Artsweek 2018 logo. Image via ArtsweekPtbo.com.

Since moving back, Hannah Keating has been replanting her roots in Peterborough through the arts community after studying Art History in Ottawa.

“When I came back to Peterborough, I was interested in getting to know people in the arts community, and I didn’t exactly know where it would lead or what would happen,” she said. “But I have been so pleasantly surprised to see the robust arts community that Peterborough has, being such a small community.”

Keating believes she was incredibly lucky to work with Artspace when she returned to Peterborough, through which she was able to connect with the Electric City Culture Council (EC3). EC3 presents Artsweek every other year in the Peterborough, along with other arts programming in the community.

Earlier this year, EC3 presented its first Peterborough Arts Awards to formally recognize the work of members of the arts community. Keating assisted in organizing the Awards project.

Keating is now the artistic producer for Artsweek 2018, putting her skills in curation and arts administration to work.

“Artsweek is a 10-day multidisciplinary arts festival. We have projects from all disciplines — film, dance, poetry, visual art, different types of performance, installation art,” she explained.

Artsweek provides funding for artists, as well as infrastructure and support for their exhibitions and performances.

This year’s Artsweek theme is “art in unexpected places.”

“One of the reasons I was really drawn to this position is that Artsweek brings art outside of the traditional spaces in which we tend to take it in as an audience,” she said. “It’s not in the gallery, it’s not in the theatre — it’s right out in the street, and in these public spaces where people can easily find them but they might also just accidentally stumble upon them.”

Keating emphasized the work also invites audiences that would not otherwise engage in the arts community, whether it be because of interest or because of a sense of belonging.

“As someone working in the arts sector, I have really come to appreciate that is a position that a lot of people find themselves in; that they feel that art has an elite quality to it,” she noted. “Artsweek brings you right into contact with artists in a really beautiful way.”

Artsweek is free to all attendees.

Keating could not choose just one event that she was most excited for, but she did highlight a few events that are sure to be impressive.

“Divergent Dances” performance featured in Artsweek 2018. Photo by Matthew Hayes.

“Imaginarium”
Local filmmaker Lester Alfonso has a three-day installation downtown. A film projection will play on the front windows of the Peterborough Public Library between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

“The Flying Canoe”
Presented by the Peterborough Academy of Circus Arts, “The Flying Canoe” tells the story of a French-Canadian folk tale through aerial performance, theatre, fire spinning, and live music at the Canadian Canoe Museum.

“The Wailing” at the Riverview Park and Zoo, the Canadian Canoe Museum, and Victoria Park
“The Wailing” is an outdoor performance conceived by multi-disciplinary artist Laurel Paluck. Paluck’s hollow whale sculptures are made from collected and artistically recycled plastics. The whales invite audiences to mourn environment loss and endangered species in a music and dance performance.

Take-Out Poetry. Photo via Hannah Keating, Artsweek 2018.

“Take-Out Poetry”
Passers-by are invited to fill out a “menu order” for a poem. Local poets will produce a poet within the given specifications, thriving on the instant inspiration.

“Between the Water and the Sky”
Dancers Beany John and Jade Willoughby dance accompanied by Unity Indigenous vocal ensemble and the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra String Quartet. The performance explores Willoughby’s journey to reclaim Anishinaabemowin, her linguistic and cultural heritage.

This, of course, is not exhaustive. The full Artsweek schedule can be found online at artsweekptbo.com.

Keating’s hopes for the Peterborough arts community are one and the same as her goals for Artsweek.

“I hope more people get exposed to all the work that’s being done. Just recognizing all the cool stuff that’s happening and sharing it, so the number of people who appreciate the work local artists are doing in Peterborough grows,” she stated. “In turn, that will leave artists feeling that Peterborough is a place that can support their practice, and they will continue to enrich what is already such a wonderful community.”

Artsweek 2018 runs from September 21 to September 30 in various locations within Peterborough.