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Care for an art festival?

Nate Gotcher | Tuesday, April 3, 2012

After much thought and discussion between myself and other students, it has become clear that the University of Notre Dame is in need of two things: one, the public promotion of creativity particularly in the arts, and two, integration within the South Bend community. To this dual end, I have a proposal. At some point next year, in a collaborative effort between administration and various departments and student groups, the University of Notre Dame should host a community arts festival for the city of South Bend and Notre Dame.

The question should naturally arise, “Of what would this community arts festival consist?” I envision a weekend, or perhaps longer, when artists from Notre Dame and the City of South Bend would gather at Notre Dame to not only exhibit their art and possibly sell it, but also to actually produce art over the weekend; a series of specific events over a couple days, in a way like IRISHenanigans. Painters from the art and architecture schools could join painters from the community and together work on paintings. Sculptors, pottery-makers, basket-weavers, carpenters, etc. could do the same. Also, a possibility is for students from the theatre department to work on and perform plays with members of the community. Musicians and poets could have time for presenting their original work or performing the work of others. Engineering students could demonstrate machines that they designed.

Such a community festival would accomplish the two goals that I set out at the beginning of this letter. It would be a public promotion of art (such as is present on the streets of major cities such as Rome) and because it would involve artists from the community, it would do more (it would seem) to unite the two entities than numerous meetings and initiatives that do not have the creation of art as their goal. Art unites because it is a powerful expression of a common humanity.

Nate Gotcher



April 3