Concordia will be transformed into a hub for student imagination and creativity as Art Matters, the university’s multi-disciplinary arts festival, kicks off March 7.
With 185 student artists from a variety of faculties taking over 16 venues in and around Concordia, this year’s festival looks to be the most inclusive and ambitious yet.
This time around the festival has taken a more “in-your-face” approach, setting up art spaces where you normally wouldn’t expect to find them.
The downtown YMCA, for instance, is hosting a photography exhibit in their lobby as part of a fundraising program – in collaboration with Art Matters – to build a YMCA in Ecuador, and both university libraries will be put to good use with a variety of exhibitions.
Organizers hope that, this way, a greater number of Concordia students, and the public at large, will be exposed to the festival.
“We wanted to make the festival more than something that just fine arts students go to,” explains Craig Desson, co-producer of Art Matters. “We wanted to make this festival for Concordia as a whole.”
Art Matters has also widened its scope – for the first time it is making use of a number of venues outside of Concordia such as the Brutopia on Crescent, the World Beat Center on De La Montagne, and Studio’s 303 and 306 on Ste-Catherine St.
A pivotal issue for this year’s festival is a referendum concerning a four cent per credit fee levy, to be held during the CSU general election at the end of March.
The additional funds would be given directly to Art Matters, providing it with approximately $20,000 (two thirds of what it costs to run the festival), and would go towards its general operations such as renting out venues and publicizing student work.
“We hope these extra funds will allow us to make more links with people and be more inclusive as a festival,” says Emily Pearlman, co-producer of Art Matters along with Desson.
“It will give everybody an opportunity to have their voices heard in a different way.”
Art Matters runs March 7 to 21. For more info check out http://artmatters.concordia.ca. Programs will also be available throughout the campus.