On-campus festival to celebrate the relationship between the arts and the community

Arts Academy students will explore the capacities of the Interlochen 5 through performances, workshops, and community meetings featuring guest speakers Margaret Byrne, Dana Edell, Lianca Lyons, and Daniel Bernard Roumain.

Daniel Bernard Roumain, Margaret Byrne, and Dana Edell

Guest artists Daniel Bernard Roumain, Margaret Byrne, and Dana Edell.

While more than 130 Interlochen Arts Academy students travel to New York City to present मुक्ति : MUKTI as part of the New York Philharmonic’s Liberation Festival, the rest of the Academy’s student body will engage in a festival of their own.

The three-day Arts & Community Festival, which will run March 1-3, celebrates the relationship between the arts and the community using the capacities of The Interlochen 5 as guideposts. The event will feature a diverse cohort of special guests, including artists and mental health advocates.

“We decided to work within The Interlochen Five—Mindfulness, Wellness, and Resilience; Creative Capacity; Interdisciplinary Perspective and Collaboration; Global and Cultural Perspective and Community and Citizen Artistry—in choosing the theme for the festival,” said Esther Triggs, Interlochen’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and one of the festival’s organizers. “Each session is an opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding that will support our students' growth in these areas. We are excited to offer guest artists who embody each of The Interlochen Five in different ways.”

Each day of the festival will begin with an all-school community meeting led by one of the festival’s keynote speakers. The festival kicks off on Wednesday with an opening community meeting featuring Emmy Award-nominated composer, musician, educator, and social entrepreneur Daniel Bernard Roumain. Award-winning filmmaker Margaret Byrne and mental health advocate Lianca Lyons will co-host the Thursday morning session. Friday’s community meeting will be led by Arts Academy alumna and viBE Theater founder Dana Edell (IAC/NMC 89-90, IAC 91, IAA 91-94).

After the opening community meetings, students will have three one-hour blocks to eat lunch and attend two workshop sessions of their choice.

During their lunch block, students can eat in Stone Cafeteria or purchase a meal from a variety of locally based international food vendors including Hofbrau, Food Arabia, Taste of India, and MiMi's Taqueria.

Workshop sessions will be taught by Arts Academy students, faculty, and staff; members of the local arts community; and the festival’s guest artists. In addition to the keynote speakers, other special guests include choreographer Kenya Clay; dancer Jasmine Flores; music producer Shawescape Renegade; and Oberlin College Assistant Professor of Theater Anjanette Hall. More than 140 different workshop sessions are available, including:

  • Any Given Day Workshop (with Margaret Byrne)
  • Arabic/Islamic Calligraphy
  • Chekhov Technique (with Anjanette Hall)
  • Sustainability
  • Music for Liberation (with Daniel Bernard Roumain)
  • Theatre as Activism (with Dana Edell)
  • Interdisciplinary Exploration
  • Tai Chi
  • Hip-Hop (with guest artist Kenya Clay)
  • Cultural Dance (with guest artist Jasmine Flores)
  • Art History for Beginners
  • Digital Minimalism

Each workshop session will last approximately 50 minutes; a few two-session workshops, such as Voiceover Workshop, African American Spiritual, and Dance Nutrition are also available.

At 2 p.m., the campus community will reconvene in Corson Auditorium for closing community meetings featuring performances by the Academy’s students, faculty, and staff. Arts Block will continue as scheduled at 3 p.m.

The festivities will continue after Arts Block with a variety of on- and off-campus recreational activities. On Wednesday, students will travel to the Cherry Blossom Theater for a screening of Mamma Mia! Two off-campus activities—a Nerf battle at The War Zone and a visit to Elev8 Climbing Gym—will be available on Thursday evening. The festivities will conclude on Friday night with two options: a trip to local entertainment center Lucky Jack's or a performance of Grimm's Alternative Fairy Tales, a musical written and directed by Arts Academy Instructor of Creative Writing and Film & New Media Lesley Alicia Tye.