Today I leave for a month-long trip to Kazakhstan to participate in the 2015 ArtBat Festival in Almaty, thanks to support from the U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan and ArtBat Festival. This program was also made possible through the U.S. Department of State’s Arts Envoy program.
In its sixth year, the ArtBat Festival unites Kazakhstani and international artists to create public installations and develop art education in Kazakhstan.
I am thrilled to be working with young arts students from the Kasteyev Arts School to create murals that depict Kazakhstani fairy tales. These murals will be on display at the ArtPoint public arts space in downtown Almaty. I will also teach art and music workshops and deliver presentations about art education to both students and educators.
In addition, I will deliver presentations on “how to brand a creative city,” showcasing the programs, events, festivals, businesses, nonprofit organizations and other initiatives happening in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, a city well known for its thriving arts community. Following my visit to Almaty, I will travel to Astana (Kazakhstan’s capital city) to meet officials from the Ministry of Education to discuss art education, as well as guide students through additional projects.
I’ve also been asked to take over the U.S. Consulate General Almaty’s Instagram account during my stay. You can follow me at @uscgalmaty. I’ll also be keeping a journal of my experience here: http://aprettypickle.wordpress.com
I’m SO grateful to my friend Charles Martin for facilitating this experience, and for all the organizers at ARTBAT and the US Consulate in Almaty and in Astana. I can’t wait to meet everyone!