On Thursday, May 13 I attended an info session about Culture Days in Peterborough, organized by Simone George of 4th Line Theatre and Ray Marshall of Show Place. The organizers invited arts managers, city cultural planning staff, local media and individual artists to learn more about Culture Days and to discuss how it could unfold in Peterborough. This info session was a perfect example of how a group of arts workers can come together to build the Culture Days movement in their region. If you would like to organize a similar Culture Days information session in your own community, I can facilitate and provide resources to Ontario-based artists, organizations and municipalities. Email me at email@example.com or call 1-800-387-0058 ext. 5077. In other provinces, please contact your provincial Task Force.
With the fourth annual Peterborough Artsweek overlapping dates with Culture Days, we discussed how the two events could work together to achieve maximum benefit to the community. Peterborough Artsweek is an eight-day celebration of the arts, featuring innovative contemporary arts programming. At first, a few Artsweek presenters were worried they might be too busy to add Culture Days events. However, once they learned more about the movement, people got excited about the opportunity to complement their existing performances and exhibitions with activities that invite the public to go behind-the-scenes and appreciate the creative process. Artsweek and Culture Days share similar aims to raise awareness about the arts. As a result, the group also welcomed linking Artsweek with events happening across the country within the Culture Days public awareness campaign.
It was a very productive meeting where arts managers bounced ideas off each other, the city staff asked how they could be involved and artists talked about the type of activities they could offer. By the end of the meeting a working group was formed to continue planning and coordination of Culture Days activities in Peterborough and the surrounding area. With so much energy and teamwork going into their activities, I’m sure that Peterborough is going to be an exciting place on September 24-26!
Written by Aubrey Reeves, Ontario Arts Council’s Culture Days Animator/Coordinator.
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