Meet the Bates Arts Festival Coordinators

Olivia Dimond, Assistant Arts & Leisure Editor

One of the hallmark projects of the Bates Arts Collaborative, a faculty committee, was the Bates Arts Crawl, a campus-wide celebration of the visual, literary, and performing arts at Bates. The last Arts Crawl occurred in the winter semester of 2018. However, last fall the committee decided to find a new way to bring that celebration back to life.

The Bates Arts Festival, happening on Feb. 7, is the new successor to the Arts Crawl. Housed in the Olin Arts Center from 5-8 PM, the festival will feature a variety of student work and performances, ranging from acapella to photography to jazz and everything in between. 

The Concert Hall will serve as a playing area for the first two hours of the event, featuring performances by individuals and groups such as 2B.E.A.T.S. and the cast of the Robinson Players’ winter musical.

Meanwhile, art displays, videos, workshops, and role-player games will be going on in various Olin classrooms, studios, and the Bates Museum of Art, which is currently showcasing displays by Vanessa German and Ralph Eugene Meatyard. The family-friendly event is open to the Lewiston-Auburn community as well.

In the past, the Bates Arts Collaborative curated the event alongside students and staff, but this year, four students, including myself, worked alongside Museum Education Fellow Elizabeth Boyle to spearhead the event’s curation. The five of us never attended an Arts Crawl, being too new to Bates, and are stretched out across the artistic community here. 

Organizing this festival has given us all the opportunity to really get to explore all of the rich artistry we have to offer here. I wanted to know about how the other student coordinators got involved with the festival, what they’re looking forward to, and why it’s important. So, I (ODi) interviewed my other three student curators, Olivia Demerath ‘23 (ODe), Sanika Shah ‘22 (SS), and Kush Sharma ‘23 (KS).


ODi: What is the Bates Arts Festival?

SS: The Bates Arts Festival is a diverse and fun community-building event to celebrate and appreciate the arts on-campus.

KS: It’s to showcase what we are proud of and how dedicated and passionate we are for performance arts.

ODe: Featuring visual and performing arts like dance, a capella, and string quintets, as well as skill workshops in juggling and ceramic making, the Arts Festival is a great way to immerse yourself in the talent and joy of sharing both advanced and amateur art at Bates.

ODi: What attracted you to becoming a coordinator?

ODe: I was attracted to the coordinator role because I wanted to explore both the organizational and aesthetic sides of curating art, and am very excited to see what my fellow students create next Friday. I’ll be performing with my acapella group, The Crosstones, but I can’t wait to see all of the photography, dance groups, and many workshops as well.

KS: What motivated me to be a part of the organizing committee is simply the fact that I saw this as an opportunity to be able to do something for the Bates community, bringing people together through a celebration of the arts.

SS: I love the arts, but haven’t had much time to pursue them at Bates. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to re-immerse myself in what was such a big part of my life at Bates and really bring to light the diversity of student talent on-campus. I love that we were able to give people who might not be pursuing the arts academically to showcase what they do!

ODi: What does art mean to you?

KS: Art for me is a medium to express and an outlet for engaging people with important questions. The questions that really need to be answered.

ODi: What are you most looking forward to at the Festival?

ODe: I am most looking forward to watching people experience the acts and performances.

SS: I am looking forward to all the amazing photography that will be hanging throughout Olin; I like that we will have so much variety and perspectives of Bates students shown.

ODi: What do you hope people get out of the Festival?

ODe: I hope that community members, Bates students, and faculty and staff will find inspiration to create their own art and bring the spirit of support and collaboration home with them.

SS: I hope the Bates/L-A community gain a deeper understanding and awareness of the arts on-campus and are able to enjoy and appreciate how talented Bates students are!