Returning to “normal” life is an art that many of us are still learning.
This year’s Arts Everywhere Day, on April 8, aims to recognize and examine this collective challenge through a range of interactive arts experiences, pop-up performances and exhibitions on campus. Hosted by Arts Everywherethe day will revolve around the theme of “grounded growth” and bring the art to nearly every corner of Carolina.
The annual celebration is the flagship event of Arts Everywhere, an initiative launched in 2016 to invest in the cross-disciplinary benefits of the arts.
“The intent with Arts Everywhere was to create this catalytic effort to galvanize all creativity on campus, not necessarily arts for art‘s sake – although that’s very important,” says Arts Everywhere CEO Alison Friedman. .
Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself an artist. For one of the events, all you have to do is shout.
Among the many exhibits and experiences will be “The Big Scream,” which invites the campus community to share what many have been keeping inside for months: pain, relief, and joy.
“I think we could all use that kind of outing and shouting from the past two years,” says Crystal Wu, marketing and development communications manager for Arts Everywhere.
Programming for the sixth annual Arts Everywhere Day – showcasing the return of the arts to campus – is designed to be easily encountered and engage the wider community.
“[It’s] meant to be like one giant creative interruption,” says Kathryn Wagner, Associate Director of Arts Everywhere.
These creative interruptions to your daily campus journey will include a 1,000-pound iguana sculpture made from recycled materials and designed through an Arts Everywhere partnership with the UNC Center for Galapagos Studies.
The Arts Everywhere team eagerly awaits the reveal of the I was there: Postcards from the pandemic project.
Launched in March, the program aims to create a space for Carolina staff members to reflect on their pandemic experiences by decorating a postcard. The project is sponsored by the Staff Advisory Committee to the Chancellor, Human Resources and University Libraries. The groups held workshops throughout the past month at the Ackland Art Museum and Morrison Art Studio.
“It’s really easy to get caught up in the energy of a semester, trying to keep going during a pandemic,” Wagner says. “You keep your walls up. You try to keep your head down and focus on the task.
Wagner says she has seen the project impact people and is excited about its display in Polk Place on Friday and its eventual adoption into Wilson Library’s Special Collections.
Whether you join the others in a shout, smile at a pop-up musical performance, or get paint under your fingernails, Arts Everywhere Day invites you to take a break.
“Use this day as a reminder to know how to ‘be a little human,'” Wagner says.