The festival includes three components:
Large scale mural creation
Exhibition & Performances
This year, all three components are dedicated to water, they involve community, and have been taking place throughout Toronto since August 18th and culminating this Saturday, August 30th, with a musical event, and a conference.
This year's Mural Project celebrates the importance of water as a vital source for all life forms, and bring consciousness to its conservation on a local and global scale. The theme of Water affects everyone, and it has impacted our social, political, physical, spiritual, and cultural existence since the beginning of time. One of the objectives of the mural process is to create a space for learning awareness of how our individual actions can make an impact and how they are intertwined with a global communal responsibility.
Currently, about a billion people around the world routinely drink unhealthy water. Poor water quality and bad sanitation are deadly; some five million deaths a year are caused by polluted drinking water. A report, issued in November 2009, suggests that by 2030, in some developing regions of the world, water demand will exceed supply by 50%.
Co-founding members, and sisters, Gilda & Elisa Monreal (Fiya Bruxa & Shalak Attack), shared with me how Essencia Art Collective uses art as a tool for social change and community empowerment. Essencia believes that an artistic voice has the power to communicate, educate, transform, inspire and unite. Based out of Toronto, the collective focuses on artistic community initiatives, putting an emphasis on education, empowerment and building environmental consciousness. They work with local as well as international artists, and this year they will have the participation of artists and speakers from Toronto, Montreal, New York, Brazil, Chile, and New Zealand.
By creating collaborative processes where community members, youth, and a variety of local and international professional artists can come together to create positive actions and monumental works of art with meaning, it brings positive attention to the project, community, and artists.
I now encourage that you make your way to Jane Street and Highway 400 underpass to check out the Mural Project.
This Saturday, August 30th, learn all about the importance of Water at the Water Conference. There will be speakers and musical guests from 1pm to 3pm at Lula Lounge with suggested donation $5.
That same evening, head over to Studio Bar for the Concert and Exhibition portion of the festival. The lineup of artists will introduce you to some local and international talent. Party begins at 10pm with suggested donation $5.
For more information on the Essencia Art Collective, its members, initiative, and future directions visit essenciartcollective.com.