Parts for the Arts returns as a networking opportunity

Award-winning author and artist Aaron Paquette performs at the second annual Parts for the Arts at the EA Rawlinson Center on Saturday. –Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Parts for the Arts will return to the EA Rawlinson Center in June as the Prince Albert Arts Board returns to the 2020 format where artists had the opportunity to network with each other and with special guests from various arts industries.

Organizers had that comeback in mind when they called this year’s Parts for the Arts event “Artworking.” Spokeswoman Cara Stelmaschuk said the board wanted a name that showcased both the artistic and networking aspects, especially since the 2021 event was more of an educational opportunity.

“This year we are going back to 2020,” she said. “(It’s) more going around the room, talking to the tables that have the information that you might want or having a writer, someone from the music industry, someone from the visual arts. People can just come and go in the room, sit down and chat.

Carol Greyeyes of the Sask Arts Board, author John Brady McDonald, Andrea Martineau of Creative Saskatchewan, Judy McNaughton of Common Weal Community Arts and visual artist Michel Boutin have all confirmed attendance so far. The council is still awaiting confirmations for a few others.

Stelmaschuk said artists appreciate opportunities to meet and learn from each other. She hopes Parts for the Arts will continue this tradition.

“It’s a good network opportunity and I think the artistic community that has come to these events in the past has appreciated the opportunity,” she said.

Stelmaschuk said it was important to bring in representatives from various artistic groups, as not everyone knows their benefits. There are a variety of grants and other support available, but Stelmaschuk said not all artists are familiar with them.

Even those who are in the know may not know the details of deadlines or application forms.

“We encouraged these organizations to bring material with them to share with people,” she explained. “That way people will know where to go and look and see what’s coming.”

Stelmaschuk said knowing these things can really strengthen projects already underway, especially for artists just starting out or looking to take the next step in their artistic career.

Having working artists like Boutin and McDonald will allow people to ask questions about how they work. Stelmaschuk said she told McDonald to expect questions about things like the writing process and finding a publisher.

“The questions will just be everywhere,” she explained. “It’s not that they have to prepare a full presentation, but they have to be prepared to discuss their art and how they made it, not just the art itself, but the processes that publish it.”

Stelmaschuk said Prince Albert’s arts community is strong and vibrant, but can be segmented in that everyone works on their own. Organizing an event like Parts for the Arts helps bring everyone together. Singular arts pursuits like visual artists, sculpting, and writing sometimes isolate themselves, giving them the opportunity to network.

“We want this to be the place where people come to meet and discuss their art and talk about what they’ve done and what they’ve achieved, not just with our presenters but with each other,” said she declared.

“The other arts, you go out to your own corner and do your own thing and you’re on your own. It’s kind of nice to have a group of people to talk to, discuss commonalities and (see) what they’ve been up to and (if) maybe it’s something you should try.

Plays for the arts will take place Saturday June 18 at the EA Rawlinson Center for the Arts, 1-4:30 p.m. The event is completely free and there will also be live performances throughout the day, with snacks provided.

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