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Arts Ahead Presents Interweaving Threads: Cultural Collaboration in the Arts

February 6, 2024

The Centennial College Arts Administration program’s annual student-run symposium, Arts Ahead, is excited to present Interweaving Threads: Cultural Collaboration in the Arts, taking place on February 21, 2024, at Society Clubhouse in Toronto. This year’s symposium aims to explore how cultural collaboration can uplift underrepresented voices and bridge intergenerational gaps, the impact of cross-cultural education in the arts such as through the use of technology, and the impact cultural exchange has on the Canadian economy.

Arts Ahead 2024 will feature a keynote from Soulpepper Artistic Director Weyni Mengesha, who will offer her insight on how cultural collaboration has impacted her career’s work. Weyni is an award-winning director known for her groundbreaking work and community engagement, with her shows travelling across the globe and garnering many accreditations. “Being the Keynote speaker at this year’s Arts Ahead is an incredible opportunity to connect with the next generation of arts workers, and I am grateful for the chance to offer some insight into the significance of collaboration in our industries,” Weyni said about the event.

Alongside our keynote will be two panels touching on different aspects of cultural collaboration. Our first panel, Cultural Narratives, will explore approaches to uplifting underrepresented voices in the arts sector, moderated by Parul Pandya, Program Director for artsvest at Business / Arts. This panel will feature insight from Charles C. Smith, Founder and Executive Director of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario; Marie Sotto, the Artistic Director of Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture; and Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison (Kobè), leader of the Djungle Bouti Orchestra and Performer, Producer, Composer, and Storyteller. 

Our second panel, Intersecting Cultural Markets, will be featuring Christine Harris, Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Luminato Festival; Marta Keller-Hernández, Managing Director at Mural Routes; and Anahita Azrahimi, the Executive and Creative Director of the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair. Moderated by Kathleen Sharpe, Executive Director of the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, this panel will focus on the impact of tourism and cultural exchange in the arts sector on the economy.

In between the panels, there will be an interactive music workshop led by Adekunle Olorundare (Kunle), an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, and also current member of the Arts Management program; and Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison. Alongside their performance will be a discussion on their experiences with intercultural work on a local and global level.

Arts Ahead 2024 is set to run from 10:00 AM on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 to 4:00 PM. The day will consist of the keynote and panels, an included lunch, and multiple breaks designed for networking and community building.

Stay tuned and connect with the Arts Ahead team on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn @ccartsahead. 

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About Arts Ahead:

Arts Ahead is an annual symposium for arts professionals and cultural leaders organized by the post-graduate Arts Management cohort at Centennial College. The full-day event is an opportunity for artists and arts workers to share professional insights and participate in meaningful dialogue about current and future trends in the arts & culture landscape. The symposium also provides a networking forum for aspiring arts managers and current industry professionals to strengthen the position of arts management within the Toronto and Canadian arts, culture, and heritage industries.

Arts Ahead is immensely grateful for the supporters and partners who make this event possible: WorkInCulture and Centennial College. 


Facebook: Arts Ahead

Instagram: @ccartsahead

Twitter: @ccartsahead

Tiktok: @ccartsahead

Hashtag: #ccartsahead #interweavingthreads2024 #artsahead2024

Media contact: Megan P. |

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