Monday, Mar. 27 has marked the beginning of the second annual celebration of GU ArtsWeek, an active invitation for all Georgetown students to engage in the arts. “The mission is to bring everyone together around art to create a group gathered by common values of creativity and community,” said Katherine Rosengarten, this year’s lead coordinator and artistic director for GU Arts Week. She explained that ArtsWeek is for everyone, whether “long-time thespians or novice notebook doodlers.”
The first GU ArtsWeek was held in the spring of 2015, headed by Andrew Walker (COL ‘16). “The arts at Georgetown are vibrant, but are often thinned out in people’s imaginations because there’s no central arts building and there are so many layers to arts groups,” explained Rosengarten of the problem at hand. GU ArtsWeek offered the solution, effectively highlighting the artistic brilliance of the University by bringing artists together for a common cause. “Suddenly we had the funding and platform to make a bigger splash — not just in social media but in practice, by creating a smorgasbord of events and projects that both represented the existing arts community and invited people who maybe don’t consider themselves ‘artistic’ to take up a paint brush or a microphone and give it a shot,” Rosengarten said.
This year’s GU Arts Week will showcase the work from around sixteen different student artists in the student art gallery, as well as over 150 artists in theater, music, and dance performances. However, by the end of the week, these numbers could grow exponentially: “We’re hoping that by the end of the week, countless other students will consider themselves ‘artists’ in their own right,” said Rosengarten.
Every day from 10am until 5pm, students can find ArtsWeek tables in Red Square offering a multitude of ways to get involved, from making stamps, to sculpting Play-Doh, to taking part in the creation of two community art pieces. “One will be a canvas of balloons filled with paint that students can pop with darts (a reference any devoted Princess Diaries viewer will get) and the painting will reveal an “artsweek” logo beneath it, the idea being that each student can make their own Pollock-esque contribution to a large artwork,” said Rosengarten. “The second — the one I’m most proud of — will be a community handprint piece. Students will be invited to dip their hands in water-soluble paint and put their handprint on a large sheet of poster paper with keywords on it – such as ‘community,’ ‘creativity,’ and ‘inclusivity’ — all words that our team has come up with in preparing for ArtsWeek in thinking about what the arts mean to us at Georgetown.”
With regards to Georgetown’s overarching student culture, GU ArtsWeek represents the broader message of unity amid all that divides us. Art itself transcends over the political climate and conflict over budget constraints to instead emphasize strength in unity. “The phrase ‘we are Georgetown’ begins with such a key word: ‘we.’ I can’t think of a better synonym for art than ‘we,’” said Rosengarten.
Cumulatively, ArtsWeek is, in itself, an artform — a creative conglomeration representative of a message that connects deeply to every individual Georgetown student. “ArtsWeek has been a vision for so long, and so to see it come together with such hope and integrity has meant the world,” said Rosengarten. “Now it’s here for you guys, you Georgetown students, and I cannot wait to see what you make of it.”