incredibly commendable, ensuring that more people can engage in the arts in a meaningful way. 

The arts have such incredible power to shift perspectives and create dialogue in our society, as the Arts Everywhere Festival demonstrates so well.. 

Visit The Arts Everywhere Festival  to register for these events.

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