Festival of Arts bigger and better this year

Week-long festival celebrates all aspects of artistry

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Reading Week is over but students can still escape during next week’s Festival of the Arts 2007: The Ultimate Getaway.

The annual week-long event celebrates Western’s artistic talent in media like music, visual art, theatre, film and fashion.

Art will be displayed in the University Community Centre atrium throughout the week and performances by individuals, bands and clubs will take place daily.

Evening events begin with “Original and Unplugged,” a singer/songwriter competition held Monday at Huron College. The winner will perform the next night at “Fashion Style Expression: Night of the Arts” at London Taphouse. The fashion show will feature Western and Fanshawe students’ original clothing designs.

A Poetry Slam will be held Wednesday, a battle of the bands takes place at The Wave Thursday and a small film festival runs Friday.

Amanda Portinari, the festival’s commissioner, says she wanted to make the event more accessible to students who aren’t very interested in the arts.

“[Some students] might be almost intimidated in going to a gallery or a reception to view the arts, so we were thinking of... having it at a venue that people are more accustomed to,” Portinari says.

“Even [FOA] itself in past years has definitely been well-attended by a specific kind of group, more of the artistic community. So we’re hoping [this year] to target the student population in general.

“I think art in general is something that, regardless of what faculty you’re in or what your background is, you’ll have some kind of appreciation for. You might be a performer or artist even though you might be studying chemistry.”

The FOA committee has worked on the event slowly but steadily since October and has held several events in the UCC to promote the festival.

“I found that there were a lot of third and fourth-year students who were questioning what the week was,” Portinari says. “I think [FOA] needs to be branded; there should be one thing that the week is known for and then go from there.

“I feel like even myself, being selected in this position, I’ve become way more aware of what’s going on in Western and London in general in terms of the arts scene.

“A lot of it was hidden for me because I wasn’t really seeking things out, but considering the size of the city we live in, London has a great arts scene. So I think there’s this fairly big community, but it’s below the surface and not very visible.”

Art, Portinari says, is the only way to run away without leaving home.

The Festival of Arts runs March 12 to 16. For more information visit www.usc.uwo.ca/foa/.

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