breaking news from the Mariposa Folk Festival front, where the battle is ever waged to bring the best of entertainment and education to an expanding demographic.
this year, for the first time ever, you can get an early start on a great festival by taking part in Mariposa Arts U, two days of fun and creative classes with experienced, friendly instructors.
two sessions each are scheduled in Singing, with the entirely wonderful Alyssa Wright, and in Photography. single sessions are offered in Printmaking with the very accomplished Juliana Hawke, and in Songwriting, with none other than... me.
i'm very excited to be a part of this. the committee getting it together is fantastic - hard-working, dedicated, and positive. co-sponsors Mariposa and Lakehead University are heavy hitters in Orillia's cultural scene. the dream is to expand over the next few years to become a major summer school of the arts.
it's a case of being in the right place at the right time. in my last post, i mentioned the triumphant return of Mariposa to its original home, forty years after it began. i was part of a folk band called Alex, which morphed into the Orillia Folk Society, and whose members were the driving force behind discussions which led inexorably to the festival's return to Orillia.
i can't take much credit for that. while most of the band was involved in The Big Show, and all the bureaucracy that entailed, others of us were happy to grow the folk society, hanging out at weekly song circles and discovering the best of Canadian folk talent at our monthly concerts.
when Mariposa returned in 2000, the folk society offerred equipment and personnel to run the Open Stage. soon after, we were asked to put on songwriting workshops at the Interactive Stage. what would become Arts U was the dream of a wonderful woman who ran the latter. it's been a few years since we started talking about it, but there was a very distinct feel - that it was only a matter of time before it came to be. it was supposed to happen in 2008, but circumstances conspired...
it was a disappointment, but we all learned a great deal from its loss. folks were naturally a bit gun-shy, but as soon as we got together in the fall to decompress, it was obvious the passion to make it happen was still there, and renewed confidence.
so pencil us in, in ink, on your calendar. Thursday evening July 2, Friday July 3, 2009. my class is 2 1/2 hours, slated for Friday afternoon. 24 bucks early registration (by May 24 - it's the two-four special!)
there may also be some sort of meet-the-teacher night in the spring at the Mariposa office. stay tuned.