ArtsFest recognizes utopia, dystopia in current world

Faculty joins the drum circle to entertain the children around. GERALD PINEDA / THE DEPAUW
Faculty joins the drum circle to entertain the children around. GERALD PINEDA / THE DEPAUW
Faculty joins the drum circle to entertain the children around. GERALD PINEDA / THE DEPAUW

October 26 marked the official start of DePauw’s 15th annual ArtsFest. This year’s “Art & Utopia” event showcases artistic talent from the DePauw and Greencastle communities along with that of visiting artists.

ArtsFest Faculty Coordinator and DePauw English Professor, Harry Brown, explained that each year, the theme for the event is decided upon by a committee of planners.
“Suggestions are drawn from the committee and the broader DePauw community,” Brown said. “‘Art and Utopia’ is meant to explore the potential for art to envision a better world, through the imagination of an ideal or through dystopian critique.”

Under this unifying theme, speakers and performers are either recruited by the ArtsFest planning committee, or volunteer to participate in performances and exhibits. “The goal of ArtsFest, as always, is to celebrate music, performance, and visual arts at DePauw,” Brown said.

He believes the event will serve as a platform for inquiry and critique amongst the DePauw and Greencastle communities. “We think this year's theme, focused on social change and critique, is especially pertinent in a semester that includes DePauw Dialogue and a presidential election,” Brown said.

Sophomore Barbara Castellini, a publicity and marketing for the arts intern, explained how the ArtsFest committee has been planning this year’s event since last semester. Castellini, as an intern under ArtsFest Publicity Coordinator Sarah McAdams, worked on organizing a lot of the logistics for this year’s event. “My role typically is to do the [public relations] for the event, designing the posters, and getting the word out on social media,” she said.

Castellini said her biggest contribution to ArtsFest this year was her student mural project that was unveiled last Friday in the GCPA. The project was designed and created by a number of studio art majors, along with Castellini herself.

Although both Brown and Castellini consider this year’s ArtsFest to be a success thus far, both encourage faculty, staff, and students to continue to attend the events offered.

“From a student perspective, I would love to see more student involvement and student attendance,” Castellini said. “That’s one of the reasons I got involved with this project to begin with.”

ArtsFest will continue through Nov. 6, and a complete list of events can be found under the “Arts” tab on DePauw University's website. Upcoming events include a performance by the DePauw Chamber players tomorrow evening, an open mic night held by Music on the Square on Friday, and a closing performance by the DePauw University Choirs Sunday afternoon.